I have been using Google Chrome as my default browser for the last two years and I really love using it. But one big drawback of Google chrome is how it handles flash elements on web pages. This can mean YouTube videos, advertisements, video ads and so many other widgets that often times, Chrome gives up and says “The following plugin has crashed: Shockwave Flash”.
I have observed that other browsers e.g Opera, Firefox or Safari handles Adobe Flash elements better than Chrome does. If you have too many open tabs loaded with Adsense ads, videos and other elements that makes use of the Adobe flash player, Google Chrome will act really slow (if not non responsive).
The best way to make sure Chrome’s speed is not hindered by Shockwave flash objects is to either permanently disable Flash in Chrome or run it on demand.
Disable Adobe Flash Player Plug-In In Google Chrome
If you are sick and tired of frequent crashes and non responsive flash player in Google Chrome, consider turning the Adobe flash player plugin off. To do this, enter “about:plugins” in Chrome’s address bar, hit enter and choose “Disable” under “Flash.
This will disable adobe flash player in Google chrome and as a consequence, YouTube videos, advertisements and other widgets that uses the flash player will not load at all. The result is faster performance and less crashes. (Tip: I am not a very big fan of Adblocker extension but if you want to get rid of flash ads in Google Chrome, you may want to try it here.)
This kind of works but it can be really annoying, especially when you want to watch a YouTube video but Flash is disabled in Chrome. A neat idea would be to disable Adobe flash but choose to run it on demand. When you enable the “click to play” feature for Adobe flash elements, the flash objects will load only when you click on a particular element (e.g a YouTube video). Here is a working example:
Here are the steps to run Adobe flash elements on demand in Google Chrome:
1. Click on the wrench menu on top right corner and choose “Settings”.
2. On the settings page, scroll down and choose “Show advanced settings”.
3. Under “Privacy”, click on “Content settings”.
4. This will open an overlay page with custom content settings for your Google Chrome profile. Scroll down until you find “Plug-ins” and choose “Click to Play”, as shown below
Adding Exceptions for Blocked Plugins
Now there can be situations when you may want to block Adobe flash for specific websites and not the entire web. For example, you may want to allow Adobe Flash on YouTube but block videos and flash ads on all other websites. In such situations, it makes sense to add an exception on the plugin settings page.
To add your exceptions, navigate to the website and you will notice a small cross icon at the extreme right corner of the Chrome address bar. Click it and choose “manage plugin blocking”. This will open the plug-in exception page where you have to add the list of websites where you want the plugin to run automatically.
For example, I have added YouTube and Vimeo in the plugin exception list and have choosed “Click to Play” in Google Chrome. That way, all the flash objects such as web videos, Adsense ads, video advertisements are blocked while videos in YouTube and Vimeo aren’t.
If you want a no frill way to block flash objects in Google Chrome, try the Flashgot extension. Flashgot is a brilliant alternative of the very popular Adblock plus extension for Google Chrome and allows you to block flash content on webpages. You can also define a whitelist of allowed sites from the extension preferences panel and choose to load only selected elements on any given webpage.
Removing flash elements in Chrome helps in lowering the memory usage of the browser and prevents frequent crashes. Try any or all of the above tricks and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.