Chrome: click to play Flash

This blog post explains how to switch on “click to play” for Flash content in Chrome.

Chrome and Flash

While I have disabled Flash on my Mac, Chrome is always available as a fall-back when I need it. Thankfully, that is less and less necessary. Google has gone to great lengths to make sure Flash is safe on Chrome and everything updates automatically. So life is basically good. Except for those auto-playing videos. YouTube is the greatest offender, as far as I know there is no way to prevent that a video starts immediately when you open its page. Ironically, YouTube does not auto-play if you set your browser’s user agent to an iPad.

Enabling “Click to play”

One way of preventing videos from auto-playing is to enable “click to play” for plug-ins in Chrome. Then you see the following placeholder for all Flash content:

Enable “Click to play” (CTP):

  • Step 1: Go to “Content settings”:
    • Either manually: “Settings/Preferences → Show advanced settings... → Privacy → Content settings...”
    • Or by entering the URL chrome://chrome/settings/content
  • Step 2: Check “Plug-ins → Click to play”.
Further options:
  • Manage exceptions: Configure for individual websites whether to “Allow”, “Ask”, or “Block”, independently of the default. That is, you could normally run Flash automatically, but switch on CTP for YouTube.
  • Disable individual plug-ins: Again, the settings here are independent of the default. Alas, you only have the options “Disable” or “Always allowed”, but not CTP. I switched on “Always allowed” for the Chrome PDF Viewer.