Firefox joins the phase out Flash party

Firefox logo

Firefox will begin blocking Flash elements that aren't essential to the web experience starting this August, Mozilla announced today, continuing the slow death march of the once-mighty Flash.

The browser joins Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge in phasing out the use of Flash across the web. Google announced plans to stop advertising support for Flash by Q4 of this year, though the plug-in will still run in the browser. Chrome will instead default to HTML5 wherever possible.

Adobe's Flash technology is being slowly phased out for newer technologies, like HTML5, due to repeated security exploits, instability, battery drain and slow performance. The demise of Flash has been a long, arduous process, and it continues bit by bit every day.

Firefox Flash stability graph

Image credit: Mozilla

Mozilla expects to make Flash elements around the web click-to-activate by 2017. This will result in a 10% decrease in crashes and hangups in Firefox, writes Mozilla in a blog post.

"These changes are part of our ongoing efforts to make browsing safer and faster without sacrificing the Web experiences our users love," Mozilla says. "We continue to work closely with Adobe to deliver the best possible Flash experience for our users."

Even Microsoft's Silverlight web plugin isn't safe. Mozilla is urging websites that use Flash and Silverlight to adopt HTML technologies "as soon as possible." The company still plans to support plug-ins like Silverlight and Java until 2018 to give companies more time to transition technologies.

For users, you most likely won't notice this change as more websites transition to HTML technologies. There may be certain sites you visit that will show a play button to activate Flash, but it's a small price to pay for a more stable and quicker browsing experience.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.