Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The 3 Free Ways To Manage Flash On Your Mac

Most Mac users have a love hate relationship with Adobe’s Flash. In fact, some of us just love to hate Flash. You can’t blame Adobe for wanting to push the Flash platform onto the world. That’s how they make money. The problem is this. Flash is a memory hog, a CPU hog, and yesterday’s technology trying to live in a 21st century environment when it doesn’t belong, isn’t welcome, and yet it’s still around.

Here are three simple ways to manage Flash on your Mac to improve battery life, reduce heat, and take a load off the Mac’s CPU. All three methods are free and effective.

First, no Flash. Apple doesn’t even put Flash on the Mac anymore. So, no Flash plugin for Safari. If you need Flash, download Google’s Chrome browser, and use it when necessary. That method limits Flash, which helps to improve batter life, reduce heat, and free up the Mac’s CPU for other apps.

Second, Flash tools. If you must use Flash on Safari, try ClickToFlash or ClickToPlugin. Both are free extensions for Safari and give you more options to manage Flash; manually or automatically.

With ClickToFlash you get controls to replace every instance of Flash on a web page with a placeholder. That way, Flash doesn’t even run (usually on videos or animated advertisements). But, if you want to view the Flash, simply click on the placeholder and Flash takes over. But that’s all ClickToFlash does.

ClickToPlugin has more options but uses the placeholder method from ClickToFlash. It can replace the Flash plugin with Safari’s native HTML 5 media player (and many advertisers will stream HTML video if Flash is not present in the browser).


Each placeholder will display the type of media being blocked; Flash, Silverlight, Java, QuickTime, Shockwave.

Of the three solutions, my preference is no Flash on one of my Macs (using Chrome when needed), and ClickToPlugin on another Mac (which allows for Safari’s media player to dominate, as needed).

The absence of Flash in a browser usually means your Mac uses less battery power, stays cooler (no need for the fan to come on), and the CPU doesn’t get hogged and leaves more power for other apps.