Plugin Activation in Firefox

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Benjamin Smedberg wrote an update on plugin handling in Firefox that I think you should give a read: Plugin Activation in Firefox. In a nutshell, all plugins except Flash will become click-to-activate on a future version of Firefox (possibly Firefox 26, currently in the Aurora channel). Also, the interface now lets you more easily activate plugins per-site rather than per-use.

Click-to-activate UIOld versions of Flash are still blocked for security and stability reasons, so make sure you stay up to date in order to avoid having to activate it.

If you have problems using your plugins in Firefox, please visit our support site for help.

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Categories: end users

13 responses {+}

  1. Mindaugas

    To quote myself from chromium tracker:
    Adobe Flash has been an exception for too long, imho. As a matter of fact it is a privacy black hole just like java: https://panopticlick.eff.org/

    Therefore, I urge you to enable the click-to-play feature by default.

    With the advent of HTML5 I see no reason whatsoever any site should be able to run invisible flash content in the background without my consent. Obvious cases where it is actually visible (read: youtube, flash games, etc) are just 2 clicks away to add as an exception.

    If the majority of your users don’t understand threats to their privacy, you should act in their best interest for them and educate them. Just like was the case with manifest v2 for extensions.

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    1. Jorge Villalobos Author

      Flash is an exception because it is massively popular and widely used across the web. Deactivating it by default will only drive users away to other browsers that don’t do this. There are longer term plans to move away from the Flash plugin, though. You can look up the Shumway project for that.

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      1. peter

        Now flash is standard ON, and can be switched off by site

        Is there anyway to set flash default OFF for all sites and only activate it with the click to play??

          ·   Reply

        1. Jorge Villalobos Author

          If you toggle the plugins.click_to_play preference to true, you will effectively activate click to play for all plugins. That’s the only way I know to approximate what you want.

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  2. Antonio Rodríguez

    Will it be a way to globally allow a given plugin, or a list of whitelisted plugins? For example, Java asks the user to allow/deny a given applet. Having to accept two different warnings is tiresome, and teaches the user to blindly click “Allow” on all warning dialogs, which defeats their purpose. That is the kind of behavior malware authors want the users to have, because it makes it easier to apply their social engineering treats.

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    1. Jorge Villalobos Author

      There’s no way to approve a plugin for all sites. In the case of Java, the expectation is that Java applets will be used less and less, because of the inconvenience they present for users and the security and stability issues they create. There are many of us that depend on Java to access one or two sites, but I think it should be rare for someone to need to activate Java for many different domains (this is my opinion, but I think it’s also the reasoning for deactivating all of these low-usage plugins).

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      1. greendestiny

        This is terrible, now even more nag screens?

        I’m never going to use FireChrome, I’ll stick with Firefox 3.6

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  3. Iram

    Is there any way to enable plugins for a specific site without going through the Firefox UI?

    For company administrators that need to allow plugins for specific websites for all of their managed users, these new dialogs have the potential to generate a lot of helpdesk churn.

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    1. Jorge Villalobos Author

      Give this extension a look: Click-to-Play Manager.

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      1. Mr. T

        You mean there’s no built-in way in Firefox for companies to enable/disable add-ons centrally?

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        1. Jorge Villalobos Author

          The extension facilitates doing this to some extent. You could also deploy the same permissions.sqlite file for all profiles in the company, which isn’t ideal but should work.

          For other ideas I recommend you join our Enterprise Working Group.

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  4. martin

    Switching back to Opera. I am really sick of all this patronizing.

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  5. Bryan

    The _only_ plugin I need click to play for is Flash. This is ridiculous. Please, please let us re-enable click to play for flash.

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