Killing Flash on Your Mac

With all of the talk about Adobe Flash, I’ve become more aware of how it affects my Mac. Ignoring the security risks posed by Flash, the cost of having Whack-a-Mole show up is significant in clock cycles, stability, and battery life. Put simply, I grew tired of the heated Mac, noisy fans, and other tell-tale signs that Flash was having its way with my Mac again. I began looking for solutions.

Because I primarily use Safari, the first weapon in my anti-Flash arsenal is ClicktoFlash. Once installed, ClicktoFlash blocks all incoming Flash animations. When a Flash component tries to load in your browser window, you instead see an empty box with the word “Flash.” If you want Flash to load in that box, you click it once and ClicktoFlash lets it through. If you contextual click it, you can set behaviors, blocking or allowing, on that specific site for the future. It is remarkable how rarely you will find the need to click and let Flash through. ClicktoFlash also strips the Flash out of YouTube.

My second tool for dumping Flash is BashFlash. This menubar application keeps track of how much Flash is hitting your Mac’s processor and, when things get out of control (the app defaults this to 30%), the icon turns red. You can then click on the icon to kill all running Flash.

In the few months I’ve been using ClicktoFlash and BashFlash, my browser stability has dramatically increased. My only regret is not figuring this out sooner.