Opting-in to plugins in Firefox

11 April, 2012 § 84 Comments

Whether you hate them or love them, content accessed through plugins is still a sizable chunk of the web. So much so, that over 99% of internet users have Flash installed on their browser. However, plugins can also carry with them extra vulnerabilities and system slowdowns.

A couple days ago I landed an initial implementation of “click-to-play plugins” in desktop Firefox. To see and play with the feature, download a Nightly build of Firefox, go to about:config, and enable the plugins.click_to_play flag.

When plugins.click_to_play is enabled, plugins will require an extra click to activate and start “playing” content. This is an incremental step towards securing our users, reducing memory usage, and opening up the web.

I’m currently working on implementing the ability for plugin activation settings to be remembered on a per-site basis. I hope to get these changes landed within the next week before the deadline for Firefox 14.

If you are curious and want to learn more about our plans for opt-in activation of plugins, you can take a look at the feature page on our wiki.

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