Why do I have to click to activate plugins?

Support ended for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash in Firefox version 52, released March 7, 2017. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

Beginning with Firefox version 52, support has ended for all NPAPI plugins except for Adobe Flash. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

To keep your browsing experience fast, reliable and secure, Firefox will not activate plugins by default. Instead, Firefox lets you choose whether or not to allow a plugin to run on a website.

How click to activate works

If Firefox blocks a plugin, rather than seeing content, you'll see a message prompting you to click to run the plugin, such as Adobe Flash.

activate_flash_58

On some sites, you'll see just a blank rectangle, and the plugin notification icon will appear toward the left end of the address bar.

Fx58AllowFlashOptions Firefox 69 Plugin Activation Choices - Flash

If you click the message or the notification icon to activate the plugin, Firefox will prompt you with these options:

  • Allow: Activates Flash only for a single visit. To automatically activate Flash for all future visits to that site, check the Remember this decision checkbox.
  • Don't Allow: Dismisses the notification prompt without activating Flash.

If you click to activate and allow the plugin, the missing content will load normally. (If it doesn't, click the reload FxReloadButton button in the toolbar to reload the page and try again.)

When is it okay to activate a plugin?

In a situation like this, you can make a smart choice depending on your current task:

  • If you're using a trusted site like a special site for your work or school, you might feel safe enough to enable a plugin in order to view the site's content.
  • If you don't fully trust a site, for example, you arrived at the site by following a link, you probably do not want to activate the plugin.
Always activate plugin (not recommended): You can also set a plugin to always activate by entering about:addons on the address bar and setting the plugin to Always activate in its drop-down menu. The plugin will automatically run and you won't get the "Run Adobe Flash message.
// These fine people helped write this article:AliceWyman, jscher2000, Underpass, Michael Verdi, Samuel Bronson, ideato, Lan, scootergrisen, Joni, Mark Schmidt, Chris Peterson, Zppix. You can help too - find out how.

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