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Apple Hammers One More Nail in Flash's Coffin

In Apple's latest move to push Adobe Flash into extinction, the company will deactivate Flash by default in Safari 10, which is due out this fall as a part of the macOS Sierra update. Apple's long-term war against Flash is well-documented, as its 2010 decision to keep the technology off of iOS played a major role in the plugin's decline.

Image: Shutterstock / Denys Prykhodov

Apple engineer Ricky Mondello announced the news in a June 14 blog post. If a user navigates to a page that features Flash content, Mondello says, Safari will display a "Flash isn't installed" message along with a link to download it from Adobe. If a user clicks that link, Safari will explain that the plug-in is actually already installed and offer to activate it.

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According to a preview image Mondello included in his blog post, users will have the option to enable the plugin once or to keep it permanently enabled. The decisions made will only affect how Flash is loaded on that specific site, and not on every site you load.

Users won't see these options if a website offers an HTML5 alternative to the Flash content. Sites such as YouTube already do that. 

Safari is slightly late to the Flash funeral compared to rival browsers. Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome instituted similar click-to-enable default behaviors in 2015, and Microsoft's Edge browser only enables Flash if it's used in content "that is central to the page."

Flash lost its support in the browsing community after years of dangerous security flaws that require constant patching. Attackers often inject malicious code into Flash-based web ads to spread malware, which makes disabling the plugin a smart move for users looking to secure their computers.