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February 25, 2006

Disable Flash Advertising

Flash applets can be fun, but most often they distract you from the real content. That's the case with most Flash ads that include sound and animations.

The Macromedia Flash Player is implemented as an ActiveX control for some browsers, and as a plug-in for other browsers. If you don't want to see Flash applets anymore, uninstall Flash Player (macromedia.com).

If you don't want to uninstall Flash, but you want to be disabled as default, you can try Flashblock, an extension for Firefox that blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content.

If you want to block just some Flash applets, you can install Adblock, another Firefox extension that filters unwanted content based on the source-address using regular expressions. You can disable, for example, anything that contains "/ads/" in its address.

In Opera, if you want to temporarily disable Flash, it's an easy workaround: just disable plugins (press F12, and uncheck "Enable plugins").

Otherwise, to simulate AdBlock, you should create a file user.css that contains this code (credit - http://my.opera.com/Rijk/blog/show.dml/8382):

embed[type="application/x-shockwave-flash"] {
content: url(http://img467.imageshack.us/img467/9899/flashblock2tp.gif);
}
embed[type="application/x-shockwave-flash"].zichtbaar {content: normal; outline: none}

body:before {
position: absolute; visibility: hidden;
background-image: url("javascript:window.addEventListener('click', function(){var srcElem=window.event.srcElement;var tag=srcElem.tagName;if(tag=='EMBED') srcElem.className='zichtbaar';}, false)");
content:""}

The file should be copied in the same location that appears in Preferences/Advanced/Content/ Style options / My style sheet.

28 comments:

  1. In IE you can just set the option "run activeX controls as plugins" to prompt or disable. That'll stop the flash control from loading but you will get a message box that you have to dismiss everytime you load a page with flash. Also, this technique will also disable other activeX controls (i.e. adobe pdf viewer, etc.) If there's a browser button out there to toggle it (not one on the systray!) post a link to it.

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  2. For IE, I disable Flash via SpyWareBlaster. In SpyWareBlaster's GUI, select Tools, then Flash Killer. Check the box to disable Flash. If needed, uncheck it to run a flash file.

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  3. For IE, I simply choose Manage Add-Ons in the Tools menu, and disable Shockwave Flash Object. Would like some easier way to enable based on URL's though.

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  4. The beauty of Flashblock is you can still click and view any flash content on the page at any time.

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  5. I personally use NoScript with 'Forbid Macromedia Flash' (and also Java) turned on. Sites that I trust to run JavaScript are usually sites where I would want to see their Flash as well, so it works out perfectly. Of course you can always enable a single flash object in a page to play as well, without allowing others, by clicking on it, just like Flashblocker.

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  6. As a Flash Designer, I think blocking things live Flash's Local Objects to be very frustrating. When game designers use Local Objects to help players save games, getting rid of Flash "cookies" can mess everything up.

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  7. you flash designers need to realize a ton of people find flash annoying. "skip intro" is my friend.

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  8. All I want is a browser "mute" button. I don't want to mute everything on my whole system, I just don't want unasked for noises jumping out at me.

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  9. HOW TO DISABLE NASTY ADOBE ACTIVEX PROMPT "DOY YOU WANT TO INSTALL..FLASH PLAYER 9.0" WHICH POP UP EACH TIME ILOAD PAGE WITH FLASH ELEMENTS? (THIS FOR WINDOWS 98SE, MSIE 6.0)

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  10. I am an ie user , I was frequently annoyed by flash ads, not only it is advertisement, but also make my pc slowly. I find an software named "adblock pro" which helps me resoved such headache. you can reach it at www.adblockpro.com

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  11. I am very annoyed of flash advertisements. They can block important content that you're trying to view. Flash expanding ads are the worst idea for advertisement. It may get attention - but the negative experience to the user is a big "downer."

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  12. I agree with the users above; flash is nice and makes some websites attractive and easy to navigate but when an ad jumps in front of something you are viewing or suddenly somebody shouts over your speakers "you have won a free ipod"--that makes me want to blacklist macromedia from my computer altogether--but it is not the makers of flash but the advertising companies who are responsible. I just make it a point to never buy or use something advertised in this way.

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  13. i use 3 browsers
    IE: To download video from youtube using real player
    Chrome:For Browsing Experience
    Opera :On sites where i need to hav control over images & flash plugins like way2sms.com
    Now life seems 2 b perfect

    arpitboss@yahoo.com

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  14. guys use FlashBang , its FREE, it will place a button on your IE and when pressed flash is disabled (refresh the page) , click it again and flash is once again enabled.

    download from here:
    http://coreygo.com/index.php/2007/04/27/Hate-Annoying-Flash-Ads-So-Do-I-Try-My-New-Gadget-FlashBang/

    Asher

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  15. "Nothing harming from downloading Macromedia flash player, in fact it will enhance the viewing for some websites you visit."

    I have to laugh every time I read this canned response. What a joke! I won't download it. I can't imagine how flashing ads "enhances my viewing experience". (rolling eyes)

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  16. css trick is sometime not suffisant when there are sound in the flash ads.

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  17. Safari has a disable plug-ins toggle that turns off flash ads. I wish Safari would add a tool bar button for disabling plug-ins.

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  18. In Opera, I just set up a content block for *.swf . For sites like Youtube, just set up an exception by going to the "site preferences" and disable "blocked content" for the site.

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  19. when i see or here something flahing i turn it off, note the ad and remind myself to never support buy or go to that fckn site ever. bullshit speedbumps / captchas suck also. u popup makers needd to be slapped. forcing people to forceview content that is just st2pid. same for news/entertainment channels that make u watch commercial before the content, u suck too, right click stop until i say, that's the way it should be. well got any balls out there Adobe to fix this shizzle?
    (sracthin my head/balls)

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  20. Attention FLASH ADS script writers and Adobe:

    Simply place a "SKIP INTRO" or "STOP AD" so we can choose to run it or not.

    "IF" you cannot or will not because you feel you might miss a potential sale, you best QUIT the advertisement business altogether. We know you can’t please all the customers all the time but why not TRY to reach all your customers all the time?

    OBTRUSIVE Flash Ads on web pages with no control to stop said advert, is like a spoiled child having a tantrum.
    The spoiled child: "STOMP and SCREAM"
    The Flash adverts: "FLASH and LOUD"
    Different words, same meanings.

    Use Flash ads MATURELY, not like a SPOILED BRAT!

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  21. " "Nothing harming from downloading Macromedia flash player, in fact it will enhance the viewing for some websites you visit."

    I have to laugh every time I read this canned response. What a joke! I won't download it. I can't imagine how flashing ads "enhances my viewing experience". (rolling eyes) "

    Dude, you are a HUGE idiot.
    Flash is also used for Menu's, Site multimedia content like Videos and Music that you WANT to hear & see, Games and Informational Charts that are animated to show variable activity and values.

    I have never understood why Neophyte computer users insist on acting like they already know everything and have nothing else left to learn.

    Talk about,...

    ROLL EYES.

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  22. anonymous is right. I paid money for pc and programs which hijack me, waste cpu cycles and electricity, and ARE annoying ALWAYS and DESTRUCTIVE sometimes...

    Brave new world... and any objection to corporate greed and indifference makes you a pirate and/or terrorist.

    Having helped A gore build internet I am very disappointed with you kids. So we are taking away your keys until you learn to navigate responsibly... and will continue to have you pay for that neglect LOL.

    Here is part of job offer, scary isn't it?
    'This is a broad reaching position and expert-level abilities are critical in information architecture, conversion architecture, interaction design, UI design, copywriting and general visual design. If you have experience designing web applications that provide powerful ways to access and view data, while at the same time pulling users towards desired conversion outcomes, this position is for you!'

    we are simply anonymous potentially desireable conversion outcomes(coughgivemeyurmoneycough).

    that is why sitting and surfing burns your buns. conversion stings but after a while you expect it.

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  23. Just recently I have been experiencing this outrage. I'm not a very skilled computer user, but this form of advertising is insidious. I'm furious that when I land on a page music and commercials start blaring at me. I have to scroll all over the page to stop the infection. I will never use a product that advertises this way! I will stop using products that advertise this way!
    I'm old enough to remember when TV reception was free and we accepted ads because viewing was free if you owned a TV and bought a bit of electricity. Now I pay a hundred dollars a month to have a vacuous 'premium' package and most of it is advertising! Like many as******, now I pay for them to invade my space. I pay damn good money for my DSL connection like most of you and I'm furious that TPTB are now invading this space. Most of us should just disconnect from all this technology and rediscover books. Sorry for the rant, but this type of invasion on my computer and time makes me want to cry. All of you be safe and prosperous.

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  24. "Anonymous said...

    Dude, you are a HUGE idiot.
    Flash is also used for Menu's, Site multimedia content like Videos and Music that you WANT to hear & see, Games and Informational Charts that are animated to show variable activity and values.

    I have never understood why Neophyte computer users insist on acting like they already know everything and have nothing else left to learn.

    Talk about,...ROLL EYES."
    _______________________________

    you are obviously one of the douchebags shoving this ad/ bloatware down the consumers throat. Douchebag.

    Flash is for pussies that can't learn real software.

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  25. what about flash animated ads inside facebook. I would like to disable just those and still use the apps. Is that possible? (this question coming to you from someone very technology illiterate). Help!

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  26. "Ahem" I too find those popup ads annoying (especially the loud ones that aren't even on the page I'm viewing!) and as mentioned the ones that block the content you are trying to view and/or keep popping back up after you close them are really maddening. Even YouTube's discreet ads makes it hard to hit the Button and partially blocks the video. I agree that advertisers should make it standard and easier to stop or opt out of an ad as many sites do. Some show the ad for a certain number of seconds then allow you to skip the rest of the ad. Some of them play silently and give you the option of turning on the sound. I can live with these. BUT it is no more realistic to live without ads on the internet than it is to live without ads on TV, in the grocery stores, etc. as that is the way the merchandisers a) pique your interest; b) attract you to new products; c) lure you into their stores; d) let you know about their specials; but most of all E) These advertisers support their own business AND the business they are advertising on. If there were NO ads on the internet there would be NO free sites. When we pay for the internet we are only paying for the access, just as we pay the cable bill to access the channels we watch. That does NOT pay for the content. We would be paying much, much more--even more than the "Premium" channels--who also advertise (and buy ads). Many old businesses such as newspapers are in financial trouble because people are cancelling their print subscriptions (which also subsidized their business with ads keeping costs to the consumer down), but expect internet news to be free. NOBODY wants to, or can afford to work for free. News is a really good example, because the financial squeeze is a direct threat to funding good, unbiased and responsible reporting (especially local papers). It costs money to send those reporters (some of whom are literally risking their lives) out into the midst of the latest catastrophe, or to another country, or the latest war, or even the downtown parade. Ads can be fun,interesting and even informative, but even if they aren't they are a necessary evil.But the advertisers that annoy their potential buyers are only hurting themselves. You gotta figure though, SOMEBODY must be answering those ads or they wouldn't keep doing it.

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  27. Oh, just realized something. I haven't had my own blog or web site yet, but I'm in the process of setting them up and I've been reading that the site designer actually has a LOT of control on how those ads appear on their web site. They can set the popup style, the position, how many ads, what kind, and they can "redirect" you to a bunch of OTHER advertising windows, opening up a bunch of new tabs or windows, etc. The WEB DESIGNER can basically make their site as annoying as hell. WHY? Because everytime you deliberately or ACCIDENTALLY click on one of those ads, or follow one of those sometimes misleading links (like if you are actually trying to close the thing, or you think it's taking you to an article or something) THEY GET PAID. Many of those companies (like Microsoft) don't approve of their ads being used that way because they KNOW that it annoys the consumer and they will pull their ads if they find out what the web site owner is doing. But there are so many sites that it is very difficult for the individual businesses to monitor every ad that is out there and how it is being presented. Google ads DOES have a policy of closing down web sites that use agressive tactics like that, but most people don't know that and it isn't exactly easy to figure out how to report them. Supposedly they have some kind of algorithm that helps them spot the abusers, just like they have algorithms for the google listings and keywords, but they seem to miss a LOT of the worst offenders. Many of the web site providers also have policies that forbid that kind of activity. But even if they're closed down they just "pop up" somewhere else (pun intended) Be aware that these kinds of web sites are not above planting spy ware or trackers on your computer, so I'd stay away from any web site that bombs your browser with a bunch of ads or opens a ton of new windows, that keeps redirecting you (often not letting you use your back button either) and in general is being a pain. BLOCK those sites. And I'd check your cookies or flat clean out your cache and then run an anti-spyware program. Flash malware can be particularly hard to remove, many anti-virus programs don't recognize these bad guys yet. Sometimes those pop-ups aren't even from the web site you're on, but is a mini-program planted in your computer. (I'm not sure how these work or what they're called but I've been reading about them lately and they are flash-based). In this kind of situation it doesn't matter if you have flash enabled or not. I guess they won't popup (but I'm not sure) but they are still on your computer doing their damage. The key thing to note is that the WEB SITE OWNER/OPERATOR is the one that is setting up his web site to be obnoxious not the advertiser, and he's doing it out of greed so there is no reason not to assume he's not above a little larceny as well. BEWARE.

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  28. if a link takes you to a false page on a loop (a redirect link) download "grease monkey" and install "redirect remover" google it. that script is a godsend and will solve all your problems.

    to get around the god forsaken ads with sound (this works for me, win 7 pro 32 bit, firefox) you can right click on your speakers in the start bar open volume mixer and firefox has its own setting so you can play games ect ect with sound but no sound will come from your browser unless you turn it up. (its also possible to macro the browser sound to make it less of a pain to turn the browser sound up and down.)

    the only thing i cant seem to find a work around for is those horrendous ads that are built into the websites system. like you cant watch a video without watching the add or watch this 20 second add before you can download this file. if they ever find a solid way to bypass that crap ill be in love.

    ads may supply the website with money but its not the only way to make money on your website. there are more than the membership/ad's options when your marketing a website.

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