Helpdesk challenge – how to block Flash adverts

by , Deputy Computing Editor Computing Helpdesk 12/01/2013
Flashblock

Flash adverts: they’re loud, they’re bright, they’re irritating, and worst of all, they can slow down your web pages. But blocking Flash adverts online is a simple matter – we show you how.

As a long-term Hotmail user, I reckon I’ve seen enough Flash adverts to last me a lifetime. Most, I wouldn’t click on in a million years (zany t-shirts, suspicious lottery winnings, pouting hot singles in my area?).

Since Hotmail.com migrated its interface to Outlook.com, millions of users have hopefully had some relief from the Flash ad onslaught, but there are countless sites that still bombard you with unwanted ads that clutter the page and slow your browsing down.

Fortunately, blocking Flash ads is a doddle.

Blocking Flash ads with browser extensions

The simplest way to block Flash adverts is by using a browser extension. Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer all have extension stores where you can download nifty add-ons to give your browser extra functions, and the free Flashblock extension is one of the best around.

Head to your browser’s extension store (search ‘Firefox extensions’ or ‘Internet Explorer add-ons’), then within the store, search for ‘Flashblock’.

In the example below, you can see the Flashblock extension within the Chrome store. Installing it is simple, just click on the Add to Chrome button.

Blocking ads with Flashblock

From now on, Flash adverts and other Flash content like embedded videos will be automatically greyed out.

You can still choose to view them by clicking on the grey window to reveal the content behind it, putting the control in your hands. You can also whitelist sites that you don’t want Flash content blocked on (sites like YouTube are automatically whitelisted).

Do you use Flashblock, or alternative tools and add-ons to control adverts on websites? Let us know your experiences and tips in the comments below.

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7 comments

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Adrian

I use Firefox with Adblock. It blocks pretty much every advert.

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Rick

Have tried to Add Flash Block but get error ‘this is not a CRX’. What does that mean and how do I overcome it?

Hi Rick, what web browser do you use?

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Dennis

Hi Rick, make sure you have logged into the store (top right log in). I got the CRX error until I logged in.

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Ian Macfarlane

Google Chrome’s Flashblock: if you type Flashblock into the Chrome Web Store search window you will not succeed in finding the extension. You need to open up the Extension section from the bottom of the menu on the left of the Home page of the Chrome Web Store. Typing ‘Flashblock’ into the Extension page’s search window will then bring up Flashblock.

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Concerned of Ninelms

All very well for Firefox, Chrome and IE, but what about Safari?

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candre

Can’t find any such add-on in Internet Explorer Gallery

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