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Safari 10 To Block All Plugins By Default, Including Flash

Recently, the Chromium team made the announcement that Chrome will start blocking all Flash content by default by the end of the year, with the exception of the top 10 websites, which will get a year-long extension. The WebKit team announced that the upcoming Safari 10 browser will block Flash and all the other plugins by default soon as well, but there will be no exceptions.

Safari 10 will not send any information about whether there are plugins installed on someone’s system, so even if some plugins are installed, websites will not know about it and will have to display their content in HTML5. If there is no such option, users could still enable the needed plugins manually, if they want to see the website’s content.

When most sites fail to detect Flash on a user’s system, they prompt messages such as “Flash isn’t installed” and show a link to Adobe’s website to download Flash. However, in Safari 10, when users click that link, they will be shown that Flash is already installed, and the default option will be to enable it once for that website. They could also click to enable it every time they visit that website. Other plugins will work in a similar way.

Safari 10 also includes a menu command to reload a page with all the plugins activated. If the user hasn’t visited the site in over a month, the user’s request to activate the plugins on a site will expire.

The WebKit team recommended that developers test how the changes impact their websites by installing macOS Sierra beta. Safari 10 beta for OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan will be available later this summer.

If for some reason the developers can’t implement HTML5 alternatives by this fall, when Safari 10 will be officially released, the WebKit team recommended teaching the sites’ visitors how to enable the plugins manually.

In the enterprise setting, system administrators can deploy managed policies that can ensure that a plugin is always activated for specific websites, if necessary.

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu. 

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.