I consider Google Chrome’s background auto-update feature one of its best capabilities. The fact that the updates include Adobe Flash is just icing on the cake. Even with Flash up-to-date, you might not always want Flash object to run by default. Either for security reasons, page load performance, or you just find them annoying most of the time. Using Chrome’s built-in settings, you can configure Flash objects to never run or wait for your click to load them manually.
The Click to Play setting works for all Plug-ins and introduces a step to allow the plugin to start running. With the setting enabled, you will see a puzzle piece icon like seen below. Upon hovering over it with your mouse, it will show text that says “Click to run Flash” or other plugins like Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer, QuickTime, Adobe PDF, Silverlight, Microsoft Office, and others.
To configure the setting, just click the Wrench in Chrome and click on Settings from the menu or enter <chrome://chrome/settings/> in Chrome’s URL bar. Once the Settings tab opens up, click the ‘Show advanced settings…’ link at the bottom. The top advanced setting is ‘Privacy’. Click the ‘Content settings…’ button and a popup layer will open with more detailed settings. Scroll down to see the Plug-ins section. Select the radio button ‘Click to play’ and click Ok on the popup layer.
Now, when you visit a site that uses a plugin, you will will the puzzle piece icon and you can manually click it if you want the content to load.
Click to play is a nice setting that is more secure and allows sites to be faster but it can be annoying to have to click every time when you’re visiting a site like YouTube or a Flash games site
Click the ‘Manage exceptions…’ button and enter the URL of the site you want to whitelist and choose allow as in the screenshot below. In this configuration, all websites will require a manual click to run plugins but YouTube will automatically load the plugins.
These settings actually allow all sorts of configuration. You could block everything on the Settings page but whitelist a few sites. You could allow all sites to autoload but enter a few that you want to block or require prompting. It’s flexible enough to allow you to set it how you want it.