Chrome will soon block Flash ads and auto-playing background media


— 10:38 AM on August 28, 2015

Web users around the world, rejoice. Google will be skewering most Flash ads with prejudice come September 1. The company has announced that Chrome will begin automatically pausing resource-hogging Flash ads, in a bid to improve PCs' performance and battery life.

This move was announced last June, but the deadline is now looming. AdWords already converts most Flash ads to HTML5 automatically, and Google encourages advertisers to drop Flash altogether. One can only hope this is another critical blow for the plugin, which has long been plagued with security and performance issues.

If you've ever asked yourself "where is that Cthulhu-darned tab that's making noise?", that question could soon become a thing of the past if you use Chrome, as well. Google's François Beaufort has announced that the latest development version of the browser won't auto-play media unless the user is looking at the tab in question. Beaufort says that content in background tabs will continue loading, but playback will be delayed until the user actually switches to the tab. Once a tab is allowed to play its media, it'll continue playing even if it goes to the background again, in order to preserve playlist functionality on some websites. Given that it's already implemented, we hope this feature will make it to the production version of Chrome soon.

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