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Tested: How Flash destroys your browser's performance

Mark Hachman | Aug. 11, 2015
In case you needed another reason to uninstall Adobe Flash, we've got one: It can drag down your PC by as much as 80 percent. Yes, 80 percent. So not only is Adobe Flash incredibly unsafe, it's a memory hog. And we've got the numbers to prove it.

Ideally, being able to turn Flash on and off on a per-tab basis might be even better, but the Edge team doesn't seem to have that on the feature roadmap.

How do you turn off Flash?

Here's a quick guide to removing Flash from your browser:

Microsoft Edge:  This is easy. Click the "ellipsis" (...) menu to the upper right, then click Settings > Advanced Settings. Flip the Adobe Flash toggle Off.

Google Chrome:  From the menu button in the upper right, click Settings, then scroll down to Show advanced settings. Under Privacy, click Content Settings. Scroll down to Plug-ins > Manage Individual Plugins. You'll have the option to turn Flash on or off.

Internet Explorer: Click the gearlike Settings icon to the upper right. Scroll down to Manage add-ons. When you're presented with a list, click Shockwave Flash Object and the Disable button, at the lower right.

Mozilla Firefox: In Firefox, click the menu button at the upper right, click Add-ons, then set the Shockwave Flash plugin to Never Activate.

Opera:  This is a bit tricky. To uninstall Flash in Opera, you need to go to Windows 10 Control Panel's Programs > Programs and Features, then manually uninstall Adobe Flash Player PPAPI. (Thanks to HowtoGeek for the tip.)

Stay tuned for our full review

Flash obviously isn't the only culprit preventing you from browsing efficiently: Javascript, other plugins, ads, and the like all bog down your browser. But as our tests prove, Flash makes a tremendous difference.

In the next few days, we'll present our full set of benchmark results comparing the top browsers, and how they fare on Windows 10. Each has their own particular set of skills. This message, however, was worth highlighting: Eliminating Flash can make a world of difference in your day-to-day browsing, and is just as important as any benchmark.


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