Google Chrome will finally stop loading all Flash content by default

With the forthcoming update to Chrome 53 in September, Google is finally taking its biggest step yet in the fight against using Flash on the internet. In that update, Chrome will move to block all non-essential Flash content on webpages by default, leaving only large essential Flash players run. This is a large step beyond the previous mandate of letting small or variably-sized Flash plugins — which are often used for behind-the-scenes functions like page analytics — run for fear that blocking them would break webpages' functionality.

90% of Flash instances are small, behind-the-scenes performance drainers

While Google's long-held hard stance on the use of Flash has transitioned much of its usage to the leaner, faster HTML5, the problem now is that 90% of all remaining Flash uses are these collection of small Flash instances, which you can't see and can dramatically reduce webpage performance and device battery life. With Chrome 53, webpages, by default, will no longer be able to load these small Flash instances — the hope being that they'll move to better HTML5 implementations instead.

Going yet another step further in Chrome 55, slated to launch in December, the browser will make HTML5 the default experience entirely, meaning that even larger Flash plugins will not load at all unless a page has no other way to display content.

Google's goal is ostensibly to speed up the experience of using all webpages for a better end-user experience, and Flash has been one of the big culprits that gets in the way of that goal. Though Google says that it works closely with Adobe to make sure that the web transitions smoothly over to an HTML5 future, it's clear at this point that the sooner we drop Flash altogether the better off we'll be.