Is it any wonder that Apple doesn’t even bother to put Flash on any Mac model? It uses too much CPU, seems to automatically turn the Mac’s fan on, and drains more battery power than congressional salaries drain the federal coffers. Here’s how to beat Flash.
There’s also a reason you don’t see Flash on most mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. This aging, creaking, power-hungry technology uses too much power.
Alright, that said, there are some sites that still stick with Flash for animation and video. What can you do?
The way I look at it, there are three viable solutions to the Flash mess.
The first is simple. No. Flash. Ever. That method is sometimes less practical, but it works.
Another simple method is to forgo the use of Flash in Safari, and use Google’s Chrome whenever a Flash site or video is required. Chrome’s version of Flash is less prone to crashing.
That still leaves the issues of Flash using too much CPU, causing the Mac to heat up, which causes the fan to turn on, which uses even more battery juice.
Another popular way is with the free ClickToPlugin (and ClickToFlash) extension for Safari. In essence, these tools stop Safari from loading the Flash plugin in the first place. Instead, you see a grayed out placeholder instead of a Flash movie or animated Flash advertisement.
If you want to see the movie or ad, simply click the grayed out placeholder. Voila! Flash loads and begins its journey to battery power depletion.
Preferences are extensive considering the simple nature of ClickToPlugin (the one to start using first). It gives you controls over plugins, media player, keyboard shortcuts (very handy, by the way), and control lists, and there’s a convenient slider bar to adjust the placeholder window’s opacity.
Start with ClickToPlugin and see what happens. Usually, you won’t notice much at all other than the Mac’s fan doesn’t engage when opening a bunch of web pages in Safari tabs. No fan? That usually means less CPU, which always means longer batter life.
Pretty good for free, right?