Mozilla: Firefox 69 will disable Adobe Flash plugin by default

Browser makers this year will be disabling Flash with its long history of security problems.

A brief history of Adobe Flash Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005. - In 2007, Adobe introduced Flash as a way to add interactivity to websites. - In a world of HTML5 standards, Flash usage has declined. - Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari have all been blocking Flash over the past year. - Adobe is killing off Flash once and for all. - It will remove support for it fully by the end of 2020.

Firefox maker Mozilla will take the next major step in disabling support for the Adobe Flash plugin later this year when it releases Firefox 69. 

Firefox 69 will be Mozilla's third last step to completely dropping support for the historically buggy plugin, which will reach end of life on December 31, 2020. Flash is the last remaining NPAPI plugin that Firefox supports. 

Mozilla flagged the change, spotted by Ghacks, in a new bug report that notes "we'll disable Flash by default in Nightly 69 and let that roll out". 

Firefox 69 stable will be released in early September, according to Mozilla's release calendar

Mozilla's move on Flash aligns with other browser makers' plans to dial back support for the plugin this year.

Google will also disable Flash by default in Chrome 76, which is due for a stable release around July. Users will still be able to enable Flash in Settings, but the plugin will require explicit permission. As of Chrome 69, users need to give permission for each site to use Flash every time the browser is restarted. 

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Mozilla explains that once Flash has been disabled by default in Firefox, users will not be prompted to enable Flash, but they will be able to activate Flash on certain sites using browser settings. 

The second final step for Flash on Firefox is due in 2020 and will see Flash support completely removed from consumer versions of Firefox. Flash will continue to be supported in the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) version until the end of 2020. In 2021 Firefox will "refuse to load the plugin". 

Microsoft is also disabling Flash by default in Edge and Internet Explorer in mid to late 2019. 

Previous and related coverage

Chrome 69 is coming: Not just a new look but Flash's life is about to get even harder

Google will expose its Material Design refresh with Chrome 69, due September 4.

Adobe fixes vulnerabilities in Connect and Digital Editions, Flash left in the cold

Patches were released for Flash but they did not contain fixes for security issues.

Adobe to say rest in peace to Flash in 2020

Adobe's Flash, a pioneering yet often derided piece of the interactive web, will be phased out with end of life coming in 2020. Adobe will encourage content creators to migrate to open formats.

Top 20 application vulnerabilities in the enterprise are dominated by Adobe and Microsoft (TechRepublic)

Among the 20 application vulnerabilities, half were for Adobe Flash and 20% were by Microsoft Office.

Cryptomining malware discovered masquerading as Flash updates (CNET)

This malware is so sneaky it updates your Flash to look legit.

Google Chrome starts blocking Flash tracking for better battery life and performance

Google has paid $56,500 for Chrome security bugs addressed in version 53 of the browser, which also stamps out the use of Flash for tracking users. 

Google's Chrome to block Flash this year - except for 10 top websites

Google will soon close one more door on the Flash plugin in Chrome, requiring users to authorize each and every site where they want Flash to load, rather than running it automatically.