How to use Internet plug-ins in Safari for Mac

Use plug-ins only when you need them, see which ones are installed, and control when websites are allowed to use then.

To load webpages more quickly, save energy, and strengthen security, Safari is optimized for content that uses the HTML5 web standard. Safari prefers that content when loading webpages.

Some websites require plug-ins such as Flash or Java to show video, animation, or other proprietary content. You can install such plug-ins, then use Safari to turn them on for the websites you visit. When you turn on a plug-in, it remains active for as long as you regularly use that plug-in on any website.

Turn on plug-ins

When visiting a website that requires a plug-in to show content, you might see a placeholder where that content would appear. The placeholder might say that the plug-in is missing, that you should click to use the plug-in, or that the plug-in is blocked, out of date, or subject to a security alert. Click the placeholder to learn more. 

Placeholder: Click to use Flash

If the plug-in is installed, Safari might ask whether to use the plug-in once or every time you visit the website:

Would you like to use Flash on 'example.com'?

  • Use Once: Safari uses the plug-in to show content on this website during this visit. The next time you visit, Safari asks again.
  • Use Every Time: Safari uses the plug-in to show content for this website, and it keeps the plug-in turned on as long as you regularly visit the site.
  • Cancel: Safari doesn't use the plug-in to show content on this website during this visit. The next time you visit, Safari asks again.

Safari might also ask whether you want to trust the website to use the plug-in:

Dialog: Do you want to trust?

  • Trust: Safari lets the website use the plug-in and doesn’t ask again.
  • Not Now: Safari doesn’t let the website use the plug-in this time, but asks again the next time you visit.
  • Never for this Website: Safari doesn’t let the website use the plug-in—now or in the future.

Allow or block websites from using plug-ins

Choose Safari > Preferences, then click Security.

To turn off all plug-ins for all websites, deselect Allow Plug-ins. Websites that require a plug-in might not function correctly, might show a placeholder instead of the plug-in content, or might ask you to install the plug-in.

Security pane

To view your installed plug-ins or turn off a specific plug-in for all websites, click the Plug-in Settings button, then deselect the checkbox for that plug-in:

Plug-in Settings pane

You can also configure a plug-in for specific websites, whether or not the website currently requires the plug-in:

Plug-in settings pane

Here you see websites that are currently open or previously configured to use the plug-in. Use the pop-up menus to configure the blocking policy for each website:

  • Ask: Safari asks you before letting the website use the plug-in.

  • Off: Safari tries to load the content without using the plug-in. If the site requires the plug-in, Safari blocks the plug-in and might show a placeholder instead of the plug-in content.

  • On: Safari lets the website use the plug-in, unless Apple is using File Quarantine to block the plug-in for security reasons (example).

For more options, hold down the Option key, then click the pop-up menu:

  • Enable Security Protection: Safari lets the website use the plug-in, even when Apple is using File Quarantine to block it. This is a security risk, so don't choose this setting unless you trust the website. In Safari 10, this setting appears only if the plug-in is blocked.

  • Run in Safe Mode: If you allow the plug-in to run in safe mode, Safari lets the website use the plug-in and runs the malware safety checks built in to your Mac. If you run in unsafe mode, Safari lets the website use the plug-in, but doesn't run the malware safety checks. This is a security risk, so don't disable safe mode unless you trust the website and have no other way to view the content.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Last Modified: