Disable Animation in Your Web Browser

Do you hate it when you’re trying to read text on a web page and there’s an ad onscreen with annoying animation, virtually screaming for your attention? Far too many people don’t know that there are easy ways to fix this situation.

There are two common ways advertisers produce animation in web ads: GIF animation and Flash. In Firefox and Opera (my two favorite browsers) you can easily disable GIF animation and embedded Flash objects. Follow the instructions for your browser below.

Disable Animation in Firefox and other Mozilla-based Browsers

GIF Animation

Type the address about:config into your address bar. In the Filter field, enter “animation“. Select image.animation_mode and change its value from normal to none.

From now on, when an animated GIF is embedded in a page, you will only see the first frame of animation.

Flash

Go to flashblock.mozdev.org, then click on the “Install Flashblock” link appropriate for your particular version of the browser and follow the installation instructions. Keep an eye out for this warning:

If that happens, click “Edit Options” and allow the host flashblock.mozdev.org to install add-ons to your browser. Then try the install link again.

Now you’re all set. When you encounter a site that has Flash objects, these objects will appear initially as a circular “F” button.

When you hover over the button, you get a triangular “play” icon. Click the button and the Flash object appears and does its thing.

Disable Animation in Opera

It’s laughably easy in Opera. (Are you listening, Mozilla contributors?) Hit F12 and uncheck “Enable GIF/SVG animation” and “Enable plug-ins“.

As with Firefox, animated GIFs will appear as only the first frame of the animation. Flash objects will simply be missing, so keep an eye out for it: If you encounter a blog entry with a big squarish white space in it, it’s either an ad, or something like a YouTube video. If you want to see it, reenable plugins.

Fortunately, Opera also lets you set your animation and plugin preferences on a per-site basis. Just choose “Edit site preferences” from the F12 menu and go the appropriate tab.

Other Browsers

Sorry, I can’t help you. Google for help.

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