While it started as a computer graphics and animation software, most browsers soon adopted the Adobe Flash player as their preferred way of playing videos. YouTube, in particular, used Adobe Flash for a long time.
Many content creators have chosen to use HTML 5 in recent years because of issues with Adobe Flash security. In 2020, Adobe finally announced that it would no longer support Flash Player. By default, Adobe Flash is now blocked on web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer.
If you need to access a website that relies on Adobe Flash, there are still ways you can enable it through the Google Chrome settings. This guide will show you how to unblock Adobe Flash on Chrome and access Flash content on your trusted sites.
Why Flash Doesn’t Work On Chrome Anymore
The Flash player is automatically blocked on most web browsers as developers have abandoned Flash plugins in favor of HTML 5. The reason is Flash content can drain a computer’s battery.
Google Chrome browser automatically pauses non-central content, including Flash animation, on websites. That means you cannot play Flash-based content by default. If you wish to play Flash-based content, you need to configure the Chrome browser and change the default settings manually.
How To Manually Unblock Adobe Flash On Chrome
To manually enable Flash Player or unblock it on Google Chrome, click the vertically aligned ellipsis on the upper right side of your screen to access the ‘customize and control’ feature.
From the dropdown menu, select Settings. Google Chrome will then open a new tab.
Under the Privacy and Security section, click on Site Settings.
Under the Additional Permissions section, select Flash to unblock it.
Then, tick the “Block sites from running Flash” option. By doing this, you will enable the Ask First option.
You may also play Flash content on a page-to-page basis. Google Chrome will ask you to enable or block the Adobe flash player whenever you open a page with Flash content. Just click the puzzle icon to the right of the address bar and click Allow to enable it.
You can also manually enable Flash Player on Chrome by going to the Content Settings, selecting Detect, and then ‘run important plugin content’. This workaround is temporary, though, as more and more creators migrate their Flash content to open formats. Keep in mind that you should only use Flash Player on websites you trust
How To Fix Adobe Flash issues On Chrome
There are several possible reasons why Flash Player or a plugin isn’t responding:
- Adobe Flash is outdated and, hence, was blocked
- The plugin cannot be loaded
- The website blocks the plugin
- Chrome does not support the plugin
If you face one of these issues, you may try these troubleshooting fixes:
- Update your version of Flash Player
- Update your Google Chrome Browser
- Uninstall and reinstall the Flash Player
Let’s look at how to perform each of these fixes.
How to Enable Flash Player on Chrome
While most sites have now migrated their content to HTML5, some still use Adobe Flash. If you happen to visit one of those sites and get a message that says, “You must enable Flash on your browser”, follow the steps below:
- Use Chrome to go to the site with the content you’d like to watch and select Lock or Info on the left side of the web address.
- At the bottom of the drop-down menu, select Site Settings.
- From there, a new tab will open where you’ll need to select the downwards arrow beside Flash and choose Allow.
- Return to your desired website and reload it.
The tips above work on sites that still use Flash. However, some sites might contain malware. Before you enable Flash on a site, consider if they are trustworthy.
How to Update Flash Player
Adobe has discontinued supporting Flash Player since the start of 2021, which means it won’t be releasing any new updates. However, if you’re using an older device that has not been updated, you might need to update Flash Player to the most recent release.
- On your Chrome browser, enter chrome://components in the address bar and press enter. Look for Adobe Flash Player and check for updates.
- If you see the message “Component updated”, you’re already using the latest version. Go back to the website with your desired Flash content and reload it.
There is no definitive timeline for the total phaseout of Flash content. As long as you visit sites that still use Flash Player, you can use the steps above to access videos and other rich content.
How to Update Your Google Chrome Browser
If you’re using an older device, the chances are high that it doesn’t have the latest version of Google Chrome installed. Here’s how you can update Google Chrome on your device:
- Open your Google Chrome browser, select the vertically aligned ellipsis, and click the
“Update Google Chrome” option. If the button is unavailable, it means you’re already using the latest version of Google Chrome.
- If available, select Relaunch.
You might need to upgrade your device’s OS before you can update Google Chrome.
How To Install a Flash Alternative on Chrome
Unfortunately, you can’t reinstall Flash Player on Chrome. When you visit the Adobe Flash page, you will find that you can’t install Flash anymore. In this case, you might need to use an alternative to Flash Player. One of the best alternatives is Ruffle.
Ruffle is a Flash emulator, which means that it uses modern technologies such as HTML5 to play embedded content. When you visit a site with Flash content, Ruffle replaces Flash Player with its player. Here’s how you can install Rust on your Google Chrome browser:
- Click on this link to visit the Chrome Web Store page for Rust.
- Click “Add to Chrome”. You will then see a pop-up that will ask whether you’re OK with Ruffle reading and changing data on all the websites you visit.
- Click on “Add extension”.
- You will then see the Ruffle icon beside the address bar on your Chrome browser. Click on it to enable Ruffle.
While Ruffle will play Flash-based content created before 2008, it doesn’t support ActionScript 3.0 yet. Nevertheless, you should be able to play and use Flash videos and pages without much difficulty.
How to Resolve Flash Player Errors On Chrome
When using Flash Player on Chrome, you may encounter some errors, saying the plugin has crashed or not changed the Flash settings. Here are some ways you can resolve this:
Once you receive a “The following plugin has crashed” message, you can wait for Flash to restart or close it by force automatically.
- To close Flash Player, click the vertically aligned ellipsis on the upper right portion of your screen. Select ‘more tools’ and, then, click Task Manager.
- Select the plugin and click ‘end process.’
- Then, close the task manager window, return to the desired website, and reload it.
Note: If you’re using a school or workplace device and can’t change the Flash Settings, your administrator may have configured the settings. If that’s the case, contact your admin or ask whether they manage your device.
Pick A Browser that is compatible with Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player will soon be blocked permanently on major browsers, but you can still use some browsers as an alternative. Opera, in particular, is a great Flash Player-compatible browser for viewing media-rich content.
Opera is a Chromium-based browser that is lightweight. It’s a great Chrome alternative if you frequently encounter Flash Player issues. The browser is also customizable for both plugins and extensions.
Used by over 350 million people, the browser boasts quick loading speeds and allows users to view Flash content. You won’t face issues like stuttering, load errors, and other problems. It has a fully-fledged navigation system with reduced resource consumption and built-in packages.
Opera can help you migrate your existing data like bookmarks or passwords easily. You can also optimize your resource usage more efficiently, enjoy free and unlimited VPN for enhanced privacy, and it’s also a gaming-friendly browser.
Opera uses your system resources more efficiently. The gaming-friendly browser lets you migrate data easily and allows you to use an unlimited VPN. More importantly, it has a built-in ad blocker for quicker loading time and better protection against data mining.
At this time, Adobe Flash Player can still be unblocked on Google Chrome. However, if you want a browser that works flawlessly with Flash content, Opera is worth considering. For more articles, check out our review of the best Firstrow alternatives, the best NFT marketplaces you should join, and the best online IQ tests.