Adobe Flash (originally developed by Macromedia) is a platform used to display multimedia content such as videos and animations, most of the time embedded in web browsers for publishing content on the Internet. In recent years, we've seen a trend with multiple browsers like Chrome and Firefox to begin disabling Flash by default. The reason for this is simple: security. Flash is one of those platforms that has always been extremely vulnerable to security holes, making it an easy target for malicious attacks and viruses. It's worse when users have older versions of Flash that do not get updated. As a result, many of the popular browsers have decided it is best to disable Flash by default in order to protect its users.
Many video and animation content providers, like YouTube, have moved to the preferred HTML5 platform for developing their content. As a result, Adobe announced last year that Flash would be deprecated by 2020.
However - there are still some websites out there that use Flash and so there remains the need to enable Flash for some situations. Fortunately, all of the major browsers still allow you to enable Flash, if needed, although it is usually disabled by default. Some browsers come with a built-in, bundled version of Flash, like Chrome, and others require that you install the Flash standalone product, like Firefox. Here is a breakdown of how to enable Flash for some of the most common browsers - Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Opera.
In Chrome, click on the ellipsis to the right of the Address Bar. Then, click on Settings:
2. Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the "Advanced" button to open up several more options:
3. Under the first section titled "Privacy and Security," click on the option called "Content settings."
4. Scroll down and click on "Flash."
5. There is a toggle switch to either completely block all sites from running Flash, or you can select to have Chrome ask you if you want to enable Flash for a particular site when you visit it (if it's required for that site). You also have options to manually add sites to either the Block or Allow lists.
To enable Flash in Firefox, you have to first install the Flash plugin from Adobe's website, and then enable it.
1. Go to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer
Select the optional offers if you wish, then click the "Install Now" button.
2. Once Flash is installed, open Firefox and click on the "Open Menu" icon on the far right. Then select "Add-ons":
3. On the "Add-ons" page, click on "Plugins" from the left menu. You should then see the "Shockwave Flash" plugin listed:
4. Select the option from the drop-down menu, based on your preference. You can either be asked to activate the plugin when it is required, or select to "Always Activate" (or "Never Activate if you want to disable it later).
1. In Edge, click on the ellipsis button over on the far right to access the browser menu. Then, click on "Settings" at the bottom:
2. Click on "View Advanced Settings" under the "Advanced settings" section:
3. Toggle the switch to "Use Adobe Flash Player" to either "On" or "Off":
1. In Internet Explorer, click on the Settings button on the far right side of the Address Bar. Then, select "Manage add-ons":
2. Make sure "Toolbars and Extensions" is selected under "Add-on Types" on the left, then scroll down in the middle section until you find the "Shockwave Flash Object." It may be listed under the heading of "Microsoft Windows Third Party Application Component." At the bottom of the window, you have the option to Enable or Disable the plugin:
1. In Opera, to get to Settings type "opera://settings" in the address bar and hit Enter. Then, click on the "Websites" option from the menu on the left:
2. Scroll down until you see the "Flash" section. There you will have the option to allow all sites to run Flash, block all sites from running Flash, or be prompted whether to allow it or not when a site needs it:
Hopefully this will help those of you who are trying to use Flash and your browser is saying that it is not enabled or blocked. In the not-too-distant future we will see less and less websites using Flash, especially since Adobe is dropping support in the next couple of years. However, in the meantime, this article covers most of the major browsers in use, so hopefully you will find what you need no matter which browser you are using to enable Flash content.