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How to fix Flash not working in Chrome

Learn how to fix Flash not working in Chrome so you can view web animations, webpages and games that use flash.
Is Flash no longer working in Chrome? Here's how to fix it!

It's good to know how to fix Flash not working in Chrome because many websites, especially web-based games, use Flash to display content, let you navigate through their site, and even to interact with a browser-based game. In this article, you'll learn:

  • What file format Flash animations use.
  • Which errors Chrome is likely to show you when Flash stops working.
  • How to check Chrome's Flash settings.
  • How to update the Flash player in Chrome.
  • How to restart the Flash plugin to fix playback problems.

The Adobe Flash format

Flash animations and games use files in the .swf format. SWF stands for ShockWave Flash. Unfortunately, many browsers today don’t support the SWF file format by default. While Chrome natively supports Flash, it may be disabled or set up wrongly. To open and play SWF files, you'll need to check that your Chrome Flash player is set up correctly.

Errors on webpages with Flash animations

Chrome may report a number of errors when you look at a webpage with Flash content:

  • Adobe Flash has been blocked because it's out of date
  • Couldn’t load plugin
  • The following plugins were blocked on this page
  • This plugin is not supported
  • A plug-in (Shockwave Flash) isn't responding

Follow the steps below to fix these problems.

Check that Flash is set up correctly in Chrome

  1. Enter chrome://settings/content in Google Chrome's address bar.
  2. Click on Flash.
    To fix Flash not working in Chrome, choose Flash from the settings
    To fix Flash not working in Chrome, choose Flash from the settings
  3. Make sure the Ask First toggle switch is enabled (blue).
    To fix Flash not working in Chrome, ensure the Ask first toggle button is enabled
    To fix Flash not working in Chrome, ensure the Ask first toggle button is enabled

Now, whenever a webpage wants to play a SWF video in Chrome, it will prompt you to allow it first.

Unblock a website to fix Flash problems

You may have disallowed a site to play Flash content.

  1. Enter chrome://settings/content/flash in the address bar of Chrome to go to your Flash content settings page.
  2. Find the website on which you are having troubles playing Flash content in the Block list, and click on the trash icon to the right of it.
    Fix Flash problems in Chrome - Unblock a website
    Fix Flash problems in Chrome - Unblock a website

Update the Adobe Flash player in Chrome

If the SWF file was blocked because the plugin is out of date, you'll need to update the Flash player in Chrome.

  1. Enter chrome://components in the address bar.
  2. Find Adobe Flash Player in the list of components installed in Chrome and click on Check for Updates.
    Play SWF in Chrome - check for Adobe Flash Player updates
    Play SWF in Chrome - check for Adobe Flash Player updates
  3. After clicking on this button, if you see the message "Component not updated" that means you are on the most recent version.

Install or reinstall the Flash player in Chrome

If you couldn't see Flash in the content settings, or if the Adobe Flash Player is missing from your list of Chrome components, you'll need to install it from Adobe's website. Alternatively, if you have followed all the steps above to try to fix your SWF playback problems, but the Flash videos are still not playing, you'll need to reinstall the Adobe Flash player in Chrome. Important: You should only ever install the SWF player from Adobe's website.

  1. Enter adobe.com/go/chrome into the address bar in Chrome.
  2. Select your computer's operating system from the drop down list under Step 1.
  3. Select PPAPI from the drop down list under Step 2.
  4. Click Download now, and follow the steps in the installer for your operating system to reinstall the Adobe Flash Player in Chrome.
    Play SWF in Chrome - reinstall Adobe Flash
    Play SWF in Chrome - reinstall Adobe Flash

Once the installation is complete, follow the steps in the section above and check that the Flash settings have been correctly configured in Chrome.

Restart Chrome to fix Flash problems

Once you've updated the Flash player in Chrome, you'll need to close your Chrome browser fully. Wait a few seconds before starting Chrome again. If you are having trouble closing Chrome, you may need to force quit it. Under Windows, open the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete), select the Chrome application, then click End Task.

Task Manager in Windows 10 with Google Chrome selected
The Task Manager for ending Google Chrome

Under MacOS,  open the Force Quit Applications dialog (Option+Cmd+Escape), select Chrome, then click Force Quit.

How to force quit Chrome on MacOS
How to force quit Chrome on MacOS

See if the steps you have completed above have fixed the Flash problems in Chrome. If not, then it's time to update Chrome.

Update your browser to fix Flash not working in Chrome

Occasionally, when Adobe releases an updated version of the Flash player for Chrome, Chrome also needs to be updated.

  1. Enter chrome://settings/help into the address bar.
    Fixing YouTube videos not playing in Chrome - update your browser
    Fixing YouTube videos not playing in Chrome - update your browser
  2. If there is an update available, Chrome will update itself automatically to the latest version. Click Relaunch once the update has finished to restart Chrome.

Restart the plugin to fix Flash not working in Chrome

Very rarely, the Flash plugin can crash when you look at a website with Flash content, but Chrome will still keep working. You'll need to force quit the Flash plugin to make it work again in Chrome.

  1. Click the three vertical dots, then select More Tools > Task Manager.
    Fix Flash not working in Chrome - open the task manager
    Fix Flash not working in Chrome - open the task manager
  2. Select the line that says Plugin: Shockwave Flash.
  3. Click End Process.
    Fix Flash not working in Chrome - force quit the Flash plugin process
    Fix Flash not working in Chrome - force quit the Flash plugin process
  4. In the message that appears at the top of the page, click Reload to refresh the page in Chrome.
    Fix Flash not working in Chrome - reload after ending the Flash process
    Fix Flash not working in Chrome - reload after ending the Flash process
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