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How to Enable or Turn on Flash in Chrome

If you are a Chrome user, which you ought to be, you most likely have discovered that Flash is blocked by default in your browser. Google doesn’t like Flash due to the significant security flaws inherent in Flash and consequently does all in its ability to induce you to not use Flash.

The one problem is that there are still a great deal of websites using Flash. Not one of the more important websites you see daily such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. utilize it, but a good deal of older and smaller websites simply have not bothered to change into HTML 5. By way of instance, I’m carrying a Cisco class at my regional community college and so as to finish the missions, I must log in to Cisco’s NetAcademy site. The issue is that a number of the questions need Flash to see and reply.

If you do a quick Google search for enabling Flash in Chrome, you’ll see a lot of articles telling you to download Flash from Adobe’s website and install it (which won’t work) or to open a Chrome tab and go to chrome://plugins (which also won’t work anymore). In the most recent version of Chrome (57), you can no longer manage plugins by going to that URL. Instead, you’ll just get a “This site can’t be reached” message.

This is terribly unintuitive and really confused me because I was used to going there to enable or disable Flash as needed. Now it seems they only want you to enable it for the specific sites where it is needed. In this article, I’ll explain how to get Flash to work when you need it and how to keep it disabled otherwise.

Check Chrome Flash Settings

First, let’s check the Flash settings in Chrome. There are a couple of places where you can do this. Open a new tab and type in chrome://flags.

Make sure that Prefer HTML over Flash and Run all Flash content when Flash setting is set to “allow” are set to Default. Open another tab and type in chrome://components. Under Adobe Flash Player, click the Check for update button.

Now click on the Chrome menu button at the top right and click on Settings.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Show Advanced Settings. Scroll down some more and then click on Content Settings under Privacy.

In the popup dialog, scroll down until you see the Flash heading. Make sure that the Ask first before allowing sites to run Flash (recommended) box is selected. Obviously, if you want to completely block Flash in Chrome, select Block sites from running Flash. You should never choose Allow sites to run Flash unless you have a really valid reason like using Chrome in a virtual machine or something.

Allowing Sites to Run Flash

Now for the fun part! In order to run Flash, you have to enable it for specific sites only. There is no longer an option to enable it for everything all the time. One way to specify a site for Flash is to click on the Manage exceptions button under Content Settings – Flash as shown in the screenshot above.

As you can see, I have added the NetAcad site I was talking about earlier with Behavior set to Allow. This method is a bit cumbersome since you must go to the Settings page, etc. The easier way to allow a site to run Flash is to go to the site and then click on the little icon to the left of the URL in the address bar.

The icon will either be a lock icon if the connection is using HTTPS or it’ll be an information icon if the connection is non-secure. When you click on this icon, you’ll see a bunch of settings you can configure for that particular site. Towards the bottom will be Flash. By default, it should be set to Use global default (Ask), which means the browser should ask you if you want to enable Flash for a site that has Flash content.

However, in my experience, the browser never actually asks me to enable Flash content even when there is clearly Flash content on the website. So, I have to basically select the Always allow on this site option in order for Flash to work. Note that you may have to close the tab and reload it in order for the Flash content to appear correctly.


How to Install Flash Player or Reinstall It

Another possible solution when Flash Player is crashing or not working on particular websites is to reinstall it.

  1. Type (or copy-paste) into your Chrome address bar.
  2. Select your computer’s operating system (e.g. Windows or macOS).
  3. Select your browser: for Chrome choose PPAPI.
  4. Click on the Download Now button and follow the installation steps.

What Else Can I Do When Chrome Flash Isn’t Working?

If the solutions above don’t work, then one other approach is to update your version of Chrome.

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Click the  symbol on the right-hand side of the address bar.
  3. If you see an Update Google Chrome option, click it. Otherwise, you already have the latest version.

This covers all the logical reasons for Flash Player not working on Chrome, even after it’s been enabled. That said, there still might be at least a couple of further explanations for persistent problems.

One is that an extension you have running on Chrome is, for whatever reason, interfering with Flash Player and preventing it from working properly. You can try typing chrome://extensions/ in the Chrome address bar and disabling extensions and plug-ins on a trial-and-error basis to see if the situation is improved.


How to manually load individual Flash content on a website

Unless you have an outdated version of Google Chrome installed when you visit websites which use Adobe Flash, the Flash content does not load and, even worse, nobody tells you about it. By default, Google Chrome replaces Flash content with an image that looks like a puzzle piece. Note that Chrome uses the puzzle piece image for all plugins that are not loaded automatically, including Flash.

How the Flash content placeholder looks in Google Chrome

You do not get any message about Flash being blocked. However, if you click or tap on the Flash placeholder that looks like a puzzle piece, you get a popup that asks whether you want to run Flash or not. Click or tap Allow and the Flash content is immediately loaded and run.

Allowing Flash content to run on a website

How to manually load all the Flash content found on a website

If you feel that the website you visit is trustworthy, and you want it to load all its Flash content in Google Chrome, click or tap the Lock or Info icon from the left side of the address bar.

Opening the website information popup from Google Chrome

In the popup that appears, you should see Flash and a list of options to its right. Click or tap Flash and select Allow. This makes the current website run all the Flash content found in it.

Google Chrome: Allowing all the Flash content available on a webpage to run

IMPORTANT: Remember that you must do this every time you visit a website that has Flash content. Google Chrome does not keep your settings between sessions, so you need to manually turn Flash on each time you restart Chrome or your PC.