How to unblock Flash content in Google Chrome and manage how it is loaded

Adobe Flash is a web technology that has been used a lot by web content creators in the past. However, in the last few years, it has been used less and less. Google, like many other major tech companies, has begun to phase out Flash from their Chrome web browser. The first thing they did was to stop Flash content from running by default. However, there are still people who use Flash and need to access websites that rely on it. If you are one of them too, in this guide, you can learn how to unblock Flash in Google Chrome and how to manage the way it works:

Problem: Google Chrome does not load Flash Player, and you only see a puzzle piece instead of Flash content

Unless you have an outdated version of Google Chrome installed, there is a high chance that when you visit websites which use Adobe Flash, the Flash content does not load and nobody tells you about it. Google Chrome simply 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.

You do not even get messaged about Flash being blocked. However, if you click or tap on a Flash placeholder, that looks like a puzzle piece, you get a popup that asks you whether you want to run Flash content or not, just like in the screenshot below.

How to manually load Flash content on a website

If you feel that the website you visit is trustworthy, click or tap Allow to run the Flash content.

Keep in mind though that Adobe Flash is known for having many security flaws that can expose users to hackers and malware online. That is why you should allow Flash to run only if you are confident that the website that asks your permission to run Flash content is safe. There are many websites which are not safe and which might fake Flash Player but be malware. If you are curious about such practices, read this article: How to infect your Windows PC while browsing the web for free stuff.

How to automatically load Flash content on every website

If you visit websites with Flash content often, then you might want to configure Google Chrome to load Flash automatically, without asking each time for your permission. Fortunately, you can do that by changing just a few settings. Open Google Chrome and click/tap on the menu button from the top-right corner of the screen. Its icon looks like three dots.

In the menu, click/tap on Settings.

Google Chrome now opens its Settings page. Scroll downwards until you see a button called Advanced and then click or tap on it.

Now scroll some more and look for a configuration category called Content settings. Click/tap on it to open it.

In the Content settings, scroll down, and you should find a section called Flash. Clic or tap on it.

The Flash settings is the place where you can control whether Flash is loaded and whether you are asked before it runs. By default, Google Chrome is configured to “Allow sites to run Flash” and “Ask first” before loading Flash content.

Because you want websites to load Flash content automatically, always, without asking you if you want it or not, you should make sure that the “Allow sites to run Flash” switch is enabled and also disable the switch called “Ask first.”

Now you can close the Settings page from Google Chrome. All the websites you visit from now on are going to automatically load Flash content if they have some.

What is the future of Adobe Flash?

Adobe recently announced that Flash is scheduled for shutdown by the end of 2020. That means that Flash will stop being maintained and will no longer get any updates or patches after 2020. Flash was one of the greatest web technologies, and it was responsible for making multimedia experiences available for all, in our web browsers. However, it was also flawed software with many security issues that made web browsers and people using them vulnerable to malware and hackers attacks. This is why most content creators have switched or are in the process of switching to newer technologies like HTML5.

That is why major web browsers no longer load and run Flash content by default and either ask you about it as Google Chrome does, or even block it completely as Microsoft Edge does.

Now you know how to unblock and how to load Flash automatically in websites using Google Chrome. If you need to do the same in Microsoft Edge, read this guide: How to unblock Flash content in Microsoft Edge and manage the way it is loaded.

If you want to read more about the announcements made by Adobe and Google on the end-of-life of Flash, visit these web pages: Flash & The future of interactive content and Saying goodbye to Flash in Chrome.

Do you still use Adobe Flash?

As you have seen, using Flash in Google Chrome is not very complicated. However, as its end-of-life comes closer, things are probably going to change. Do you think that Google should make it harder for Flash content to be run in Chrome, or do you believe it should do nothing, at least until Flash truly dies?