How to unblock Flash content in Mozilla Firefox
Although Adobe Flash was once one of the most widely used technologies for displaying media rich content on the web, it is now close to being dead. Adobe has scheduled Flash's end of life for 2020. However, for now, you can still use it in your favorite web browsers, if you need to access websites that rely on Adobe Flash. Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular browsers today, and some of its users still want to run Flash. If you are one of them, here is how to unblock Flash content in Firefox and how to manage the way the browser loads such content:
Problem: Mozilla Firefox does not load Flash Player, and you do not get any message about that
First of all, Mozilla Firefox does not have the Adobe Flash plugin built-in. This means that, unless you manually install Adobe Flash Player, Flash content is not run by the websites you visit. Furthermore, Firefox does not even tell you that you need the Flash plugin to see the entire content of a website that uses it. There is no message or notification about it. For instance, on the web page from the following screenshot, there should be a Flash animation displayed and a small text box that tells you what version of Flash you have installed, but none of them are shown.
This means that to see Flash content in Firefox, you must first install Adobe Flash Player. In Firefox, visit this web page: Adobe Flash Player. Download Flash Player and install it on your Windows computer or device. Take care though to uncheck the additional software offers from Adobe which might be installed together with Flash. They usually include McAfee Security Scan Plus and True Key by Intel Security. You won't want them on your computer.
Click or tap the Install now button and follow the instructions of the setup wizard. During the process, you are asked to close Firefox. Once you finish the installation, reopen Firefox and follow the steps from the next section of this tutorial.
How to load Flash content on websites, in Firefox
In Firefox, the Adobe Flash Player plugin should be enabled by default. However, if you still encounter problems with loading Flash content on the websites you visit, make sure you do the following:
Open Firefox and click or tap on the small hamburger icon from the top right corner of the window.
In the menu displayed, click or tap on the Add-ons button.
Firefox now opens a new tab called "Add-ons Manager." On the left side of the window, click or tap on the Plugins button; its icon resembles a blue Lego piece.
In the Plugins section, there is a list of all the plugins installed in Firefox. Look for the one called Shockwave Flash.
On the right side of the Shockwave Flash plugin, it should say "Always Activate." If it does, it means that Flash content is loaded automatically by any website.
However, if the Flash plugin is not set to be loaded automatically, you can set it yourself. Also, if you prefer, you can change the plugin behavior and configure Firefox to ask you if you want to use it each time it detects Flash content on a website. Click or tap on the "Always Activate" button to the right of "Shockwave Flash" and choose the option you prefer: "Ask to Activate," "Always Activate" or "Never Activate."
The last option disables Flash Player, so it is similar to not having Flash installed at all.
What is the future of Adobe Flash?
Adobe made an announcement they have scheduled Flash 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 most popular 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. That is why most content creators have switched or are in the process of switching to newer technologies like HTML5.
Major browsers no longer use Flash by default, and either do not tell you anything about it just like Mozilla Firefox does, or they ask you about it as Google Chrome does, or even block it altogether as Microsoft Edge does.
Now you know how to make Flash work in websites when you use Mozilla Firefox. If you need to do the same in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, read these guides:
- How to unblock Flash content in Google Chrome and manage how it is loaded
- 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 Mozilla on the end-of-life of Flash, visit these web pages: Flash & The future of interactive content and Reducing Adobe Flash Usage in Firefox.
Do you still use Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Flash?
For a while now, Firefox has lagged behind other web browsers, and its market share has dropped over the years. The same is even truer when it comes to Adobe Flash, as many websites have already moved on to newer technologies. Do you still use Firefox? Moreover, more importantly, do you still need Adobe's Flash Player? Share in the comments below.