How to enable Flash in Microsoft Edge and unblock Flash content

Adobe, the company that created Flash, announced the end-of-life for this technology for 2020. Microsoft has implemented both support and restrictions for Flash in Windows 10 and its embedded web browser Microsoft Edge. You can still get Flash content to work these days, but it requires a couple of steps to ensure that this happens. Read this tutorial to find out how to enable Flash content in Microsoft Edge:

What is happening with Adobe Flash?

Adobe announced since 2017 that they are going to cease support for Flash by the end of 2020. Flash is the technology that brought interactivity and media playing to the next level on the internet. The downside of Flash is that it brought security problems and it was not optimized for the mobile internet. Nowadays, web developers have switched to the open standards that did not exist when Flash was launched, and HTML5, WebGL and technologies are taking over the development of interactive content online. Until Flash is completely phased out, there are many websites and a lot of content on the web that still rely on it.

Microsoft has included Adobe Flash support so that when you use it in Microsoft Edge, you can allow Flash with the touch of a button. Given the numerous security problems inherent in Adobe Flash, it requires that you approve the loading and running of Flash content every time you visit a web page that uses Flash. In the next sections of this article, we cover several problems that you may encounter with Flash content in Microsoft Edge and their solutions. Read them one by one and see which is the best solution to your specific problem.

Problem: When using Microsoft Edge, you are told to Enable/Install Adobe Flash Player

It may happen that you need to access one or more websites with Flash content and you get a message saying that you must have Adobe Flash Player enabled, like the one below:

Enable/Install Flash notification

Please be aware that some sites may lie to you and convince you to download a fake Flash Player which is malware in disguise. You can learn more about such practices and how to protect yourself, from this article: How to infect your Windows PC while browsing the web for free stuff.

Adobe Flash is available by default in Microsoft Edge. There is no need to install additional software to make it work. If the website you are visiting is not malicious, most probably Adobe Flash content is blocked in Microsoft Edge, and you should continue reading this tutorial, for the solution.

Problem: Adobe Flash content was blocked in Microsoft Edge

When you access Flash content that was blocked by Microsoft Edge, you see a puzzle piece icon in the right-hand side of the address bar.

The puzzle icon in Microsoft Edge

This means that Adobe Flash is enabled in Microsoft Edge, but you need to approve the loading and running of the Flash objects on this page. Since Adobe Flash has many security vulnerabilities, you are required to approve the loading and running of Flash objects every time you visit the page. The presence of Flash content is signaled by the puzzle icon.

Solution: How to load and run Adobe Flash content in Microsoft Edge

Even if Adobe Flash is enabled in Microsoft Edge, you still encounter the problem that Flash content is not loaded automatically. The only sign that you have Flash content available is the puzzle icon displayed on the right side of the address bar.

Click the puzzle icon in Microsoft Edge

This icon is shown in Microsoft Edge only when Adobe Flash Player content is blocked, and it needs your approval to run. Click or tap that icon and the "Adobe Flash content was blocked" prompt is shown, that gives you the choice to allow Flash in Microsoft Edge. Press "Allow once" to load and run.

Allow Flash in Microsoft Edge

You can now enjoy the Adobe Flash content for the page that you are visiting.

Problem: Nothing loads on a web page with Adobe Flash content

You navigate to a web page with Flash content and nothing happens. To give you an example, we visited the Waterlife website, the interactive documentary about the last great supply of fresh drinking water on Earth. When you load it in Microsoft Edge, you see a black page and no indication of its Flash content. This means that Adobe Flash is completely disabled in Microsoft Edge.

Flash website does not load in Microsoft Edge

You may encounter this problem on many websites with Adobe Flash content.

Solution: How to enable Flash in Microsoft Edge

If you see no Flash content in Microsoft Edge and you do not get the puzzle icon like the one described earlier, then Adobe Flash content was blocked.

To unblock it, click the "Settings and more" button represented by three dots, found in the top-right corner of the Microsoft Edge window. Then, in the menu that opens, go to Settings.

Accessing Microsoft Edge Settings

Choose Advanced in the column on the left, as shown below.

Advanced settings in Microsoft Edge

In the list of advanced settings, set the "Use Adobe Flash Player" switch to On.

Use Adobe Flash Player in Microsoft Edge

Enabling the use of Adobe Flash Player in Microsoft Edge is the solution that is going to fix most of your problems, for the biggest number of web pages with Flash content, so try it out.

One last possible solution: change the Media autoplay settings in Microsoft Edge

Although not related directly to Adobe Flash, the Media autoplay settings in Microsoft Edge can interfere with the loading and running of Flash content. This is because there are websites that link the loading of Flash content to the viewing of advertising. If you have disabled media autoplay, the ads do not run and the Flash content is not loaded because of that. The settings for Media autoplay are immediately under the Use Adobe Flash switch in Microsoft Edge's settings. Set this feature to Allow, and see if things are improving.

Media autoplay settings in Microsoft Edge

What do you think about the way Microsoft Edge managed Adobe Flash Player content?

Now you know how to set Microsoft Edge to run Adobe Flash Player content. Before you close this tutorial, share your opinion with us. Do you think that this web browser does a good job at managing Flash content? Is it easy for you to run Adobe Flash content? Leave a comment below and let's discuss.