How to unblock and enable Flash in Microsoft Edge from Windows 10

Adobe, the company that created Flash, announced the end-of-life for this technology for 2020. Although Microsoft offers support for Adobe Flash Player in Windows 10, it also restricts its use in Microsoft Edge. You can still get Flash content to work these days, but it requires many inconvenient steps to ensure that this happens. Read this tutorial to find out how to enable Flash in Edge, both in the built-in version from Windows 10, and in the New Microsoft Edge based on Chromium:

NOTE: In this guide we're covering how to unblock Flash in the old Microsoft Edge that's still the default web browser in Windows 10, as well as in the New Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium. We've highlighted each of this tutorial's section titles according to which Edge browser it applies to, so you can skip to the one that you're interested in.

What's happening with Adobe Flash?

Adobe announced in 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. Web developers have switched to the open standards that did not exist when Flash was launched. HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly technologies are taking over the development of interactive content online.

Adobe Flash Player

Until Flash is completely phased out, there are still quite a few websites and a lot of content on the web that still rely on it. Microsoft has included Adobe Flash Player support so that when you use it in Microsoft Edge, you can allow Flash content to run. 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.

However, take heed that Microsoft also announced that by the end of 2020, they "will remove the ability to run Adobe Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer across all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Users will no longer have any ability to enable or run Flash." Thus, bear in mind that the instructions in this tutorial are only valid until Microsoft decides to finally put an end to Adobe Flash Player in Windows 10. You can find more details about Microsoft policy regarding Flash in these blog posts: The End of an Era – Next Steps for Adobe Flash and Update on removing Flash from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.

What happens when you open websites with Flash content in Microsoft Edge (old and new)

Regardless of whether you're using the default Edge browser from Windows 10 or the new Microsoft Edge (based on the same rendering engine as Google Chrome), when you access a website that contains Flash content, nothing is shown. In other cases, you may stumble upon various Flash related messages. For example, some are saying that you must either install Adobe Flash Player or enable it, like in the screenshot below:

A website that asks you to download Flash

Please be aware that some sites may lie to you and convince you to download a fake Flash Player, which is malware in disguise. Adobe Flash is available by default in Microsoft Edge. There is no need to install additional software to make it work.

How to enable and unblock Flash in Windows 10's Edge browser

In Windows 10's Microsoft Edge, Adobe Flash Player is (still) enabled by default. However, even so, you may 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 or tap on the puzzle icon from Windows 10's Microsoft Edge

This icon is shown in Edge only when Adobe Flash 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 Windows 10's Microsoft Edge

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

A website with Flash content running in Windows 10's Edge

However, if you still see no Flash content in Windows 10's Microsoft Edge and you do not get the puzzle icon like the one described earlier, then Adobe Flash Player is probably turned off.

To turn it on, first click or tap on the "Settings and more" button represented by three dots, found in the top-right corner of the browser's 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

On the list of advanced settings, enable the "Use Adobe Flash Player" switch.

Use Adobe Flash Player in Microsoft Edge

Enabling the use of Adobe Flash Player in Windows 10's Microsoft Edge is the solution that can fix most of your problems, for the biggest number of web pages with Flash content, so try it out. After you do this, you should see the puzzle icon that lets you run Adobe Flash Player on every website that has Flash content.

How to enable and unblock Flash in the New Microsoft Edge

In the New Microsoft Edge, all Adobe Flash Player content is disabled by default, no questions asked. That means that visiting websites with Flash content is even more disconcerting, as the new Edge doesn't even tell you that you need Flash to load them correctly.

To give you an example, we visited a website with Flash content. As you can see below, when we tried to open it, all it showed was just a black page and no indication of any Flash content.

The New Microsoft Edge shows nothing where it should've been a Flash website

What's the solution to unblock Adobe Flash Player in the New Microsoft Edge? The answer is not a pleasant one for many. First you need to enable Flash and then approve the loading and running of the Flash objects on every website you visit, each time you visit it. Here's how to do it:

Click or tap on the "Settings and more" button. It looks like three suspension dots, and you can find it on the top-right corner of the window. Alternatively, you can use the Alt + F keyboard shortcut.

The Settings and more button from the New Microsoft Edge

In the menu, click or tap on Settings.

The Settings entry from Edge's menu

On the Settings page, go to Site permissions on the left sidebar, and click or tap on Adobe Flash in the panel on the right.

Adobe Flash settings are found in Edge's Site permissions

In "Site permissions / Adobe Flash," enable the "Ask before running Flash (recommended turned off)" switch.

Ask before running Flash (recommended turned off)

NOTE: In the previous screenshot, you might have noticed two lists called Block and Allow that, by default show "No sites available." That's because the lists are not editable, as you might be tempted to think. They are populated after you visit websites that use Flash content, and you either allow or block it from running.

After you've enabled Adobe Flash Player in the New Microsoft Edge, you must manually allow each website you visit to run Flash content. Although the browser should ask you about that when you visit a website with Flash content, in our experience, it doesn't. The only thing we saw when trying to load websites with Flash content was a message saying that "Flash Player will no longer be supported after December 2020" and an option to Turn off the message, just like in the screenshot below.

Flash Player will no longer be supported after December 2020

To unblock Adobe Flash Player, after you open the website you want to visit, click or tap on the "View site information" button. You can find it on the left side of the address bar, and its icon can look like a small lock (if the website uses HTTPS) or as a small "i" letter inside a circle (if the site uses HTTP).

The View site information button from the New Microsoft Edge

In the popup that shows up, look for the section called Flash and click or tap on "Ask (default)."

The Flash options for a website

From the list of options, select Allow, and then close the popup.

Choosing to Allow Flash content to run on a website

The New Microsoft Edge should now display a new message telling you that "To see setting updates, [you must] refresh the page." Click or tap on the Refresh button to the right, or push the regular Refresh button from the browser's toolbar.

To unblock Flash content, refresh the webpage

Then, finally, the New Microsoft Edge unblocks Flash content, and the website should start showing everything it meant to.

Edge running Flash content on a website

Don't forget that you must follow the steps from this section for every website that has Adobe Flash Player content, each time you visit it. That is highly annoying. We know!

Did you manage to unblock Adobe Flash Player in your Microsoft Edge?

Now you know how to use both the default Edge browser from Windows 10 and the New Microsoft Edge to unblock Adobe Flash Player. Before you close this tutorial, share your opinion with us. Do you think that these web browsers do an excellent job of managing Flash content? How annoying has it become for you to run Adobe Flash Player content? Leave a comment below and let's discuss.