Adobe Flash used to be one of the most widely used technologies for displaying media-rich content on the web. However, as web content creators moved away from it and towards the faster and more secure open web technologies, even Adobe threw in the towel, announcing they would stop supporting Flash at the end of 2020 and determining major tech companies like Google to do the same. Flash’s phase-out from Chrome has now reached the stage where it is blocked by default, but you can still use it if you need to access websites that rely on it. This tutorial shows you how to unblock Adobe Flash Player in Google Chrome for Windows, and allow Flash to run on the sites you trust:
NOTE: This tutorial covers Google Chrome version 78 or newer, and Windows. The procedure involved for other operating systems may differ.
How to stop Google Chrome from blocking Flash
If you need to run Adobe Flash on the websites that you visit, you first need to configure Google Chrome to stop blocking Flash content. Luckily, you can change the default setting and have Google Chrome display the options you need to manually run Flash on websites where you need it. To do this, first access a website using Flash, like this page on Adobe’s website. It briefly displays a subtle notification in the address bar, letting you know that a plugin is blocked. The notification is hidden, but the puzzle piece icon next to it remains visible in the address bar, in the location highlighted below.
NOTE: Chrome uses the puzzle piece image for all plugins that are not loaded automatically, including Flash.
Click or tap on the puzzle icon to learn that “Flash was blocked on this page,“ and then press the Manage button.
This opens a new tab with the settings for Adobe Flash Player, where you can see a switch next to the default “Block sites from running Flash (recommended)” option.
Click or tap on the switch, and the option changes to Ask first, which is the setting we were looking for.
From now on, Google Chrome will continue to block Adobe Flash content, but it is going to give you the options to manually unblock it on the websites that you visit.
How to manually load Flash content in Google Chrome
After following the steps from the previous section, visit a website using Flash, like this page on Adobe’s website. Click or tap on the puzzle piece image used by Google Chrome to replace Flash content. Then, in the ensuing pop-up, click or tap Allow.
The website reloads, and the Flash content available on it is displayed, with a Play icon on top of it, and in spite of the misleading puzzle piece icon in the address bar. When you tap the Play icon, you can view the Flash content on the website that you are visiting.
When you reopen Google Chrome, you notice that your settings for each site are not saved beyond the current session and that you are now notified about Flash Player’s limited availability and given the option to turn it off with just one click or tap.
Clicking the Turn off button resets Chrome to its default setup blocking sites from running Flash.
BONUS: Another way to load Flash content in Google Chrome
Access a site that uses Flash, like this page on Adobe’s website. Click or tap on the “View site information” button that looks like a lock. This opens a pop-up with information about the site that you are visiting, the certificates that it uses, cookies, and so on.
If you feel that the website is trustworthy, and you want it to run its Flash content in Google Chrome, tap on the section next to Flash to reveal a drop-down menu. Then, click or tap on Allow.
As soon as you close the information popup, Chrome asks you to reload the page in order to apply the changes. Click or tap Reload, and you can now see all the Flash content found on the website.
Now you know how to run Adobe Flash Player on websites when using Google Chrome. Keep in mind that you can read our guides if you want to do the same for other popular browsers, like Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge.
Why do you need Adobe Flash Player?
As the time approaches for Adobe Flash Player to go gentle into that good night of obsolete technology, more websites migrate towards more secure options, and fewer users need it in their browsers. Why do you need Adobe Flash Player? Do you think it will be missed? Comment below and let’s discuss.