How to Enable or Turn on Flash in Chrome

If you’re a Chrome user, which you ought to be, you most probably have discovered and found that Flash is blocked by default in your browser. Google does not like Flash due to the significant security defects inherent in Flash and, consequently, does all in its ability to convince you not to use Flash.

The one problem is that there is still a lot of websites using Flash. Not one of the more critical websites you see daily, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. utilizes it, but many older and smaller sites have not bothered to change into HTML 5. By way of example, I am carrying a Cisco class at my regional community college, and finishing the missions; I must log-in to Cisco’s NetAcademy site. The problem is that several questions need Flash to see and reply.

If you do a fast Google search for enabling Flash in Chrome, you will see ample articles telling you to either download Flash from Adobe’s website and install it or to open a Chrome tab and go to chrome://plugins (which won’t work anymore). In the most recent Chrome (57), you can no longer manage plugins by going to that URL. Instead, you’ll get a “This site can’t be reached” message.

It is unintuitive and confused me because I was used to going there to enable or disable Flash as required. Now it seems they merely want you to allow it to for the specific sites where it is necessary. In this article, I’ll describe how to get Flash to work when you need it and how to keep it disabled otherwise.

Check Chrome Flash Settings:

Firstly, let’s check the Flash settings in Chrome. There’re two places where you can do this. Open a new tab then type in chrome://flags.

Must confirm that Prefer HTML over Flash and Run all Flash content when Flash setting is set to “allow” are set to Default. Open the other tab and type in chrome://components. Under Adobe Flash Player, tap the Check for update button.

Now tap on the Chrome menu button at the top right and tap on Settings.

Scroll down of the page and tap on Show Advanced Settings. Now scroll down some more and then tap on Content Settings under Privacy.

In the pop-up dialog, scroll down until you see the Flash heading. Must confirm that the Ask first before allowing sites to run Flash (recommended) box is selected; if you want to block Flash in Chrome entirely, select Block sites from running Flash. It would help if you never chose to Allow sites to run Flash unless you have a valid reason like using Chrome in a virtual machine or something.

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Allowing Sites to Run Flash:

Now for the fun part! To run Flash, you’ve to enable it for specific sites only. There is no longer an option to allow it for everything all the time. One procedure to specify a site for Flash is to tap on the Manage exceptions button under Content Settings – Flash.

As you can see, I’ve added the NetAcad site I was talking about earlier with Behavior set to Allow. This process is a bit cumbersome since you must go to the Settings page, etc. The more natural way to allow a site to run Flash is to go to the site and then tap on the small icon to the left of the URL in the address bar.

Moreover, the icon will either be a lock icon if the connection is using HTTPS or an information icon if it is non-secure. You will see numerous settings you can configure for that specific site when you tap on this icon. Towards the bottom will be Flash. By default, it will be set to Use global default (Ask), it means that the browser should ask if you want to enable Flash for a Flash content site.

Although, in my experience, the browser never actually asks me to enable Flash content even when there’s Flash content. So, I have to select the Always allow on this site option for Flash to work. Must note that you may have to close the tab and reload it to appear correctly for the Flash content.

How to Install Flash Player and Reinstall It:

Another feasible solution when Flash Player is crashing or not working on specific websites is to reinstall it.

1. Type (or copy-paste) in your Chrome address bar.

2. Select your computer’s operating system (e.g., macOS or Windows).

3. Select your browser: for Chrome, choose PPAPI.

4. Tap on the Download Now button and follow the installation steps below.


Flash in Chrome

What Can I Do When Chrome Flash Is not Working?

If the solutions above do not work, then one other approach is to update your version of Chrome.

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1. Launch Chrome.

2. Tap the ⋮ symbol on the right-hand side of the address bar

3. When you see an Update Google Chrome option, tap it. Otherwise, you already have the latest version.

It covers all the probable causes for Flash Player not working on Chrome, even after it’s been enabled. That said, there still probably be at least a couple of further explanations for persistent issues.

One is that an extension you’ve run on Chrome is, for whatever cause, interfering with Flash Player and preventing it from working correctly. You can type chrome://extensions/ in the Chrome address bar and disabling extensions and plugins on a trial-and-error basis to see if the situation has improved.

How to manually load specific Flash content on a website:

Unless you have got an outdated version of Google Chrome installed when you visit websites that use Adobe Flash, the Flash content doesn’t load, and it will not tell you about it. By default, Google Chrome replaces Flash content with a picture that looks like a puzzle piece. Must note that Chrome uses the puzzle piece image for all plug-ins that are not automatically loaded, including Flash.

Flash in Chrome
How the Flash content placeholder looks in Google Chrome

You don’t get any message about Flash being blocked. Although, if you tap on the Flash placeholder that looks like a puzzle piece, you get a pop-up that will ask whether you want to run Flash or not. Tap Allow and the Flash content is instantly loaded and run.

Flash in Chrome
Allowing Flash content to run on a site.

How to manually load all the Flash content found on a website:

In case you feel that the site you visit is reliable, and you need it to load all its Flash content in Google Chrome, tap the Lock or Info icon from the left side of the address bar.

Flash in Chrome
Opening the website information pop-up from Google Chrome.

In the pop-up that appears, you’ll see Flash and a list of options to its right. Click Flash and select Allow. It makes the current website run all the Flash content found in it.

Flash in Chrome
Google Chrome: Allowing all the Flash content obtainable on a webpage to run.

IMPORTANT: Do remember that you must do this every time you visit a Flash content website. Google Chrome doesn’t keep your settings between sessions, so you required to manually turn Flash on each time you restart Chrome or your computer.

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