Support for Flash files is on its way out. Flash has often been seen as the fundamental building block of ads, short videos or audios, and games. Even an entire website can be made using Adobe Flash. Currently, support for Flash by Adobe continues. But, by 2021, most browsers are expected to be no longer natively supporting Flash, which is quickly being replaced by HTML5 contents that are faster and more secure.
The first notable sign of Flash’s decline came when Apple announced that it wouldn’t support Flash content on its mobile products starting from 2010. Instead, HTML5 is considered a much better replacement for Flash.
On the other hand, other companies like Google seemed to see Flash player as a conditionally useful tool. There are older Flash files out there run by websites that aren’t updated by the owners. These flash contents may include videos or audios that are becoming increasingly forgotten. Thanks to that, Most browsers, like Google Chrome, are technically still able to play Flash content, albeit not automatically. Even worse, Flash files are often blocked unless you change the browser settings yourself.
Adobe Flash Player is most likely still embedded in your Chrome browser. In other words, there is a way (at least for now) for you to natively play them, though you won’t encounter as much Flash content as you used to. Here’s how you enable support for Flash. For the first example, we will use Google Chrome as the browser since it’s the most popular one.
Play Flash files using Google Chrome
According to the Chromium roadmap, the support for Flash will be removed by January 2021 for browsers like Google Chrome. Until then, you have a few months to play Flash contents using tools that are readily available in the browser without needing any workaround. Follow this step-by-step guide to get the job done:
- On the address bar of Google Chrome, type chrome://components then click Enter.
- Afterward, among the components, search for Adobe Flash Player to see if you have the necessary plugin to play Flash files. If it exists, continue to the next step.
- On the top-right of the browser window, click on the vertical triple dots icon, then select Settings.
- Next, you will be presented with several options. Find and select the Site Settings option. Otherwise, look at the top-right part of the page for the search icon (it’s normally just under the vertical triple dots icon) > click it > then type Site Settings.
- Under Site Settings, search for and click Flash. At the Flash setting, click on Block sites from running Flash (recommended) slider. This action will unblock Flash contents from running, though it will still ask you for permission every time a site is running Flash files for the first time.
Keep in mind that the method above will only work if Chrome still supports Flash files, which is true for now. As for another well-known browser, Firefox, the method to do so is quite similar. Here’s how.
Play Flash files using Mozilla Firefox
- Open the Add-ons setting. One way to do this is by clicking the three stripes icon at the top-right of the browser, then select Add-ons. Else, you can also simply hold Ctrl + Shift + A at the same time.
- At the left sidebar, pick the Extensions option.
- Under Manage Your Extensions, check to see if you have any flash player extension installed. If not, on the search bar at the top-right of the page (not the address bar) type flash player, then click Enter.
- Next, you will be presented with numerous flash player extensions created by different developers. I recommend you choose the Flash Player by Vanchi Flash simply because it has most downloads and high ratings.
- After you pick the extension of your choosing, click Add to Firefox button. A prompt will appear, click Add.
Once you’ve done the steps above, you can now play Flash contents using the Flash Player add-on, which is also created by Adobe though it doesn’t have the exact functionality to the Adobe Flash Player. One notable feature Flash Player has is the ability to save Flash files so you can play them whenever.