How to Enable a Flash Player

By Aaron Parson

Videos and games not loading on the Web? Here's how to install or re-enable Adobe Flash Player, the required plug-in.

Although use of Adobe Flash Player has declined due to its incompatibility with most smartphones, 10 percent of the Web still requires the Flash plugin as of publication. When streaming videos, games or other Web elements brought to life by Flash aren't working, download the latest copy of the Flash Player. If you already have Flash installed, make sure it isn't disabled in your Web browser.

Download Flash

Tip

There's no harm in downloading and installing Flash again even if you already have it. Downloading Flash ensures you have the newest copy of the program.

Warning

Internet Explorer for Windows 8 and Google Chrome (for all systems) include their own copies of Flash. You don't need to download Flash for these browsers.

Step 1

Visit the Adobe Flash Player download page. Uncheck the optional offer, unless you want it, and then click Install Now.

Warning

Download Flash only from Adobe's website. Copies of the program hosted elsewhere could contain a virus.

Step 2

Save the installer.

Click Save File or Save to save the Flash installer. This dialog box varies slightly by browser, and depending on your settings, the browser might simply save the installer without prompting you.

Step 3

Run the installer.

Close your browser, open your downloads folder and double-click the Flash installer to install and enable the plugin.

Enable a Disabled Flash Installation

Chrome

Chrome plug-ins page.

Enter the address chrome://plugins in a Chrome tab to open the plugin information page. Scroll down to find Adobe Flash Player, which appears grayed out when disabled. Click the Enable link to turn it on.

Firefox

Firefox plugins page.

Press Ctrl-Shift-A or click Add-Ons in the Firefox menu to open the Add-Ons Manager. Open the Plugins tab and set Shockwave Flash to either Ask to Activate or Always Activate. With the setting on Ask to Activate, Firefox asks whether you want to use Flash every time a website tries to run the plugin.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer add-ons window.

Open the Internet Explorer 10 or 11 Tools menu (the gear icon) and choose Manage Add-Ons. Pick All Add-Ons from the Show drop-down menu and select Shockwave Flash Object. Click Enable.

Tip

After enabling Flash, quit and reopen your browser if the plugin doesn't start working right away.