How to Enable a Flash Player

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

Step

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

Flash download page.
credit: Image courtesy of Adobe
Save the installer.
credit: Image courtesy of Adobe

Step

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.

Run the installer.
credit: Image courtesy of Adobe and Microsoft

Step

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.
credit: Image courtesy of Google

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.
credit: Image courtesy of Mozilla

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.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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.