If you suffer regular Adobe Flash Player crashes in all web browsers, here are a few fixes that may help. Important: if you only experience Flash Player problems in Google Chrome then go to our separate article on Shockwave Flash Crashes in Chrome.
[Chrome is different from other web browsers because it includes its own integrated version of Flash Player – this can cause Flash crashes which are unique to Chrome].
1. Disable Flash hardware acceleration – The aim is to eliminate hardware or driver incompatibility issues with Flash Player. Right click on the video picture during playback of any Flash video in your browser and, from the context menu, select ‘Settings’ to open the Flash Player Settings window.
The Display panel is the first panel (tab) shown at the bottom of the Settings window. Untick ‘Enable hardware acceleration’ in the Display panel then press Close. Now see if Flash Player works ok.
If the problem is fixed and Flash does not crash, you probably had a driver (software) issue with your graphics card. [If you ever want to try enabling hardware acceleration again (by re-ticking the option you just un-ticked above) you should first update yours graphics card drivers. Driver updates can fix issues with how Windows or programs like Flash Player work with a graphics card, or enable new features for it].
If the problem is not fixed and Flash still crashes, proceed to Step 2.
2. Custom Full Uninstall of Flash Player – Visit Adobe’s website here and carefully follow all the instructions to download and run the special Flash uninstaller and then delete specific Adobe files. In particular, Section 3 step 3 is important – you should delete all the files and subfolders stored within the following folders:
If one of these folders can’t be found you may see an error message – don’t worry about it, just proceed on to the next folder. Note: the instructions Adobe give in Step 3 are for XP – if you have Vista or Windows 7 you can ignore the Start > Run command in their step 3.3.a – just click Start then copy and paste (or type in) the folder name into the Search box then press Enter to open the folder.
Now you have completely uninstalled all traces of Flash Player – restart your computer.
3. Reinstall Flash Player – Download and install the latest version of Flash Player by visiting Adobe’s site here. During installation, un-tick the additional ‘freebie’ (e.g. Google Toolbar/McAfee Scan) unless you want that as well.
If you use more than one web browser you will need to install Flash Player for each web browser (not Chrome as it has its own Flash built in). After installation completes, choose your update method from the options as shown below:
It is recommended to choose ‘Install updates automatically…’ to ensure that future security and feature updates are installed as soon as they are available.
4. Test Flash Player – Now test again to see if Flash Player works ok. If it doesn’t then do the following if you have IE9:
- IE9 – select Tools \ Safety – if ActiveX Filtering is selected, deselect it then try Flash Player content again.
If you only have problems with one particular website, go to the Website Storage Settings Panel here as shown in the example below:
- In the list of Visited Websites at the bottom, click (to select) on the one which is causing problems e.g adobe.com in my example.
- Now move the slider above it from None on the left across to 10MB on the right (second from the end) and retest Flash Player content on that website again.
5. Still Having Problems? If you still encounter Flash Player crashes in all web browsers, try posting a query in Adobe’s support forum here – you will likely get better help if you can provide all relevant details e.g. Flash Player version, browser and Windows versions, problem you have (which websites?), graphics card and drivers, what you have already tried to fix the problem etc.