This guide will show you how to enable Flash in Chrome in 2020.
Although most large websites have already abandoned Flash, there are still a lot of sites that do use it. But Google are making it increasingly difficult to use Flash.
You now have to enable it in Chrome on a per website basis, you can’t just enable it globally for all sites.
And, if you do enable it for a particular site, your choice is only remembered during the current session – so the next time you open Chrome your choice disappears and you have to enable Flash for that website again…
This is a pain if you visit a Flash website every day e.g. to play a game, but it’s a sign of how much Flash usage is being phased out – Google will remove Flash from Chrome completely in December 2020 (Chrome 87).
So if you want to run Flash in 2021 you’ll need to find another browser that still supports it – difficult as all other major browsers aim to remove it then too…
But, for now, let’s look at how to enable flash in Chrome.
To Enable Flash on A Website
Visit a website that uses Flash – it may say that you need Flash Player to view it (because Flash is not yet enabled for that site).
Ignore any suggested links to ‘Get Flash’ from Adobe’s website – those links are for the standalone Flash plugin for other browsers like Firefox. Chrome already has its own integrated Flash plugin – you just need to enable it for this site.
At the top left of the address bar, click on the padlock icon (if it’s an https site) or on the ! icon (if it’s an http site) to the left of the website address.
Click on the gear (Site settings) icon as seen below:
This opens the Permissions window for this site. Scroll down the list of permissions to ‘Flash’ and change it to ‘Allow’ as shown below:
Now revisit the website and refresh the page (press F5) – you should see the Flash Player content load and play the animated content.
Tip: although your choice is discarded when you next open Chrome, it’s easier to allow it again. After Step 2 you’ll find that Flash is now an option in the notifications area (see picture below) – just set it to ‘Allow’ in the drop down menu there, no need for Steps 3 and 4.
Note: with the quicker menu option, a message bar will appear at the top of the page after you click away – press the Reload button to apply your updated settings and reload the page with Flash content active.
Using The Adobe Flash Player Test Page
If you want to double check that Flash Player is working, and see what version of the plugin you have in Chrome, visit the Adobe Flash Player test page.
Follow Steps 2 to 4 from the section above to enable Flash on the Test page and you should see two Flash animations ready to play.
Click the ‘play’ triangle icon of the top one to display the bouncing red square animation that proves the Flash plugin is working. Click the lower ‘play’ triangle icon to reveal which version of the Flash Player plugin is installed in Chrome.
Tip: if Flash keeps crashing in Chrome, see my 7 step guide to fix crashes.