Shockwave Flash Crashes In Google Chrome

Here are some simple steps to fix Shockwave Flash crashes in Google Chrome. The problem occurs when browsing a Flash-based website e.g. Facebook games or YouTube – the Flash plugin crashes with a message saying: “The following plugin has crashed: Shockwave Flash“.

Ignore the reference to Shockwave – the error message means that the Flash Player plugin has crashed – it has nothing to do with Adobe’s Shockwave Player which is a separate program.

What Causes The Crashes? As noted previously in updating Adobe Flash, Google Chrome already includes an integrated version of Flash Player which is automatically updated by Chrome – there is normally no need to download the standalone Adobe Flash Player which is intended for non-IE users.

However, if Firefox or a similar web browser is (or has ever been) installed on your computer, then you have likely also installed the standalone version of Flash for Firefox/Other web browsers – and this would include Chrome.

Updated Mar 2015 – Since the release of new features in Chrome 24, the ‘experimental’ PepperFlash plugin is now the default player for Flash content – there is no longer an integrated Chrome Flash Plugin.

Chrome may therefore have 1 or 2 versions of Flash Player installed – the new PepperFlash plugin and maybe the standalone Adobe version too. Having two versions enabled may cause the error message because they conflict with each other. Some users report audio and video problems with just the PepperFlash plugin too.

To fix the flash crashes, the aim is to disable all except one Flash plugin and retest. Follow these simple steps:

  • Open Chrome and type  about:plugins  into the website address bar at the top then press the ENTER key to display Chrome’s Plugins page.
  • Look down the list of Plugins for ‘Flash’ – if it says ‘Flash (2 files)’ you have Adobe and PepperFlash versions of Flash installed. If it says ‘Flash (1 file)’ you only have the default PepperFlash – both cases may cause Chrome to crash when accessing Flash-based websites…
  • Click on the ‘+ Details’ link at the top right of the Plugins page to expand the list of all Plugins.
  • Scroll down the list to find the Flash plugins – you should now see the full details of the Flash plugins which may display up to two versions of Flash:

PepperFlash and Adobe Flash installed

  • Look at the ‘Location:’ of each version – the PepperFlash version is in (…Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application etc) whilst the standalone Adobe (formerly Macromedia) version is in the …Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash etc directory.

If you have 1 version – PepperFlash:

  • Download and save to your computer the latest Adobe standalone version of Flash from Filehippo here (this is the non-IE version).
  • Close Chrome and then install this Adobe Flash you just downloaded. At the end of the installation it offers the option of ‘automatic updates’ – highly recommended to keep it up to date in future (see automatic silent updates for details).
  • Open Chrome and go back to about:plugins – you should now have 2 plugins (PepperFlash and Adobe).
  • Click on ‘Disable’ just under the Location of the PepperFlash version to disable it – it will become greyed out. Ensure that the Adobe version is enabled – if it is disabled (greyed out) click the ‘Enable’ link just under its Location to enable it. Now close the Plugins tab.

If you have 2 versions – PepperFlash and Adobe:

  • Click on ‘Disable’ just under the Location of the PepperFlash version to disable it – it will become greyed out.
  • Ensure that the Adobe version is enabled – if it is disabled (greyed out) click the ‘Enable’ link just under its Location to enable it. Now close the Plugins tab.

Final Steps

Visit the Adobe Flash Player test page to check that Flash is now properly installed and working ok.

Tip: From version 11.2 onwards, Adobe Flash offers automatic updating – however, it is still worth installing Update Checker to automatically check for new updates as it can check for updates to many other common free programs e.g. Adobe Reader, QuickTime, Java etc.

Other Tips – Updated March 2015

From readers’ comments, the above fix has worked for most but there are many different reasons for Flash crashes in Chrome so, if it doesn’t work for you, here are some further tips that may help:

1. Try the ‘How To Fix It’ steps again but the other way round i.e. this time Enable the integrated PepperFlash and Disable the Adobe version – then test to see if Flash no longer crashes.

2. See if Flash works ok in Incognito mode (click the Wrench/spanner in menu bar and choose ‘New Incognito Window’ to start Incognito Mode). Incognito mode disables all Chrome Extensions – if Flash now works without crashing then one of your Extensions must be causing the problem so, once back in normal Chrome mode, disable your extensions one at a time and test Flash until it stops crashing. The last extension disabled is the one causing the problem – leave it disabled and enable the others again.

3. Disable all Plugins except Flash. If Flash now works without crashing then one of your Plugins must be causing the problem – enable your Plugins one at a time and test Flash until it starts crashing again. The last Plugin enabled is the one causing the problem – disable it and enable the others again.

4. Update yours graphics card drivers (especially if they are old). Driver updates are often released to fix an issue with how Windows or individual programs work with a piece of hardware (e.g. graphics card) or to enable new features for it.

5. Disable Flash hardware acceleration to eliminate hardware or driver compatibility problems with Flash Player – untick ‘Enable Hardware Acceleration’ in the Flash Display panel. To view the Display panel, right click the picture (application image) during playback of a Flash video and, from the context menu, select ‘Settings’. The Display panel is the first panel (tab) shown at the bottom of the Settings window.

6. Test Flash on another browser such as IE or Firefox – if it crashes there too then skip to step 7. If it does not crash there, your version of Chrome may be corrupt. The last resort is to uninstall Chrome and ensure you clear the browsing data during uninstall.

Then, reinstall the latest stable version (currently Chrome 24) and the problem will hopefully be fixed. Remember to backup all your bookmarks/passwords etc BEFORE you uninstall – you could also sign into your Google account and sync settings for use later.

If you do still have problems with Chrome, you may have to wait for a specific fix from Google or Adobe. In the meantime you could use the other browser (e.g. Firefox or IE) if necessary.

7. If the crashes are NOT just in Chrome – see our separate article Flash Crashes in ALL web browsers.

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144 Responses to: "Shockwave Flash Crashes In Google Chrome"

  1. K Rose says:

    Problem solved! Thank you!

  2. Mike H says:

    Well this is the first advice that actually solves (and explains) my problem. Many thanks.

  3. Kostas says:

    Greetings from Greece.
    Thank you for your valuable guidance to solve the problem on my computer with shockwave flash. Also I can now download with real player videos without problem from all sites.

  4. Patricia says:

    I have 3 Flash players and I have frequent crashes. Including Pepperflash I also have Shockwave flash for Chrome and Macromedia. Any ideas on what to disable because I’m not having any luck no matter what i do.

    • Roy says:

      With Chrome 22 you shouldn’t actually have Chrome flash any more? If you still have it, I’d suggest first upgrading the Macromedia (Adobe standalone) flash to latest version then disable the other 2 plugins and retest.

      If still crashes, then switch to just Chrome (then just Pepperflash if still no joy) – if none of the 3 work (with the other 2 disabled) then look at the ‘other fixes’ section – especially hardware acceleration and graphics drivers.

  5. Roy says:

    Sounds like your screen resolution has changed to the (very low) default because your graphics (VGA) drivers are corrupted/missing. However, this is nothing to do with Chrome or the fix you applied – it will make desktop icons and everything else look big everywhere e.g. in IE too.

    So you may need to update your graphics card drivers – see

  6. Jane says:

    This is all great info … I’m really into Words With Friends, and it kept slowing down or freezing and I’d get the message that shockwave has crashed. So I did the recommended 3-version fix and it works GREAT now … EXCEPT that now everything is really BIG … from my WWF page to my gmail. I have to scroll to see the whole WWF board. This was actually happening when I tried to play using IE, but when I switched to Chrome, I could see the whole board and my other pages (ie gmail) were normal. The other thing that’s happening now is that on startup, I get a message that new hardware has been found … some VGA game controller thing. I have not added any new hardware. Help please!! thanks!!

  7. Lewis says:

    Thank you for this information. I was getting quite annoyed with it freezing all the time.

  8. jwr says:

    Thanks! Easy to understand and follow.

  9. karen s. says:

    BTW….this is a good site!!!! i will def be back!!! :0

  10. Shivaraj Akki says:

    Awesome info mate….Thanks for the detailed information.

    Chrome is working fine now :)


  11. Michael says:

    Disabling pepperflash worked beautifully. Many thanks to the author of the article. Adobe needs to stop the arrogance -why do they cavalierly release software that has caused big problems for countless users?

  12. Yvonne says:

    This fix did not help mine. I followed the directions as above (disabled Pepperflash and enabled the regular flash) still having this come up! HELP PLEASE!

    • Roy says:

      Sounds like you only tried the main fix? If that didn’t work for you then work through the ‘other tips’ section above – they help most who take the time to do them.

  13. Jarzan says:

    Linda, could you provide more details about the problem? “Can’t play FB cames” is not that helpful helping you further. In general, Chrome is best browser for FB brosing and gaming. Of course you could or maybe even should try Firefox, but understanding the problem would help solving it.

    • Linda Sekeres says:

      My problem is in my two favorite games in facebook slingo and cafeworld they have so much going on and since the update slingo will download 50% then stop downloading so it won’t launch off and cafeworld when you have everything going it just freezea and says just keeps saying retrying.

      • Roy says:

        Linda, those errors may not be Flash crashes.

        Follow Zynga’s advice on ‘Slingo stuck at 50%’ from last week –

        If that doesn’t work let them know – Zynga had the same problem a few months ago and had to release a fix for it so maybe they need to do another one – in the meantime you could play them in Firefox/IE instead

      • karen s. says:

        about 3 months ago i started having real issues while i was on FB with the same kinds of problems…pages never loading, like they were stuck in an alternate universe. and if i was trying to download. a file at the same time…forget it….started out small stuff and finally go so bad i couldn’t stand it!!! …i spent hours on the phone with my cable provider trying to figure out why it was taking almost two hours to download a 10MB file.!!!!! i was so mad …i was sure they somehow downgraded my package size without my consent just to make me pay more $$ (like it was a big conspiracy……lol) . got no help, i couldn’t figure it out so we started changing the hardware….first the modem…didn’t have the cash and finally (1 week later, without internet access) i found one someone that gave me an old one they were no longer using and after setting that up still had problems……..turns out our router was bad..because we also use wireless for the laptops in the house. but.somehow, the parts inside were no longer letting all the information through the router from the modem and boy did it make everything really messed up and it was only two years old!!! So once we bought a new router and it fixed everything instantly!!! lol…..before we discovered the actual problem, i even upgraded my vista to Windows7 thinking it was the OS…ugh it was a nightmare!!! very you could maybe have a hardware issue like i did……lol..those poor tech support guys for the cable co……i was really letting them have it……i have to laugh now… frustrated i was…and going nuts because i couldn’t even pull up my games …they must have hated me .lmao……., sorry, didn’t mean to rant, just had to share….=)

  14. Linda Sekeres says:

    I am not as knowledgeable in computer works as the rest of you but all I know is I still can’t play my favorite games in facebook. I tried disabling the two plug-ins and that has not changed anything nothing is working like it was before the browser update. Should I just delete chrome off my computer and try firefox. I am so tired of updates that are not tested for all first.

    • Alex says:

      just to add – you don’t need to uninstall chrome before installing firefox – you can have both installed. it is useful to test in firefox to see if it is actually chrome that is the problem or not

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