How to Fix Adobe Flash Player Not Working

Adobe Flash Player is third-party software that allows you to play movies and animation that developers put on their websites. Because so much of the Internet uses Flash Player, problems with the installation can hinder your web-browsing experience. There are many ways to troubleshoot issues with Adobe Flash Player – try each suggestion in order to fix any problems you may be having.

Computer Settings

The easiest thing to check is your computer settings. Do you have a pop-up blocker that will target Flash Player? Make sure any third-party firewalls will allow you to access Flash Player. Is the problem with only one web page and you can see other sites that use Flash Player? If so, it is probably an issue with the website itself and is a developer issue. Is Flash Player crashing or freezing? This is often a memory issue – make sure you don’t have multiple tabs open that may be running the program. 

Security Issues

Your computer needs security software, but if your settings are too high, you may be blocking Flash Player. Your settings should be set to medium – often the default will allow Flash Player to download. If you set your security settings yourself, make sure that “Download Signed ActiveX controls” and “Run ActiveX controls and Plug-ins” are set to “Prompt”.

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Some Vista users report that they have Flash Player installed but they still can’t see content or are getting error messages. You can update to the latest Flash Player using the included utility by navigating to: C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\FlashUtil9d.exe. (The letters and numbers after FlashUtil may change with the version.) Right click on it. Choose Run as Administrator and follow the instructions.

Uninstall and Reinstall

The standard fix for most Adobe Flash Player problems is to uninstall and reinstall the player. In order to completely remove Flash Player from your system, you must use the Flash Player uninstaller by going to the Adobe website and downloading the player for your operating system. After download, save the file, quit all open applications and run the uninstaller.

Once the Flash Player is gone from your system, go back to the Adobe website and download the newest version from the Download Center.

If you are having trouble installing the ActiveX Control, go to Adobe and install the Flash Player ActiveX zip file. You will open that zip file on your computer and run it on your machine.


If you still get an error during installation, you may have a permissions issue. You can fix this by going to the Microsoft website and downloading SubLnACL to fix permissions problems.

If you have tried all of the above fixes and are still having trouble with Adobe Flash Player, there is a chance that you have registry errors. You can try third-party registry cleaning software to see if that solves the problem. If not, it may be time for some in-person tech-savvy help.

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