Fix: Can’t Enable Flash on Chrome

Although the days of Flash player as we know it are numbered, Google Chrome still comes with a built-in version of Flash – there’s no need to install a separate plugin to enable Flash on Google Chrome. However, there are still a  lot of users that can’t enable Flash on Chrome. Most affected users report that Flash content is not working on every web page that uses this technology. In most case, Flash content is not displaying correctly even after they follow the on-screen instructions to enable Adobe Flash Player. All the users encountering this problem report that the Flash content id displaying just fine on different browsers.

Flash content is not working on Google Chrome

What is Flash Player?

Adobe Flash is a now deprecated software platform that used to be extremely popular for production of animation, rich internet applications, mobile apps, desktop apps, mobile games and embedded web browser video players.

In the last couple of years, the internet is moving away from Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5 – the latter requires no additional plugins and works with all the latest browsers and devices.

In 2017, Adobe announced that it’s preparing to put Flash to rest in 2020. According to the company, 2020 will be the year in which they will cease support, distribution and security updates to Flash Player.

What is causing the ‘Can’t Enable Flash on Chrome’ error?

We investigated this particular error by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that they used to get the issue resolved. Based on our findings, there are several common scenarios in which this particular issue is reported.

  • Google Chrome bug – The issue can occur if you’re running a severely outdated version of Chrome. All the major bugs related to Flash have been since patched, so updating your Google Chrome version to the latest version should resolve any occurence caused by a bug.
  • Flash content needs to be run manually – Given the fact that Google is moving as fast as it can from Flash, the browser no longer maintains saved user preferences regarding flash content. This essentially means that you’ll need to re-allow flash content to run after each browser restart.
  • Hardware acceleration is conflicting with flash content – As a lot of users have reported, flash content might malfunction on low-specifications computers that have hardware acceleration enabled. In this case, the fix is to disable the hardware acceleration feature from Chrome’s settings.

If you’re struggling to resolve this particular error message, this article will provide you with a couple of verified repair strategies. Down below, you’ll discover a few potential fixes that other users in a similar situation have used to get his particular issue resolved.

If you want to be as efficient as possible, follow the methods presented below in order as they are ordered by efficiency and severity. Let’s begin!

Method 1: Update Chrome to latest version

First things first, let’s start by making sure that Google Chrome is running on the latest version available. Normally, Google Chrome should update itself manually whenever a new version becomes available. But if you keep a Chrome tab opened at all times and you don’t restart your computer frequently, your version might be behind.

Luckily, you can force the Chrome client to update itself to the latest version quite easily. This will resolve most bugs related to Flash player that might prevent it from running Flash content.

Here’s how to update Chrome to the latest version:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the action button in the top-right corner of the screen. Then, go to Help > About Google Chrome.
    click on help and then on about google chrome
    Click on Help > About Google Chrome
  2. Once you get to the next screen, the client will automatically scan for a new available version. If it finds one, you will be prompted to update & restart. Do so and then restart your computer.
  3. At the next browser startup, see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still unable to run Flash content, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Click on the Flash content to run it

There’s one change that might have confused a lot of users into thinking that Flash is not enabled on their Chrome version. The reason for this is that starting with Chrome v  69, you will need to click on every Flash window to run it regardless of your flash preferences. So, every time you restart the browser, your Flash preferences will be forgotten.

This is all part of Google’s plan to make it harder to run Flash content since the end-of-life period is near.

With this in mind, click the flash content in order to run it and see if the Flash content is displayed correctly.  Simply click on the box with the puzzle icon and then hit Allow to grant the website access to run Flash.

Running Flash Content on Google Chrome

If the Flash content is displayed properly after you perform the steps above, then the technology is working as intended. If you’re still unable to view Flash Player content, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Allowing Flash for the entire website

If you’re visiting a website that is filled with Flash content, clicking on each element individually to run it is hardly an efficient method to go about resolving the issue.

In these cases, the best way to enable Flash is to do it for the whole domain. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Visit the website that contains flash content. Then, click on the Lock icon (info icon if the site isn’t secure) and click on Site Settings.
    Accessing the Site’s settings
  2. In the Settings menu of that particular website, scroll down to Flash and set it’s associated drop-down menu to Enabled.
    Enabling Flash player from the website’s Settings menu
  3. That’s it. You can now return to the website at hand all the flash content should be immediately playable.

    Keep in mind that even if this method managed to resolve the issue, it’s likely to return the next time you restart your browser. You’ll then need to repeat the steps above all over again. This happens because the latest Chrome versions no longer save Flash preferences – This is part of Google’s plan of moving away from  Flash.

If this method did not enable you to resolve the flash content error, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Disable Hardware Acceleration

If you’re encountering this issue on a low-spec computer, Flash might be misbehaving due to a conflict with the hardware acceleration feature. Several users that have been struggling to enable Flash content on Google Chrome have finally been able to get the issue resolved by disabling Chrome’s hardware acceleration.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the action button (top-right) corner and click on Settings.

    Accessing Google Chrome’s Settings
  2. Inside the Settings menu, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on Advanced to bring up the rest of the menu options.
    Accessing the Advanced menu of Google Chrome
  3. Scroll down to the System tab and uncheck the toggle associated with Use hardware acceleration when available. Then, click the newly appeared Relaunch button to restart your Chrome browser.
    Disabling Hardware acceleration

Method 5: Switch to a more permissive browser

If all the methods above have failed you when it comes to enabling Flash on Chrome, it’s time to consider a different browser. Keep in mind that Google Chrome has one of the most aggressive stances when it comes to eradicating Flash, so you can expect things to get even worse in the future.

If you’re looking for a browser that doesn’t put this many roadblocks when it comes to running Flash content, we advise you to consider Mozilla Firefox.  Firefox will still allow you to keep your user preferences when it comes to Flash and you can also maintain an Allowed-Disallowed list with flash websites.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.