Shockwave Flash, the invention that changed our online experiences almost a decade ago, has grown into such a mess, that several companies have chosen to completely abandon the software and users grow to become less needy, each day. While HTML5, the technology which is bound to replace it, is still seeing difficulties in adoption, people like me and you need to keep the old choice going.
Well, considering the fact that for some of us, Flash keeps crashing when used in tandem with Chrome, Firefox or any other browser, the only thing left to do was to come up with a fix. Today, we are going to show you how to stop Shockwave Flash from crashing on different browsers and regardless of the operating system used.
What Causes Shockwave Flash to Crash so often?
Usually, Flash itself has no issues when it comes to rendering online content, but when browsers install it as a plugin, things start to get complicated. In Google Chrome, especially, the browser makes use of two instances of the same program, and when websites with dynamic content are accessed, the computer stalls and does not know which instance to load.
Although in most cases the answer is both, this confuses Chrome and it becomes heavily unresponsive and crashes. When crashes do not occur, tabs are loaded very slowly, Chrome freezes for a couple of seconds and so on. When users have other browsers installed, like Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera, Safari or others, problems usually come from Adobe’s side. Although some tricks can be done, most cases are resolved with a heavy reinstallation of the package or a quick warp to Adobe’s official forums. Let’s see how to prevent shockwave flash from crashing.
Stop Shockwave Flash crashing in Chrome
Since February this year, when Google released the 24th version of Chrome, the browser no longer comes with an integrated Flash player. Its role has been replaced by the experimental PepperFlash plugin, which has become the default player for dynamic content.
Thus, although the software has been changed, Chrome can still have two instances of the same player installed, which may conflict with one another.
To fix these Shockwave Flash crashes, we are going to disable all unnecessary Chrome plugins and leave only one Flash player instance rolling:
- Open Google Chrome and type about:plugins in the address bar.
- In the list of plugins, search and see if you have 2 files listed in the Adobe Flash Player section. If so, press the upper-right plus sign to bring up details about each of them. If there’s only one version present, scroll below and check other fixes.
- Now click on the Disable link under the PepperFlash version and it will become grayed out. Please note that the Location of this version should contain the word Chrome, and not Macromedia (this stands for the local client, installed from Adobe’s official page).
- Visit Adobe’s test page to see if Flash is working properly.
Note: Due to a recent Chrome update, permanently disabling PepperFlash no longer works. Unless our other solutions do not work, you will have to manually block the plugin each time Chrome starts.
Other solutions to stop Shockwave Flash from crashing
- In the steps above, try to disable PepperFlash instead of the native client. Also, if there is a 3rd client acting as Flash, such as RealDownloader, disable it as well.
- See if Flash works when all other extensions are disabled. This can be done manually, from the extension page (chrome://extensions), or while opening Chrome in Incognito mode (this can be started by clicking the spanner menu in the upper right corner and then clicking on New Incognito Window).
- Disable all plugins and see if Flash works then. If so, try to isolate the problem by manually enabling them one at a time and then uninstall the plugin which causes troubles.
- Some problems may also be caused by the graphic cards itself and its old drivers. Try to update the software by navigating to Control Panel -> Device Manager, right-clicking the graphics card and choosing to update the driver.
- Try removing any relation with the hardware, by disabling hardware acceleration. This can be done by right-clicking the Flash picture during the playback of a video and by selecting Settings, in the context menu. At the bottom of this menu, click the Display tab and untick “Enable Hardware Acceleration”.
- Those with only one version of Flash installed (PepperFlash) should also get the native client (this is for non-IE browsers) and install it, while Chrome is not functional. Afterwards, all that remains to be done is to follow the steps above and disable PepperFlash from the plugin page.
- Test Flash on other browsers as well. If it crashes here too, check the next section.
Stop Shockwave Flash crashing in Firefox and other browsers
When Flash crashes often in browsers like Firefox, Opera, Safari and other variants, all you have to do is disable hardware acceleration (steps explained above) or, to properly reinstall the client. And when we say properly, we refer to deleting any registry entries related to the software and so on. Here’s how to do that:
- Visit Adobe’s website and follow the custom instruction set, which advises each setup how to safely remove Flash. In the last section, when asked to remove all related files and folders, be sure to erase everything that contains the word Flash and comes from Macromedia or Adobe. Usually, they can be found in C:\Windows\System32 or in AppData (this folder is usually hidden).
- Reinstall Flash Player for every browser, except Chrome.
- Test the client.
- Those who have Internet Explorer 9 installed can also disable the ActiveX Filtering option, by going to Tools -> Safety and by unticking the related box.
- If problems occur when only a specific website is visited, navigate to the Website Storage Settings Panel (this is an online application, and clicking the top image will change settings) and select the website which is causing problems. Now move the slider from None to 10MB and see if there are any changes.
- Ask Adobe.