Should I Still Use Adobe Flash Player?

Wondering if you should stop using Adobe Flash Player? Check out this lesson to learn more!

Should I still use Adobe Flash Player?

Whenever you use the Internet, your browser uses small applications called plug-ins to display certain types of content. For example, the Adobe Flash Player plug-in can be used to play videos, games, and other interactive content. Although Flash Player has long been one of the most well-known plug-ins, it has become much less popular in recent years.

There are a few reasons for this decline in popularity. Because Flash Player is a relatively old plug-in, it has become increasingly vulnerable to online threats like viruses and hackers. Most web browsers have even started disabling Flash Player content by default for security reasons.

activating Flash Player

Also, because Flash Player was designed for desktop computers, it's not very good at displaying content on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Some mobile browsers, including Safari for iOS, can't even use Flash Player.

flash disabled on iOS Safari

Should I stop using it?

Although you don't need to completely stop using Flash Player, you should use caution. Most browsers have an Ask to Activate or Ask First setting for Flash, which we recommend using. This keeps Flash disabled most of the time, but it gives you the option to temporarily enable it when you're on a site that you know and trust.

Keeping Flash Player up to date

Because older versions of Flash are vulnerable to online threats, you'll want to make sure you're always using the most recent version. If you're not running the most recent version, you might see an error message instead of your content.

a plug-in error message for Adobe Flash Player

However, we don't recommend updating the plug-in directly from a warning message like this. Some misleading advertisements are cleverly disguised as warning messages, but they won't actually take you to an update page. That's why it's best to download the update directly from the Adobe website.

It's also worth pointing out that some browsers update all of your plug-ins automatically, including Flash Player. If you're using a browser like Internet Explorer, you'll probably need to update your plug-ins manually.

How to update Adobe Flash player:

  1. Navigate to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ in your web browser.
  2. Locate and select the Download or Install button. Flash Player may also try to install additional software, so be sure to deselect any offers like this before downloading. In the image below, we've deselected the McAfee Security Scan Plus option.
    downloading Adobe Flash Player
  3. Locate and double-click the installation file (it will usually be in your Downloads folder). Note that you'll need to close your web browser before you can install the plug-in.
    opening the flash installation file
  4. Follow the instructions that appear. Flash Player will be updated to the most recent version.
    installing flash
  5. In many cases, your browser will open automatically to a new page to confirm the installation. This means the plug-in is ready to use whenever you need it.
    the Flash Player confirmation page