You’re surfing on the internet, trying to enjoy a video, or play an educational game with your child, or maybe even use a financial website you need for work and you hit the inevitable snag – “Flash Not Detected,” or “Please Enable Adobe Flash Player,” or “Could Not Find Adobe Flash Player on Your Computer.” It’s indeed frustrating if you don’t have any information to solve these adobe flash player for mac problems.
No matter the error message, the problem is simple – you need Flash, and you don’t have it.
But what is “Flash”? Shouldn’t your computer already come equipped with the ability to watch these videos and play these games? In theory, yes, but in practice, the situation gets stickier.
Let’s first take a look at why you need an Adobe Flash Player for Mac at all.
Adobe Flash Player for Mac: Pros & Cons
- accelerates HD videos and gaming experience
- Stage 3D graphics. Smooth, responsive, and incredibly detailed games
- great for rich Web content. Designs, animation, and application user interfaces
- product comes with adware
- annoying flash player updates and product offers
Why do you need Adobe Flash player for Mac? Well, for starters, a huge number of websites still use Flash, and will probably continue to use Flash right up until it is completely phased out. Data on the specifics of how many websites use Flash depends on where you get your statistics, but generally, it’s anywhere from 2.5% to 4.5% of websites.
That may not seem like a lot, but remember that there are 1.8 billion websites on the entire in 2018. This means that there are still roughly 60+ million websites using Flash, many of them quite popular, especially with children’s educational sites, game sites, and many well-used school applications that teach math and science.
Though Flash is being removed from the internet piece by piece due to safety concerns, that doesn’t mean you won’t need it. Web sites are slow to change over their entire infrastructure and may be using Flash for years.
What is Adobe Flash Player and How Does It Work?
Adobe Flash Player for Mac is an application that allows the users to view things like videos, interactive animated menus, moving comics, hear music, and even play video games right in your internet browser without installing new games every time.
First, put together by Macromedia and later taken over by Adobe (the company behind Photoshop, Premier, and PDF Readers), Flash Player reads SWF files, either as an installed program on the computer or as a plugin in your browser of choice. These files are almost always animated in some way, and often come with sound and can be interactive.
Flash also supports a number of audio, video, and picture formats.
They run content called “Rich Internet Applications,” which are online websites that have the same (or similar) interactivity and multimedia presentation as programs that you would normally have to install on your desktop.
Before RIAs, the internet was pretty much just text, pictures, the occasional music player, and files you could download. That was really all there was too it. And while this functioned just fine for a long time, RIAs like Flash allowed the internet to become more visually impressive, and to do more functions with less effort and installation.
Educational websites became more widespread, allowing children to play games and watch videos designed to bolster their education in history, language, math, science, and current events.
Programs like “JiJi Math” and “Ticket to Read,” which are hugely popular across elementary and junior high schools, run entirely on Flash.
Where to Get Adobe Flash Player for Mac
Because Adobe Flash Player for Mac is free, it’s very simple to download and update.
You can simply type in “adobe flash player download” in your search engine of choice and follow what is almost certainly the first link on the list. Or, conversely, you can click this link and go straight to the download page for Mac.
From there, direct your attention to the far left of the screen. Under “Adobe Flash Player,” click on Step 1 where it says, “Select an Operating System.” A drop-down box will appear. Select your Mac OS.
Next, move to Step 2, where it asks you to “Select a version.” When you click on it, another drop-down box will appear. The options will be “Mac for Safari and Firefox” or “Mac for Opera and Chromium.” If you use either Safari or Firefox as a web browser, click on the first option. If you use Opera or Chromium as your web browser, select the second option.
The next step is to click on the yellow “Download Now” box on the right side of the screen. The new text will pop up explaining that “your download will begin shortly.” From there, ignore what happens on your browser – the rest of the process on the browser is just ads.
Instead, look to your new downloads on the bottom of your screen. Simply double-click on the new file, which will have a name like “install_flash_player_osx.”
Now follow the prompts and click “okay” and “yes” until the program is installed.
Once installed, it should update on its own. However, should you ever run into a message about Flash being out of date, you can either repeat the above steps to download the newest version, or you can go into the settings of your browser and update Flash there.
How Do I Turn on Adobe Flash If It’s Already Installed?
If it appears that Flash is already installed but is simply shut off, you can try some of these solutions:
If you’re using Safari, one of the most popular web browsers for Mac, first open the browser. Then click on “Safari” at the top of the screen and “Preferences” in the drop-down. Then, click on “Websites” (the little globe icon) and scroll down to “Adobe Flash Player,” which should be near the bottom of the list in the “Plugins” category.
There should be a small checkbox next to “Adobe Flash Player.” Simply click on the box to enable Flash.
If you’re using the Chrome web browser, Flash is automatically built in. Chrome may ask you if you want to run Flash before showing you content, but all you have to do is click “Allow Flash” or “yes” when the dialogue window appears to access your content.
If you’re using Opera on your Mac computer, you can enable the Flash plugin with just a few simple steps. First, open up your Opera browser. Then, click on the web address field (where you would type in www.gmail.com, for instance. Instead, type in “opera://settings” (without quotes) and hit enter.
You’ll be taken to the settings page inside the browser. From there, type the word “Flash” in the search field that appears. Flash settings should appear after a short moment, usually with three options.
These options include “Allow Sites to run Flash,” “Ask First before allowing sites to run Flash,” and “Block sites from running Flash.” If you feel comfortable with your browsing abilities and generally use safe sites, you may want to click “Allow sites to run Flash.” If you’re not sure, just click “Ask first” and the browser will prompt you before your content starts.
“Block sites” will block all sites, which is not recommended.
How Much Does Adobe Flash Player for Mac Cost?
Adobe Flash Player for Mac is free! Always has been, always will be. You don’t have to pay a dime or enter a credit card or any of that.
Simply follow the instructions earlier in the article to download Flash for free right now. Many browsers already come with Flash baked into it, meaning that (hopefully) you don’t have to mess with it at all.
What Do People Think of Flash Player?
Flash was originally released in 1996, which is another reason why it’s being slowly eliminated. It was a fine platform when it first arrived. And in fact is responsible for the widespread use of easily accessible browser games and the like for years.
The Flash craze swept the internet for years, allowing websites like Newgrounds and Homestar Runner to become popular. These sites, and dozens or even hundreds like them, because hugely famous for early internet standards, and allowed users to play games and watch videos like never before.
However, even with updates, the base of the code is old. Security flaws have been found in Flash time and a time again. Security flaws that allow hackers and malicious code to easily penetrate them and infect users. There are full lists of Adobe Flash Player security vulnerabilities (numbering in the thousands). They have been used to harm users.
Now, that isn’t to say that Adobe Flash is some kind of a haunted mess or a train wreck. For the most part Flash works fine, but over 20+ years it’s simply time to upgrade.
All the way back in 2010, Steve Jobs was hard at work trying to kill Flash. He even published an open letter denouncing the program and explaining why Apple mobile products like iPhone and iPad would no longer support it. And they still don’t support it to this day.
IT professionals, developers, and security professionals the world over have pretty much moved on from Flash. That doesn’t mean Flash is entirely irrelevant, though, and most people will need it installed and working on their computers for work and recreation.
How Does Flash Compare?
When it first came out, Flash didn’t really have competitors.
Silverlight didn’t ever cover a huge market share. In fact, it has been announced that they will cease support by 2021.
HTML5 has become the default competitor with Flash these days and has more or less supplanted in every modern sense. HTML5 is open-source, meaning it’s available for use by anyone without having to pay or license your content. It’s generally safer, not as prone to the security flaws that Flash is, and it consumes fewer resources.
Mobile platforms use HTML5 for just that reason – it consumes far less battery than the resource-intensive Flash Player, making it an ideal option for mobile users and mobile designers.
And, HTML5 generally just works. There’s nothing to download, nothing for the end-user to update – it’s built into every browser under the sun and requires far less fiddling.
Google uses HTML5, as does Apple and YouTube and almost all of the big tech companies and websites. Odds are you’ve been to dozens (if not hundreds) of sites that use HTML5 and you haven’t even noticed it.
Flash Player is Simple to Download and Necessary (For Now)
You may have heard that “Flash doesn’t work on a Mac,” and that’s incorrect. Flash works just fine on MacBooks and desktop Macs. If you’re talking about iPhones, iPads, and iPods, then you’d be right – Flash was disabled long ago.
Though there are crunchy, tech-savvy ways to get around this limitation, it’s usually not worth it. The App Store has a million different versions for whatever you’re trying to play on Flash, and any videos you need Flash to see can be found on YouTube or another site without having to roll your sleeves up and start messing around with the backend of your iPad.
But, as you can see, you can (and probably should) download Adobe Flash Player for Mac in order to avoid any roadblocks on your trip through the internet.