Have you ever browsed the Internet on your Mac, only to come across a website that doesn’t seem to work? If alerts flash across the screen, letting you know a plugin is missing, you may need Adobe Flash Player. Websites with video or animated graphics often use the Adobe Flash application.
The problem is, ever since Safari 10 and macOS Sierra, Adobe’s Flash Player for Mac has been disabled in the default settings for Apple devices. This has left many users stymied and confused when browsing the Internet.
Not to worry, we’re here to help get you back to browsing the web with abandon with our Adobe Flash Player Mac for Beginners guide. We’ll discuss what Adobe Flash Player for Mac is and how it can help access content on those sites. We’ll show you how to download the application and review reasons you may not want to.
We’ll look at how you can update your Adobe Flash Player for Mac, so you can be sure you’re using the safest, most protected version of the software available. Finally, we’ll discuss the current state of Adobe Flash, and where the application will go from here.
What Is Adobe Flash Player For Mac?
Adobe Flash Player for Mac, also known as Shockwave Flash on the Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers, is a freeware application for accessing and using content created with Adobe Flash. Adobe Flash Player is typically installed as a plugin for your web browser. It’s used whenever content created with Adobe Flash is accessed.
Adobe Flash is a platform for creating multimedia Internet content, running Internet applications, and streaming movies, audio and video. In the past, it was a popular tool for creating animation and graphics on the Internet. It was the basis for many web games and was used in graphic user interface (GUI) icons.
Anything that was embedded on web pages could use Adobe Flash. The software supported 3D graphics, vector graphics, raster graphics, embedded audio and video files and object-oriented code. With so much functionality, Adobe Flash was popular with developers.
Since then, the popularity of Adobe Flash has waned as problems were discovered with the software. Flash doesn’t perform well on mobile devices. It can be power-hungry and a memory hog, hurting the battery life and performance of devices. What’s worse is, in the past, the platform had security vulnerabilities that could be easily exploited.
Security concerns led Apple to disable Adobe Flash on Mac and their other devices. Many websites have moved to newer, less problematic software platforms like HTML5.
Even with the problems, there are still sites and companies that rely on Adobe Flash. All4, the on-demand video service, requires Adobe Flash Player to access content. Crunchyroll, the anime distributor, also relies heavily on Adobe Flash Player. There are services through Salesforce.com that require Adobe Flash Player installed on your browser. Flash is still running on websites across the world.
If you need to access those sites, you need Adobe Flash Player Mac. Let’s review how you can easily add the application on your Mac computer.
Installing Adobe Flash Player For Mac
With Apple and MacOS no longer installing Adobe Flash Player, you’ll need to do the work yourself. Installing Adobe Flash Player on your Mac computer isn’t difficult, but there are few steps you need to take.
1. Download Adobe Flash Player Mac
You have several options for downloading Adobe Flash Player for Mac. Many websites offer a button or link to download Flash if it’s not already installed. The site will alert you there is a missing plugin. Click on the button or link to start the download. If there isn’t a link you can use, go to the Adobe website to find the latest version of Adobe to download.
Just make sure the site you use to access Adobe Flash Player Mac is legitimate, preferably the home site for Adobe. If you ever access a site for Flash that isn’t Adobe, you may be on a malicious or dangerous site that can lead to malware.
Once you click Download Now the download should start. When complete, you should see the install_flash_player_osx.dmg file in your Downloads folder.
2. Install Adobe Flash Player Mac
Double click on the install file to start the installation, and then click Install Adobe Flash Player.
You should see a window appear letting you know the app has been downloaded from the Internet, asking if you want to continue the installation. If the download came from a trusted site, like Adobe, then Click Open to start the installation.
You’ll be asked to confirm the installation by entering your password. If you’re ready to start the process, enter your password and wait while the program installs. You may have to close programs on the Mac that use Flash before you start the installation. Click Close All to close the programs, and then click Continue. The installation should begin.
3. Finish The Installation
When the installation is complete, Click Finish to close the installer.
Adobe Flash Player works as a browser plugin for Safari that runs automatically to display content provided in a Small Web Format (SWF), the Adobe Flash file format. Whenever the browser comes across SWF files on the Internet, the Adobe Flash Player Mac should pick up the file and execute it in the browser.
This is what lets you play games, watch videos, listen to music and work with Adobe Flash in the Safari browser.
How To Update Adobe Flash Player Mac
You may encounter a few problems once Adobe Flash Player Mac is installed. Even with Adobe Flash Player installed you might see a warning that “Flash out-of-date,” or “Missing Plugin” especially on older versions of Mac OS X. Safari may also warn you with an alert “Blocked Plugin.”
Apple will automatically block Flash if the version of Adobe Flash Player you are using is out of date. Out of date versions of Flash maybe be susceptible to security problems, putting your system at risk for malware. If you see warnings like this, you may need to update your Adobe Flash Player Mac.
You can set Flash to update automatically on Mac, but with the security concerns with Mac you may want a little more control over the software. Once the application is updated, you shouldn’t have problems using it in your web browser.
Luckily, updating the software is just as easy as installing it.
1. Check For Updates For Adobe Flash Player Mac
You need to check for updates for your Adobe Flash Player using System Preferences on the Mac. Open System Preferences on your Dock or in the Applications folder. Click on Flash Player in System Preferences, and then click the Updates tab. Click Check Now to search for updates.
Your Mac will let you know if Adobe Flash Player needs to be updated. Follow the prompts to start the update.
A Final Word On Adobe Flash Player Mac
While Adobe Flash was at one time a powerful tool for developers, it is slowly and steadily being replaced by other tools.
In the past, critics pointed to problems with usability. Many early versions of Flash required you remove previous versions of the software before an update could be installed. Flash also had a problem with applications that utilized HTML, resulting in inconsistent and difficult user experience on websites.
Security problems is another reason many have moved away from Flash. Several critical vulnerabilities plagued Flash on Android-based mobile devices, requiring Android users remove or disable Flash. The remote code execution feature in Flash is a known and often exploited vulnerability, especially when used on untrustworthy websites. Today, many of these problems have been fixed and Flash is a much safer application.
Finally, Flash can cause privacy and memory problems for users. Cookies and non-executable data from websites, like settings, preferences, temporary files and authentication data, can be stored in the Flash Player application. This can lead to performance issues as the system slows and struggles to manage the massive accumulated data in Flash.
Many of these problems can be eliminated or avoided by managing Flash use in browser settings, disabling local storage for the browser, and reducing security risks while using the Internet. Even so, these problems drove many developers to alternative solutions, and Apple to disable Adobe Flash Player in Mac.
In fact, Steve Jobs was a savage detractor of Flash. In 2010 he wrote that the days of widespread use of Flash were numbered.
Today, Adobe is slowly phasing out Flash. The company recently announced they were planning to end support for Flash in the next few years. Animate, a similar program released in 1996 by Adobe, performs many of the same functions as Flash and works as a suitable replacement.
In the meantime, Adobe Flash Player Mac is still available and works well for sites still using Adobe Flash. It may not come as a default application for your Mac and Apple device, but it’s easy to find and install. With a quick update, you can be up and running on websites using Flash.