Flash Player is a plugin you install on your computer that works with your web browser so you can view Flash content. It is commonly used to view content that was created on the Adobe Flash platform. Such content includes streaming audio and video, rich Internet media, and some web-based applications.
Adobe offers a utility that you may use to check if Flash Player is installed on your computer, or to check if your existing Flash Player installation is the latest version available. When you visit Adobe’s utility, click the Check Now button to see if Flash Player is installed on your computer:
Once the utility determines if Flash Player is installed on your computer, it will tell you which version is installed. When you know the version of Flash Player that is installed on your computer, you will be able to use the utility to see if it is the latest version, and how to get the latest version if you do not already have it installed.
If the Flash Player version installed on your computer is out of date, the utility will display a notification that says, Sorry, your computer does not have the latest Flash Player installed, accompanied by your system information. Proceed to the second step of the update process.
If you already have the latest Flash Player version installed, you will see a congratulatory message display, accompanied by your system information.
If you do not have Flash Player installed on your system at all, click the Adobe Flash Player download link. Once installed, you may either follow the browser-specific links provided for how to Enable Flash Player in your browser, and then verify if Flash Player is installed on your computer.
If Flash Player is installed, you will see an animated Flash movie display:
Please note that Google Chrome (and other Chromium-based web browsers such as Torch) include their own Flash Player implementation. If you are running Google Chrome, please visit our Adobe Flash Player Plug-in Google Chrome article for information about updating Flash Player.
This page tells you if Adobe Flash is installed and enabled in your current web browser.
Flash is not a default component of a web browser, and so it’s possible to run a web browser without having it installed or enabled. Sometimes web browsers will come with Flash pre-installed, so that you don’t need to install it yourself.
Old versions of Flash can sometimes cause problems with websites. If you’re having trouble with a Flash based website, your web developer or technical support staff may ask you what version you have installed.
Flash is also not supported on some mobile platforms. Apple iPads, iPhones and iPods don’t support Flash, whereas Android devices typically do support it, so if you’re not sure whether your device has Flash installed, whatismybrowser.com will tell you if you do.
It’s not straightforward to determine if it’s installed on your desktop computer (or laptop), so it’s helpful for a lot of users to show the status of Flash.
One of the most common things Flash is used for on websites these days is displaying video content. YouTube’s video player is built in Flash (and they offer a fallback for Apple mobile devices).
Flash is still very popular for web based games; many if not most of the games you play on Facebook are built using Flash.
Aside from the specialist applications of Flash (ie Videos & Games), Flash is becoming less common on websites these days, due to the rise in popularity of a new technology called “HTML5” and the fact that Apple mobile devices don’t support it.
It’s quite rare to see entire websites built in Flash these days. It’s more common to have certain elements of a website built using Flash. For example, Flash might be used for a photo gallery, a store locator, a chat room or some kind of educational program.
Because Flash isn’t supported on some mobile devices and not everyone has it installed, it’s always a very good idea for websites to have a “non-Flash” version of their content, so that people without access to Flash can still access your content.
Generally speaking Flash is secure to have installed and enabled on your computer. The software is boxed off from the rest of your software so that it’s not really possible to do malicious things with it; at least not without your permission. (Eg. unless you change its settings, it will ask you if you want to activate your webcam, you personally have to specify which file you want to upload to a website, and so on; it can’t do these things by itself.)
That said, there have been security problems found in Flash in the past, which is why it’s important to always keep your browser and your copy of Flash up to date. Keeping it up to date also ensures that you always have access to the latest features and developments.
Where do I install Adobe Flash from?
If you don't have Flash installed and would like to, you can download Flash from Adobe.