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Adobe Flash plugin has crashed - Prevent it from happening again

The message, "The Adobe Flash plugin has crashed," is shown when the Flash plugin stops working unexpectedly. Reloading the page will often get the video, game or animation to play again.

Plugin crash notification Fx21

If the Flash plugin continues to crash, updating to the latest version of Flash may fix the issue. This article explains how to update Flash and other possible solutions.

Update Flash

The latest version of the Flash plugin should perform better and crash less often. To check if Flash is up to date, visit Mozilla's Plugin Check page. If it says that Flash needs to be updated, install the latest version manually using the steps below.

  1. Go to Adobe's Flash Player download page and download the Flash installer.
    Caution: Adobe's download page may include a checkbox for optional software (such as Google Chrome or McAfee Security Scan) that is selected by default. If you do not clear the checkbox before downloading, that software will be installed on your computer when you open the Flash installer.
  2. When the download has finished, close Firefox. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 .
  3. Open the Flash installer file you downloaded and follow the instructions.
Note: If you are having problems with the Flash installer from Adobe's download page, you can use this Flash Player installer link to directly download the full installer.
  1. Go to Adobe's Flash Player download page and download the Flash installer.
  2. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 .
  3. Open the file you downloaded (i.e. install_flash_player_osx_intel.dmg).
  4. In the Finder, open the Install Adobe Flash Player.app to run the installer, then follow the installer's instructions.
  1. Go to Adobe's Flash Player download page.
  2. When prompted, save the file (i.e. install_flash_player_"version"_linux."processor".tar.gz).
  3. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 .
  4. Open a Terminal window (in Gnome, click on the Applications menu, select Accessories, and then select Terminal.)
  5. In the Terminal window, change to the directory where you saved the file you downloaded (e.g. cd /home/user/Downloads).
  6. Extract libflashplayer.so from the file you downloaded with the command tar -zxvf install_flash_player_"version"_linux."processor".tar.gz.
  7. As the super user, copy the extracted file, libflashplayer.so, to your Firefox installation directory's plugins sub-directory. For example, if Firefox is installed in /usr/lib/mozilla, use the command sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins and then enter your super user password when prompted.

    0a85171f1802a3b0d9f46ffb997ddc02-1260326970-447-1.png

Disable hardware acceleration in Flash

Many Flash problems can be resolved by disabling hardware acceleration in your Flash Player settings (Adobe's Flash Player Help - Display Settings page has details). To disable hardware acceleration in Flash:

  1. Go to this Adobe Flash Player Help page.
  2. Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click on the Flash Player logo on that page, then click on Settings in the context menu. The Adobe Flash Player Settings screen will open.
  3. Click on the icon at the bottom-left of the Adobe Flash Player Settings window to open the Display panel.
  4. Remove the check mark from Enable hardware acceleration.

    fpSettings1.PNG
  5. Click Close to close the Adobe Flash Player Settings Window.
  6. Restart Firefox.

Disable Flash protected mode

Important: The following solution does not apply to the 64-bit version of Firefox.
Adobe's Flash protected mode can cause hangs or plugin crashes for some users. To disable it, follow these steps:
Warning: Protected mode is an Adobe Flash security feature that is turned on by default. Turning off Flash protected mode disables a security protection.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Find Shockwave Flash in the list of plugins and click the Options button.
  4. Remove the check mark from Enable Adobe Flash protected mode.
    Fx38-UI-AdobeFlash-protected-mode
    Note: To learn more, see the Adobe Flash protected mode in Firefox article.
  5. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click Exit Close 29 to completely close Firefox, so that the change can take effect.
  6. Restart Firefox.

Other solutions

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Comments
jaywood

Kind of extreme, but turning off FF's crash protection fixed it for me. Here's an article with instructions: techie-buzz.com/how-to/disable-or-enable-crash-protection-firefox-36-firefox-4.html

Alvina1

Hi Jaywood Thanks for this Followed the advice.. Switched the plugins off Now firefox crashes! At my wits end now.. trying to solve this problem for 2 weeks! Any additional help? Thanks a million

jimthing
  1. - Open "Activity Monitor" app.
  2. - Find "Firefox Plugin Process", and perhaps while you're there "Flash Player (Safari internet plug-in)" too.
  3. - Press "Quit" then "Force Quit" both, one after the other.
  4. - Refresh page with Flash content on, and it should start the process again inside the browser.

NB: this has worked for me in the past, but sometimes only a restart will do it. (So try but don't say I didn't mention it may not work ;-)

See /forums/knowledge-base-articles/704495 for related discussions about this article.

See also /forums/knowledge-base-articles/708810 Merging Flash 11.3 crashes and Adobe Flash plugin has crashed (posted Dec 5, 2012)

This is not a good solution. Switching off crash protection makes the whole browser crash instead of just the plugin.

This isn't a solution that I want to add to the article. The default firefox settings along with an updated Flash plugin work great.

ux4484

Having Flash crash on multiple machines XP to Win 7, all crash on DSL reports speed test page, as well as a few others (no video problems though). I'd been through the plugin test and un/re installing flash as well as Firefox. IE and Chrome had no such issues.

Found an old solution for Firefox 3.6.8 that was related here: https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/746245

Solution was similar, except the parameter was smaller: dom.ipc.plugins.enabled;false (was previously true). This 100% fixed the problems on all my machines, and Firefox 6 is running better overall and loading faster on heavily flash based sites.

Dupe of this thread.

This revision is a big change to the article. It needs discussion and probably some references (such as links to forum threads), before it can be approved.

Revision id: 18525
Created: Nov 9, 2011 4:15:34 AM
Creator: oogle 

Third Party Players
Softwares that comes with your DVD player sometimes contain Third Party Players like Nero Show Time which will clash with your Adobe Flash Player. You need to uninstall the third party player before your Adobe Flash player will work properly. This problem is unique with Firefox and it doesn't affect IE 8.0 and 9.0 for the Adobe Flash Player will work properly without an issue.

I'll defer the revision and link to this discussion in the notification.

Antheta

Ok here is a solution that actually works I have tested it and so far for two hours straight playing Flash games I have not received a crash report once. First open up your plug ins menu and locate the Java plugins. If these are out of date disable them. This fix worked completely for me. If they are not out of date try it anyway it may still work. It seems the out of date Java script clashes with the up to date Flash.

taurusyu

a recent check from www, a solution found is disable hardware acceleration inside flash. That works in F13 and F14

reva12

Image: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/824/ff14scramblesyoutubecon.png/


I have been having this problem since the last two Firefox updates (with 13.0.1, and now with 14.0.1)

So far as I know, this problem seems to occur only with Youtube video clips..

And it happens even with just one tab open and even just right after launching FF. (I mean its cache is not bloated yet.)

This issue is not there with IE.

My system: Windows 7 Home Edition, SP1

Dell XPS 15 with plenty of memory, and barely 6 months old

I have (always have had):

The latest flash installed.

McAfee (but no other third party software)

Minimal list of extensions and plugins in Firefox.

My FF plugin list:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/171/firefoxpluginlistjuly.png/

(Only extension is Performance Cache and only the Default Theme)

What I have done to "solve" the issue:

Uninstalled Flash completely (twice) including clearing all its old folders, etc. and them reinstalled the flash.

Please suggest something other than disabling all FF add-ins and extensions (because as I have noted above, I have only a few of them, and I have read enough help forum posts complaining that this did not solve issues).

Thanks.

See /forums/knowledge-base-articles/708810 Merging Flash 11.3 crashes and Adobe Flash plugin has crashed

Should we add to have users to troubleshoot the protected mode? forums.adobe.com/thread/1018071

This has come up before. It used to be recommended in the Flash 11.3 doesn't load video in Firefox article but was removed by Matt G on June 13, 2012 in this revision change . Related discussion:

From my post in another discussion:

AliceWyman said (on on February 13, 2013)

John99 said
  • do any of the installers now recommended mess with the protected mode setting ? (And is that still important for some Windows users ? )

I've had protected mode disabled (ProtectedMode=0 line in the C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\ mms.cfg file) through many updates and it's never changed. I use the .exe plugin installer link on the Adobe Flash Player Distribution page to update Flash.

I leave Flash protected mode disabled because of how badly the focus bug (bug 768802) affects SeaMonkey when you don't disable it (see this mozillaZine forum thread).
<snip>
John99 said

  • We contradict ourselves

We suggest downgrading to Flash 10.3 as a workaround, when the latest Flash version is causing problems or if updating RealPlayer doesn't resolve Flash video display issues. An alternative to downgrading Flash on Windows Vista and above, which SUMO doesn't recommend (not sure why not ... too complicated?) is disabling protected mode. We refer users to this adobe forum post or to this section of MozillaZine's Flash article for that.

P.S. Here is what Matt G gave as the reason for no longer suggesting that users disable Flash protected mode:

Matt_G said

AliceWyman said
I see you took out disabling protected mode in Flash 11.3 doesn't load video in Firefox so now that article and the new Adobe Flash plugin has crashed - Prevent it from happening again article both recommend downgrading to Flash 11.2.

Hey Alice. Just catching up on some stuff here. In response to this question and the previous one, this issue got really out of control on Friday. We consulted with some other groups at Mozilla and it was decided that for Crashing issues specifically, the best course of action was to rollback. The flash not playing issue is still believed to be realplayer related. Since rolling back to an older version is now being offered as a last resort for the flash not playing issue, the disabling protected mode steps just seemed redundant. We were concerned the article would be too long and people wouldn't use it

Can you give a reason why we should add disabling Flash protected mode for troubleshooting purposes, as an alternative to downgrading Flash?

We need to reconsider this. Flash 10.3 is now EOL and will no longer be updated. Ref: http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2013/05/extended-support-release-updated-to-flash-player-11-7.htm...

Flash 10.3 is will no longer be maintained with security updates as of July 9, 2013 since it has been replaced by Flash 11.7 as the Extended Support Release version (ref.).

We should remove "Solution 2: Downgrade to Flash 10.3" soon, since we shouldn't be recommending an insecure version.

For Windows Vista and above, we could recommend disabling Flash protected mode as a workaround, instead of downgrading. Related discussion:

I agree. It is now a no brainer as

  • the old version is insecure and not easily obtainable
  • we are able to link to official Adobe advice on doing this

I would also recommend linking to your Mozillazine article

That includes other background information, and I am not sure if Adobe forum articles could move or be edited without us immediately noticing.

I don't know if Flash 10.3 is insecure yet (the last version was 10.3.183.90) but it won't be updated any longer so the section on downgrading to Flash 10.3 should be removed soon.

When we do remove the section, we'll also need to revise the Flash 11.3 doesn't load video in Firefox article section, "Solution 2: Downgrade Flash". I've added this article and the other one to the "Needs changes" list.

I'd like to get an admin's opinion beforehand (or better yet, let an admin make the change) since like you mentioned in /forums/contributors/709473, making changes to the Flash Player kb articles got a bit contentious last year. From what I recall, admin have been basing Flash article updates on "inside information" from Adobe.

For earlier discussion about changes to this article, see this 8-page thread started June 8, 2012:

Michael Verdi took care of this (thanks, Michael).

Disabling hardware acceleration in Flash settings added based on:

  • /questions/971020 The Adobe Flash plugin has crashed! Help please
    Quote: Following your link, right clicking on the Flash logo and disabling hardware acceleration there has fixed my issue. Thanks!

The link that lead to the solution is:

Disabling protected mode in the Flash mms.cfg file might be too complicated for many users but it may help others. I'm on the fence.

This is one of the "Related Questions" links that this article includes in the sidebar:

This is a long thread with many "me too" posts. Cor-el gave his usual answer for Flash issues:


You can check for problems with current Flash plugin versions and try these:
   disable a possible RealPlayer Browser Record Plugin extension for Firefox and update the RealPlayer if installed
   disable protected mode in the Flash plugin (Flash 11.3+ on Windows Vista and later)
   disable hardware acceleration in the Flash plugin 
   http://kb.mozillazine.org/Flash#Troubleshooting 

jscher2000 also gave this reply on page 3:


(1) If you use any recorders/downloaders that interact with Flash media, make sure they are as up-to-date as possible, or disable them temporarily.
(2) Disable hardware graphics acceleration in Firefox and in Flash
(A) In Firefox, un-check the box here and restart:
orange Firefox button (or Tools menu) > Options > Advanced > General > "Use hardware acceleration when available"
(B) In Flash, see this support article from Adobe: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/video-playback-issues.html#main_Solve_video_playback_issues
(3) Disable protected mode (Windows Vista/7/8)
See this support article from Adobe under the heading "Last Resort": Adobe Forums: How do I troubleshoot Flash Player's protected mode for Firefox? 

...and he added this in another reply,


To ease editing the the mms.cfg file, you can drag a copy (hold Ctrl while dragging) to your Documents folder where you have full read/write privileged. Then edit the file there. Then Ctrl+drag it back to the Flash folder. Hopefully that will work for you. (Full steps listed here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/que.../973998#answer-489685) 

Right now, the only place we mention disabling protected mode is in the "Recent Flash issues" canned response: Forum Response - Flash problems ...which says this:

Other, more technical information about these issues can be found under these Links:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1018071?tstart=0

http://blogs.adobe.com/asset/2012/06/inside-flash-player-protected-mode-for-firefox.html

What about if we add these links Disable protected mode (Windows Vista/7/8): See this support article from Adobe under the heading "Last Resort": Adobe Forums: How do I troubleshoot Flash Player's protected mode for Firefox? to this article under "Other solutions"?

I already have a pending revision to add a new "Disable hardware acceleration in Flash" section and a new "Other solutions" section that just links to the Flash Plugin - Keep it up to date and troubleshoot problems article right now. A made a second revision to incorporate that, and I added a protected mode link for Vista and above.

A bugzilla reference from one of the list of related bugs linked from this Firefox 25.0.1 Crash Report showing Process Type: plugin Shockwave Flash Version:11.9.900.117 Filename:NPSWF32_11_9_900_117.dll

Bug 774281 (comments 13-14)


nemo 2012-10-12 12:51:15 PDT

FWIW, friend who'd encountered crasher (11.3 and 11.4 Flash in Windows 7) reports that the fix for him was disabling acceleration in Flash.

Well, maybe more of a workaround, but given the increasingly limited utility of Flash, really more of a fix for him.

Perhaps Adobe could push out a hotfix 11.4.1 w/ acceleration disabled by default? :)

[reply] [-] Comment 14 nemo 2012-10-26 07:11:56 PDT

Have a second report of disabling acceleration being a workaround, also a Windows user.

Another possible solution (workaround) would be to set the Flash plugin to "Ask to Activate" in the Firefox Add-ons Plugins list. See:

AliceWyman said

Disabling protected mode in the Flash mms.cfg file might be too complicated for many users but it may help others. I'm on the fence.

I am strongly in favour of having disabling protected mode mentioned in one of the kb articles that we may link to. This is especially so now that we may expect the user Carm to post recommending a software solution employing this in near enough every AAQ thread posted relating to Flash.

I have amended the canned response but not self approved.

I edited this article on Nov 12 {for win7, win8} (for Vista and above) and added a link to Adobe's instructions at http://forums.adobe.com/message/4468493#TemporaryWorkaround to disable protected mode. Michael Verdi approved it on Nov 15.

I also made an edit to the Flash Plugin - Keep it up to date and troubleshoot problems article on Dec 24, 2013 to add a bullet point about disabling protected mode, under the "Playing Flash videos makes Firefox hang" section, and self-approved it last week. It also simply links to Adobe's page.

AlanDouglas

I have seen quite a few responses recommending you to get the latest update. I have done the opposite and it works! Mind you, I was careful enough to keep my previous Flash Player installer, which was working perfectly.

How To: 1) Disinstall latest update which produced the problem (dated 27/03/2014). To do so, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Adobe Flash Player Install Manager, which actually offers to Disinstall the Flash Player currently installed. 2) And if you have your earlier Flash Player installer (or can find it on the net), simply install it.

Bingo, for me, worked without a hitch. Morality: the problem is'nt your computer, the problem is the update !!!

Thank you. Here's the response from Adobe on this:

Personally, after uninstalling Flash 13 I would choose the latest Flash 11.7 Extended Support Release (ESR) version , which is more secure than Flash 12. According to the last Flash Player security bulletin, For users ... <snip> ... who cannot update to Flash Player 13.0.0.182, Adobe has made available the update Flash Player 11.7.700.275 ... which is the current Extended Support Release. Flash Player 11.7.700.275 is available for download here:

Update: Here's why Adobe is promoting a downgrade to Flash 12 instead of the more secure Flash 11.7 ESR:

From http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1447282 ATTENTION MAC CUSTOMERS - Flash Player 13 "Plugin Failure" Workaround


22. Chris Campbell,
Apr 11, 2014 2:27 PM   in reply to Facini

Unfortunately, the ESR (extended support release) version will not work with Safari.  If you primarily use Firefox, then the ESR version should work great.
On a related note, we are working to fix the ESR / Safari compatibility problem with cooperation from Apple in an upcoming release.  The ESR is typically used by our enterprise customers that require a stable version of Flash Player with the latest security updates.  The downside of the ESR is that is does not contain bug fixes or new features.

Another update, from Adobe (post by Chris Campbell)

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1447282


Update 4/16 
I'm pleased to announce that Flash Player 13.0.0.201 for Mac is now available from http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer.  This release resolves the crash described in this thread.  As noted above, you can either download this immediately from adobe.com or wait for the update to be applied automatically, within 24 hours, via our recommended auto update mechanism.  If you encounter any problems updating, please visit http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player.html for basic troubleshooting steps.

No article now recommends trying disabling protected mode.

This step was removed because there was the option to downgrade, but that option no longer a recommendation because 10.3 is EoL.

Flash 10.3 is EOL - removed solution recommending downgrading to 10.3

Is this still a valid possible trouble shooting step that users should be aware of ?

This is a case where it may be handy to have a good advanced search for the forum, as it can filter for solved threads, I am not aware google can however a glance at some results from this search would suggest it may still be a suitable method to try

John99 said

No article now recommends trying disabling protected mode.

??? See my above December 30, 2013 comment, #post-9159

I edited this article on Nov 12 {for win7, win8} (for Vista and above) and added a link to Adobe's instructions at http://forums.adobe.com/message/4468493#TemporaryWorkaround to disable protected mode. Michael Verdi approved it on Nov 15.

I also made an edit to the Flash Plugin - Keep it up to date and troubleshoot problems article on Dec 24, 2013 to add a bullet point about disabling protected mode, under the "Playing Flash videos makes Firefox hang" section, and self-approved it last week. It also simply links to Adobe's page.

Starting in Firefox 35, you can disable Flash Protected Mode by setting the dom.ipc.plugins.flash.disable-protected-mode preference to true in about:config and restarting the browser (bug 1108035). To re-enable Flash Protected Mode, reset the preference back to the default "false" value. At time of writing, however, this option does not work on Windows 8. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1112709 http://www.ghacks.net/2014/12/21/how-to-disable-flash-player-protecte...

I just added the above to MozillaZine's Flash article section on disabling Protected Mode in Flash and thought it should be added to this article.

P.S. The related Windows 8 bug (bug 1112709) is marked fixed in mozilla37 so, we can add the about:config steps for win7, fx35 and control for a future fx37 update for win8.

AliceWyman said

so, we can add the about:config steps for win7, fx35 and control for a future fx37 update for win8.

Done

AliceWyman said

P.S. The related Windows 8 bug (bug 1112709) is marked fixed in mozilla37 so, we can add the about:config steps for win7, fx35 and control for a future fx37 update for win8.

The Windows 8 bug 1112709 is now marked status-firefox36: affected → fixed in comment 13 posted today, so I updated the need changes entry to review for fx36.

Update: bug 1112709 was reopened, then closed again. The new bug tracking the Windows 8 issue is bug 1121829:


https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1121829#c2

Benjamin Smedberg [:bsmedberg] 2015-01-15 10:57:03 PST
As a continuation of bug 1112709, this means the Flash protected-mode hook doesn't work yet  on Windows 8.1.
Blocks: 1112709
tracking-firefox36: --- → +
status-firefox36: --- → affected
tracking-firefox37: --- → +
status-firefox37: --- → affected

We have to keep an eye on this before showing the about:config steps for win8.

P.S. This bug also needs watching: Bug 1119941 - Test: disable Flash protected mode

It looks like there's a plan to turn off Flash Protected Mode in Firefox by default in future beta/aurora/nightly versions.

Update: Bug 1119941 is now Resolved-Fixed (currently, in firefox38). Related bug to watch:

  • Bug 1120993 - Decision: whether to continue bug 1119941 (Flash protected-mode disablement) into release

See Bug 1119941 - Test: disable Flash protected mode There's a plan to turn off Flash Protected Mode in Firefox by default in future beta/aurora/nightly versions and eventually in an upcoming Firefox release. This article will need updating for Windows (currently win7) when this happens.

Related bug to watch:

  • Bug 1120993 - Decision: whether to continue bug 1119941 (Flash protected-mode disablement) into release

AliceWyman said

The new bug tracking the Windows 8 issue is bug 1121829 <snip> We have to keep an eye on this before showing the about:config steps for win8.

This bug is now fixed in Firefox 36 so we can add the steps to disable Flash protected mode for win8:


https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1121829#c20

Andrei Vaida, QA [:avaida] 2015-01-27 05:52:42 PST
Verified fixed on Firefox 36.0b4 (build1: 20150126151838) and Aurora 37.0a2 (2015-01-26), using:
- Windows 8.1 32 bit,
- Windows 8.1 64 bit (Surface Pro 2), 
with Shockwave Flash 16.0 r0 (16.0.0.296).
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED
status-firefox36: fixed → verified
status-firefox37: fixed → verified

Flash Protected Mode is now disabled by default in Firefox Beta (the default dom.ipc.plugins.flash.disable-protected-mode setting is now "true"). This is only for testing, though. It won't be disabled by default in Firefox 36 release according to this QMO post (linked from the 36.0 beta release notes) and bug 1120993 is still open.

In other words, we can continue to recommend disabling protected mode for Flash issues and add that suggestion for Windows 8.

I think disabling Flash Protected Mode should be one of the main solutions. Currently it's buried under Other solutions. I solved Flash problems on more than three computers by disabling it.

Marko, I'm waiting to see what happens to this preference when Firefox 36 is released. Bug 1120993 links to https://hg.mozilla.org/releases/mozilla-beta/rev/d02e363ecb6f and it looks like the preference itself was removed, but I'm not good at reading patches. Could you take a look?

Unfortunately, My Windows computer is unusable right now (It overheated and might be kaput!). I'm posting this with my husband's OS X 10.6.8 iMac.

AliceWyman said

Marko, Bug 1120993 links to https://hg.mozilla.org/releases/mozilla-beta/rev/d02e363ecb6f and it looks like the preference itself was removed, but I'm not good at reading patches. Could you take a look?

The preference was not removed. It was just switched back to false by default in Firefox 36 Beta 9. And my Flash began to crash just after I updated my Firefox and it started to work again when I disabled Protected Mode.

Marko said

I think disabling Flash Protected Mode should be one of the main solutions. Currently it's buried under Other solutions. I solved Flash problems on more than three computers by disabling it.

I have a revision pending to make "Disable Flash Protected Mode" a separate section, above "Other solutions". Does it look OK?

Looks good.

I approved my last revision and marked it ready to localize.

P.S. I made another revision and approved it ready to localize, to add a table of contents.