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I'm having a bit of bother with Flash Player 10.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.4 using Safari 5.0.2 and Firefox 3.6.10. In the last couple of days, every time I visit GMail with the Flash plug-in installed in /Library/Internet Plug-ins, the browser freezes, beachballs and has to be force-quit. Removing the Flash plug-in cures the problem, and having only the Flash plug-in installed will trigger the problem, so it's not a conflict. The same problem seems to occur with the BBC iPlayer, though some websites that use Flash (YouTube, for example) seem to work just fine.

I've tried un-installing and re-installing Flash, clearing caches in Safari, downloading Firefox to see if it's broken there too, repairing permissions and all the other placebos I know, but nothing has made any difference. I'm suspicious of it being a corrupt setting or cache file that's knocking Flash over (it works fine on all the other similarly-configured Macs I use) - where does it keep its user files? Other troubleshooting suggestions are most welcome.

[edit] Thank you to all those who've suggested ClickToPlugin and similar, however it's not really a solution - while I've no idea why GMail wants Flash, I'm experiencing this problem with sites that require Flash, such as the iPlayer

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I had the same issue, what happened was I downloaded or had automatically loaded a plugin to download flash objects - well it killed performance and in some cases flash files failed to load. I tried down grading Flash - removed Shockwave and still slow. Found out the plug-in was a killer. (ran process monitor and saw proc name - killed, but respawned, google'd it to get path - removed; rebooted; and performance worked.)

I also ended up:

  1. Get a copy of Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner (see apple site for latest - FREE).

  2. Run "Repair Permissions", "Run maintenance scripts", and "Clear System Log Archives" under Maintain.

  3. Run Optimize Files and Optimize File Cache under optimize.

  4. Check the resources under the Login Items. Remove as appropriate.

  5. Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM (see: link text )

ALSO - as mentioned -- do get ClickToPlugin -- stops flash from loading, you control what gets loaded when.

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I had to do a deep cache clean, but SLCC sorted it in the end. – Scott Oct 5 '10 at 18:37

My first suggestion to anyone with Flash is to install ClickToPlugin. This will prevent Flash from auto-loading, and you can load it on-demand by clicking the frame where Flash would normally appear. This works on Safari, and there is an add-on for Firefox like it - I believe it is called FlashBlock.

As per your problem, the easiest way to find preference files is to open a new finder window to your hard drive. Type in the search box, "Flash". This will start showing results. Now, above the results and below the toolbar, there is a new set of options to refine the search. Add a filter to include the system files. Remove anything in a "cache" folder or with a ".plist" extension.

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You might try testing out Google Chrome. Google recently partnered up with Adobe and now ships the flash player as a part of their browser, so you might see if the version shipped with Chrome works on your system.

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I'd rather not change browser unless I have to. I use Safari elsewhere. Plus, I quite like Safari. :-) – Scott Oct 4 '10 at 21:59
@Scott I wasn't intending to plug; If it does work, you could always look into extracting the plugin that Chrome uses and trying to install it into Safari – Darth Android Oct 4 '10 at 22:07
It's the same version that Safari can use - however the Flash plug-in is updated with Chrome instead of via Apple Security Updates or updating it yourself manually. – Chealion Oct 5 '10 at 6:50

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