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I run Mac OS X 10.6.8 and Flash 11 in Google Chrome 15.

The process part looks like this:

username 93458 11.4 14.0 2469136 588600 ?? S 2:02AM 5:37.25 /Applications/Google Chrome Helper Chrome Helper EH --type=plugin --plugin-path=/Applications/Google Chrome Framework.framework/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player Plugin for Chrome.plugin --lang=en-US --channel=42748.0x2b3200f0.835069097 --enable-crash-reporter=46CB5F28860932569647D54223EACE3E

In some flash games it seems memory use grows from 100mb to 300mb and randomly (at no particular memory limit, there's still 1-2 gb free) it churns the CPU at 90% oscillating between a kernel_task process and the plugin.

Extra on what else you'll observe: The experience is that either the plug-in crashes very fast, in like 5 seconds, and you only notice when it happens to go black in the Flash frame, or the CPU spikes for 10+ seconds and you find you can't do anything in the system. You get a spinning ball and even that sometimes goes invisible (no cursor) and the OS can't switch or move windows or apps. Once the responsiveness returns in 10-30 seconds, either Flash crashes, or Chrome itself is force quit.

Has anyone experienced this and is there some setting that fixes this? I've uninstalled Flash from the system otherwise (Chrome bundles it) so I only use chrome for Flash games, and as a plus the other browsers are quite solid without Flash.

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Any specific game or most of them? Because what you describe sounds quite usual for OS X and Flash. – slhck Nov 30 '11 at 9:08
No, not most of them, there are some specific ones: E.G. But this doesn't occur on Windows. It does on Linux, sometimes. – dlamblin Nov 30 '11 at 22:11

I've run into a similar scenario myself. To see if we're talking about the same problem: most Flash content is fine, but some pages will cause the browser to hang with a spinning beachball and block any input, even to background apps. The only solution is a hard restart. Here's a test case: try playing any video from

In my situation, it was happening on a brand new iMac that was delivered with Mac OS X Lion 10.7.0 and Flash 11.0.0. Note this is a combination of new "major" version numbers for both.

I found two ways to resolve this:

  1. Get Info on your and check Open in 32-bit mode
  2. Download and install the latest Flash & run Software Update

Hard to say if you're seeing the same problem as I was, but I hope this helps.

share|improve this answer
Yes, the problem is that it isn't just locking the flash frame or the browser but actually locking the whole machine. In my case waiting it out eventually brings it to a crash (which is only a 10-30 second wait). Once or twice Mac OS has force quit Chrome in order to recover. I will try 32-bit mode, but Chrome's bundled and sandboxed Flash isn't affected by the standard Flash install or updates which I do not use (so no Flash in Safari). – dlamblin Nov 30 '11 at 22:14
I was going to accept this answer, the only problem is that while Firefox 8.0.1 has this checkbox, it is missing from the Chrome 16 get-info box. Probably I should get a 32-bit installer of Chrome instead. Flash OTOH seems to be at the latest version. – dlamblin Dec 17 '11 at 22:31

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