17

I would like to use Flash Player to show web contents but since today (12 Jan 2021) Adobe is blocking it.

Is there a way to use it?

I've tried Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Brave browsers.

6
  • 6
    Flash Player is EoL and is not supported for a while now. Simple answer is: Trying to get this to work is seriously discouraged. – LPChip Jan 12 at 7:42
  • Do you want to use Flash Player specifically, or are alternative programs for opening Flash files OK for you as well? – root Jan 13 at 22:03
  • I found a solution for the problem in my answer and now can play the flash games on the "orisinal" website. – desbest Feb 21 at 0:26
  • @LPChip What's the worst that can happen? – Some Guy Mar 22 at 2:06
  • @LPChip Assuming that you know what you are doing and don't destroy your computer trying to install a workaround – Some Guy Mar 22 at 2:07

10 Answers 10

13

I managed to make the "time bomb defuser" work, as indicated here:

Disable EOL uninstall warnings:
    Disable auto updates when installing
    Add "EOLUninstallDisable=1" to mmc.cfg in C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash
    (C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash on 64-bit)

---

Defuse flash player time bomb:

Time bomb trigger is the timestamp 1610409600000.0
encoded in double precision floating point (0x42776f3e46400000):
    00 00 40 46 3E 6F 77 42
replace with infinity:
    00 00 00 00 00 00 F8 7F

C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash
(C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash on 64-bit)
    Flash32_32_0_0_453.ocx (offset: 453: E1D968, 465: E1DBD0)
    NPSWF32_32_0_0_453.dll (offset: 453: E3A2E0, 465: E3A32A)
    pepflashplayer32_32_0_0_453.dll (offset: 453: CBFCE0, 465: CBFCB8)

C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash (64-bit):
    Flash64_32_0_0_453.ocx (offset: 12AF6A8)
    NPSWF32_32_0_0_453.dll (offset: 128FBD8)
    pepflashplayer32_32_0_0_453.dll (offset: 15F6C30)

NOTE: Flash32_32_0_0_453.ocx (and Flash64) will always be write protected
    - rename it to Flash32_32_0_0_453.bak
    - save edited copy as Flash32_32_0_0_453.ocx
    - to delete the backup file:
        - properties > security > advanced > delete the "DENY Everyone" permission

Here's what I did:

  • Copy the Flash directory (C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash for 32-bit, C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash for 64-bit) to somewhere where I have write permission;
  • Use a hex editor to open Flash.ocx;
  • Search for the hexadecimal string 000040463E6F7742 (the timestamp) and replace it with 000000000000F87F;
  • Save the file;
  • Rename the Flash directory (to avoid permission issues) to Flash.bak or something else;
  • Copy the Flash directory with the modified binary to its original location.

I just tested an offline desktop application which had stopped working, and it works again.

Note: the linked page mentions mmc.cfg, but my Flash folder had a mms.cfg file instead; maybe it was a typo, but in any case I added the EOLUninstallDisable=1 line.

Note: In my case, the application using Flash works offline and should present minimal security risks. For continuous usage in a browser, I'd prefer following Tetsujin's recommendation and try a standalone but supported Flash player, such as Newgrounds'.

6
  • 1
    Yes, mmc.cfg is definitely a typo. EOLUninstallDisable=1 is a line that should be put into mms.cfg file. However, if you use this file, you can re-enable Flash Player using entries in this file, you don't have to hack the binary. See my solution and Flash Player Administration Guide. – raj Jan 13 at 11:49
  • 1
    As for standalone Flash player, you can use Adobe's own Flash Projector. Still works. – raj Jan 13 at 11:50
  • Work great! I used the HxD freeware hex editor, for info. I can use the TP-Link tpPLC app again, that those lazy guys didn't replace by anything non-flash. – Chris Browet Jan 16 at 12:47
  • This worked for me, but only for IE. No Chrome, etc. I have one embedded system still using Flash the refused to talk to IE :( – Joel Coehoorn Jan 21 at 21:03
  • I only patched NPSWF32_32_0_0_465.dll, but that was enough to use it in Firefox 78.6 ESR. I did not copy the whole directory. Instead I made a backup copy of the file, changed the permissions of the original to allow writing by the user, and then changed the file. – U. Windl Feb 10 at 12:41
9

There are potential workarounds in other answers below. This answer now probably more closely reflects the 'official stance'.

The Flash plugin itself is responsible for the block, as of 12 Jan.
Microsoft has also time-bombed their own browser, as have many of the other majors, Chrome, Firefox etc.
Apple effectively blocked Flash some time ago.

Adobe have removed all Flash downloads & all major browsers have also blocked it in their latest versions.

From Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page

Since Adobe is no longer supporting Flash Player after the EOL Date, Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, 2021 to help secure users’ systems. Flash Player may remain on the user’s system unless the user uninstalls it.

As to why it also fails on local content as well as remote web content…

From The Register - That's it. It's over. It's really over. From today, Adobe Flash Player no longer works. We're free. We can just leave

More specifically, what's happened is that Adobe snuck a logic bomb into its Flash software some releases ago that activates on January 12, and causes the code to refuse to render any more content from that date. Adobe has also removed previous versions from its site, and "strongly recommends all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems."

It also seems that Microsoft themselves will time-bomb Flash too. See the announcement at Update on Adobe Flash Player End of Support

Updated April 2021 :
To help keep our customers secure, Microsoft will remove the Flash component from Windows through the KB4577586 “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player”.

Beginning in January 2021, Adobe Flash Player will be disabled by default and all versions older than KB4561600 released in June 2020 will be blocked. Downloadable resources related to Adobe Flash Player that are hosted on Microsoft websites will no longer be available.

Note from linked page on Edge/Chromium roadmap -

Flash support/ capability will be complete removed from Chromium. It will no longer be possible to enable Flash Player with Enterprise policy in Chrome 88+.

4
  • 1
    The Newgrounds site is saying their player was also killed. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 21 at 21:31
  • More precisely "Update (Jan 2021): It appears a Windows Update implemented a global kill-switch to disable non-plugin versions of the Flash Player as well, wich also includes the Newgrounds player." – Journeyman Geek Jan 24 at 5:48
  • Paragraph about Newgrounds now removed. I'll leave this answer here as the 'official stance' answer, as there are many others concentrating on workarounds. – Tetsujin Feb 9 at 15:49
  • @Ramhound - Thanks. I've added the simple updated header from the page, about the "Update for removal…" – Tetsujin May 4 at 16:38
6

Note: this answer contains three separate, alternative approaches to this question. First is to configure Flash so that it still works after 12 Jan 2021 for selected sites - this is the one which I have tested and am currently using. Second is to use alternative browser with built-in Flash support, provided by one of the Flash gaming sites. Third is to use the Flash emulator (currently being in active development) which installs either as a browser extension, or directly on a website with Flash content as Javascript code.


#1. Configure Flash to run after 12 Jan 2021.

To run Flash content after 12 January 2021, you need:

  1. an old browser that still supports Flash plugin (and of course the Flash plugin itself)
  2. a special configuration file specifying "exception" websites, ie. the addresses where Flash content is allowed to run.

All this is documented on "Adobe Flash Player EOL Enterprise Information Page" (the regular EOL page does not contain that information): https://adobe.com/products/flashplayer/enterprise-end-of-life.html, and in the Flash Player Administration Guide linked from that page.

In short, you need to create a file called mms.cfg which should be located in the following directory, depending on operating system (if the directory does not exist, create it):

  • on Linux - /etc/adobe
  • on 64-bit Windows - C:\Windows\SysWow64\Macromed\Flash
  • on 32-bit Windows - C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash

(of course if you installed Windows in a different directory that C:\Windows, change the paths appropriately)

  • on MacOS - /Library/Application Support/Macromedia

To allow Flash content to run, you need to put in the mms.cfg file lines specifying which sites Flash player is allowed to access, in the following form:

AllowListUrlPattern=http[s]://site.domain/

If you want to specify both https and http for a site, you may put two lines for https and http, or you can use the following shortcut:

AllowListUrlPattern=*://site.domain/

(you may also specify more detailed URLs, but usually you'd want to allow the entire sites. More details are in the mentioned Flash Player Administration Guide).

You may also specify something like AllowListUrlPattern=file:/// for local files, although it looks superfluous because Firefox does not support playing local Flash files via Flash plugin anymore (it's the only browser I use, so I can't say anyhting about other ones, sorry), and standalone Flash player (aka Flash Player Projector, which is still available for download here) still runs local files specified by command line or loaded via menu option.

You can also put EOLUninstallDisable=1 into mms.cfg file to suppress prompts to uninstall Flash that are mentioned on the Flash EOL page.


#2. Use a specialized browser.

Y8, a Flash-based gaming website, seems to distribute their own browser that supports Flash. Seems to be a customized Chromium version with integrated Flash support. I haven't tried it. It can be downloaded here.

Other gaming sites, such as Newgrounds and Kongregate, also seem to provide their own Flash players, but they are both Windows-only applications and probably work only with the site they are designed for (again, I didn't test them as well). Y8's browser seems to be a more general solution.

Update: from what is written on the Newgrounds forum, their player uses the original Flash ActiveX control so it requires the mms.cfg file anyway. Newgrounds switched to using Ruffle (see below). Kongregate still advertises their player.


#3. Use the Flash emulator.

There's also a Flash emulator called Ruffle which is installed either as browser extension, or by the website owner, on a web page with Flash content as Javascript code (in this case it requires no additional installations on the browser side). Some Flash-based sites, like Armor Games, switched to use it. But it's still at early stages of development and runs only some Flash content. However, it has a chance to be a solution that will replace Flash in the future while preserving the existing Flash applications.

8
  • @Ramhound how are mms.cfg, Y8 Browser, and Ruffle a "single solution"? They are entirely independent approaches to solve the asker's problem. – root Jan 14 at 0:03
  • There are three different and alternative approaches specified above. I will edit my answer to make this clear. – raj Jan 14 at 10:18
  • 1
    Option #1 does work, but it's really just IE now I have one system that refuses to talk to IT :(. Option #2 seems kinda sketchy, and looking more, it really only loads their own site. Option #3 is... incomplete at best. Anything made since 2013 is unlikely to work. – – Joel Coehoorn Jan 21 at 21:28
  • @JoelCoehoorn You can use Y8 on any site, with a hack: right click, developer tools, find an <a> tag, change the href to your URL, then click the link. Worked for me. – Alex Hall Feb 5 at 11:12
4

You can open Flash (URLs and local files) in the official standalone players called "Flash Player projector content debugger" and "Flash Player projector".

Currently, you can download them here: https://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/debug_downloads.html


In case this link stops working, they are also here, here, and probably here. Or do a web search for the following file names:

flashplayer_32_sa.exe
flashplayer_32_sa_debug.exe
flash_player_sa_linux.x86_64.tar.gz
flash_player_sa_linux_debug.x86_64.tar.gz
flashplayer_32_sa.dmg
flashplayer_32_sa_debug.dmg
3

This worked for me. (Chrome Only, v87 or older) (As of version 88, Flash support is completely removed)

Download https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ShadowWhisperer/Shared/main/Chrome/32.0.0.371.zip

  1. Download file from link and extract the .zip
  2. Navigate to C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\PepperFlash\
  3. Delete folder inside.
  4. Place downloaded folder inside.

Structure should look like this *\Chrome\User Data\PepperFlash\32.0.0.371*

6
  • Would it not be better to link to an official release, rather than some random Dropbox? – Tetsujin Jan 15 at 8:22
  • It would, but I don't know where to get it from. * The Dropbox upload is my own. – Seaner992 Jan 15 at 14:16
  • This solution doesn't work anymore because as of version 88, Chrome removes PepperFlash folder and Flash option completely disappeared from Site Settings – Anonymous Jan 19 at 23:51
  • And point out that the solution is for Chrome only. – U. Windl Jan 20 at 7:52
  • 1
    It is crucial to use a Chrome version v87 or older. The above steps works fine with a portable version (sourceforge.net/projects/portableapps/files/…) of Chrome v87 too. Just use the appropriate path to your portable chrome profile path, like D:\path-to\GoogleChromePortable64\Data\profile\PepperFlash\32.0.0.371 – PeterCo Feb 25 at 10:11
2

I spent many hours on this and eventually found my ideal solution. After that, I found out other people are suggesting something very similar. However, I am still posting it since I am sure it will help some people, because of some details and because I am providing a working sample.

What I did is setting up a portable version of 32-bit Google Chrome for Windows equipped with last time-bomb-free version of PPAPI (Pepper) Adobe Flash.

Here it is a step-by-step description:

  1. Download Google Chrome Portable 87.0.4280.88 32-bit from PortableApps.com - please note that the latest version will not work. Some people say you need a version older than 88.0.4324.96
  2. Install it and execute it. Navigate to chrome://settings/content and enable Flash
  3. Install Flash Player PPAPI 32.0.0.371 (not a more recent one) downloading it from web.archive.org. When asked, disable every update of course.
  4. Browse to folder C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash (or C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash on 64-bit Windows) and copy files:
    • pepflashplayer32_32_0_0_371.dll
    • manifest.json
  5. Paste these two files into GoogleChromePortable\Data\profile\PepperFlash\32.0.0.371\ (new folder) and rename the dll as pepflashplayer.dll

When everything's done, you can visit Flash websites allowing them with usual per-site temporary setting.

A note about step 3: I performed it in a VirtualBox environment, so I am not sure if it will work on an updated computer. In this case, I suggest you find an old computer or use a virtualized Windows 7.

If you don't want to go through all above steps, you can download a copy I uploaded here (87 MB). This is a careful copy I created where only above steps where performed.

And of course, I recommend you use it only for trusted websites, since you are running a no-more-supported software on top of an outdated browser. I believe it has its use cases, though. My use case is the opportunity to open the settings for an old Netgear Stora NAS through its Flash-only interface.

4
  • Don't work your solution. In your Chrome version but also if I follow your tutorial appears this screen. I use last updated Windows 10 version imgur.com/wItE4iw.png - please update your instruction or share a worked version – Alex Doc Apr 22 at 14:45
  • I tried right now (download and run) my uploaded copy and it still works on my environment imgur.com/a/FCQm8z6 . My OS is Windows 10 Home 2004 (build 19041.928). Please provide an URL you cannot access so I can try it. – Kar.ma Apr 25 at 11:37
  • nope, says "Flash Player is out of date" without any recovery, just stares at you. For example here: webgames.sk/home-sheep-home/3431-0 – Tyler Apr 25 at 22:10
  • I can confirm the flash game you sent is working too, have a look here imgur.com/a/pOoWkHb . What is you OS? Let me clarify that you need to click to on "Consent" and "Run this time" buttons, just in case it helps. – Kar.ma Apr 27 at 12:51
2

Adobe removed the flash player download link from their website in 2021. Even if you have a spare copy of the installer on your computer, it still won't work as it's an "online installer" that retrieves a copy of the latest version from Adobe's website, which Adobe also deleted in 2021 so the installers Adobe provided for free download in 2020 won't work in 2021.

However I managed to get an offline installer that works for Windows, Mac, Linux, ActiveX, NPAPI and PPAPI. No internet connection is needed and it's version 32.0.0.465 the latest version.

I tried running the offline installer in 2021 and it works for me, even after Windows Update pushed an update that uninstalls Flash from the computer. You can check if Flash is installed by going to Control Panel, getting off category view. Click Flash to check the flash version, if there's no flash option then it's not installed.

The mainstream web browsers Edge, Chrome, Opera and Firefox removed support for all NPAPI plugins (chrome 45 in 2015, firefox 52 in 2017) and in 2021 they stopped their exception for Flash (chrome 87, firefox 85). So if you want a web browser that supports flash (by supporting NPAPI), use Basilisk web browser. Basilisk also supports XUL extensions that Firefox no longer supports.

So it looks like Adobe added a kill switch to Flash so the installed software would stop working after a certain date, being 12th January 2021 12/01/21. All flash embeds would be replaced with this image.

flash embed content replaced with i information icon

I've found 2 solutions to this.

Solution 1: FlashPatch

FlashPatch is a free software that patches the flash player already installed on your computer.

flashpatch screenshot

Flashpatch says to run the file as administrator, but for me I didn't need to.

It can now patch any version of flash, so it'll work with older versions, not just 32.0.0.465 for chrome (PPAPI), firefox and safari (NPAPI) and for Internet Explorer (ActiveX).

Download FlashPatch

I have the latest version of flash as an offline installer here.

Solution 2: Edit mms.cfg

The kill switch adobe uses, changes the EnableAllowList value in mms.cfg from 0 to 1 by force, so even if you change it to 0 Flash will ignore it after 12/01/21 and still keep it as 1. What this means is that instead of flash being enabled for all websites, you now have to whitelist every website you want flash to run on.

On your computer you need to edit the mms.cfg file.

This file can be found under:

  • /Library/Application Support/Macromedia/mms.cfg for Mac OS X
  • C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg for 32 bit Windows
  • C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg for 64 bit Windows

Make sure add these lines to the file with the website to whitelist, and modify them to suit the domains to whitelist. You can have multiple AllowListUrlPattern lines.

# Enable running flash on 
# only whitelisted websites
# the 12/02/21 killswitch forces this to 1
AllowListPreview=1

# Pattern to enable Your Legacy Flash Web App:
# AllowListUrlPattern=file:
# AllowListUrlPattern=*://ferryhalim.com*
# AllowListUrlPattern=*://*.ferryhalim.com

For good measure, you can also add

# Disable Automatic Updates
AutoUpdateDisable=1
SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0

# Error reporting
ErrorReportingEnable=0

# Disable prompts to uninstall Flash Player
EOLUninstallDisable = 1

# duplicate actionscript console output
# in browser's console for javascript
# TraceOutputEcho=0

You cannot have a * wildcard for the domain/dns name or TLD, but you can for the host and subdomain, so you don't need to have 2 lines for http and https or a new line for every subdomain.

Refresh the page or restart your web browser and it should work. Technical documentation on how to use AllowListUrlPattern is on Page 37 of this adobe pdf.

1
  • Thanks. FlashPatch seems to work! Interestingly, I had to remove my AllowListUrlPattern - otherwise the Content would not play (with FlashPatch) – Robert Riedl May 1 at 13:27
1

If you can find a donor plugin on an old machine, I have a solution that works for the Portable Apps version of Google Chrome.

First a note on a finding a donor: No, I won't link to one. Any donor you see online is not a legal option, and therefore likely to be at least somewhat unsafe.

Instead, look for an older computer sitting around that hasn't turned on in a few months... something recently retired. Maybe your last laptop. If you or anyone you know has such a machine sitting around, you probably have a copy of the Flash plug-in available for the taking.

In my case, to be safe, I also pulled the hard drive from an old machine and connected it as a guest disk in another computer, to be sure the Chrome updater wouldn't nuke the plugin as soon as I started the machine.

On the guest disk, look for the following folder:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Google\Chrome\User Data\PepperFlash

Where C: is the guest disk drive letter. Copy the entire contents of the PepperFlash folder.

One other thing here is Chrome claimed to include Flash out of the box, but this was only partly true. What actually happened was it downloaded flash on first use. Therefore, it's possible to find an old machine where the Flash client was never used.

Once you have your donor, look for an older version of the Chrome Portable App. In my case, version 79 still worked, and you could probably go a little newer if you want. I also took the 32-bit version, because my donor plugin came from a 32-bit machine. Most people will still want the 64-bit version.

Paste the contents of the PepperFlash folder from before in this folder of your new Portable Chrome installation directory:

\Data\Profile\PepperFlash

Now you will be able to use Flash with the Portable Chrome installation.

The following caveats still apply:

  1. Flash is still disabled by default. What changed is you now have the ability to enable it as you need.
  2. The Flash plug-in will likely show a banner complaining it's out of date (but will also include a button to let you run it anyway).
  3. Neither the Flash plug-in nor the browser will receive patches or updates of any kind. It's kinda dangerous to use this more than you absolutely need to. Think of it as a stop gap to buy some more time until you can remove your reliance on the Flash content.
1
  • This is a more-specific variant of raj's #1 option in his answer here, with more details instructions. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 21 at 21:33
0

Another answer to bypass this error for some applications

flash required

Download Macromedia from here
http://www.oldversion.com/windows/macromedia-flash-player-10

For windows you can install flashplayer10_1r53_64_winax and after that the error message vanished.

-3

BlueMaxima's Flashpoint is a project that preserves tens of thousands of games and animations. They write:

By combining the power of Apache, a custom-built launcher, and our own application called the Flashpoint Secure Player, we can play web-based media in a quick, user-friendly environment without leaving permanent changes or security holes on your computer.

If the web content you want to access is not yet available in Flashpoint, you can request it to be added by filling in a form.

2
  • Isn't that just advertising for some service? – U. Windl Jan 20 at 7:53
  • 1
    This isn't a solution for embedded devices that use Flash as part of the interface. Printers, security cameras, external hard drives, wifi controllers, etc all do this. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 21 at 21:12

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