Fact-checked by Justyn Newman

If you are trying to download Adobe Flash and having difficulties finding a reliable source for it, well, there’s a reason. Adobe Flash was discontinued in December 2020. Therefore, you better not search for an unauthorized or old version of Flash, as these are often a source of malware and viruses.

If you have access to the original Flash files (.SWF) that were used to create the content, you can use Adobe Animate (formerly Flash Professional) to open and export them to a modern format such as HTML5 or WebGL. This way, you can convert the Flash content into a format that is compatible with modern web technology.

Why Did Adobe Stop Supporting Flash?

There are 3 main reasons why Adobe stopped supporting Flash:

  • Too many security vulnerabilities: Flash websites, games, and applications were a common target for hackers due to multiple security vulnerabilities. While Adobe did its best to release security patches and updates it found that it wasn’t able to keep up with the constantly evolving threat landscape
  • Compatibility issues: Flash didn’t work well on Android devices and Apple blocked it from working on iOS. This was a major problem as mobile devices became more mainstream. There were also compatibility issues with some browsers since Flash was a proprietary format, and each browser was required to implement its own Flash player.
  • The emergence of HTML5. HTML5 is an open standard that offers many of the same features as Flash, but without security or compatibility problems. As HTML5 grew in popularity, there was no need for Adobe to continue investing in Flash updates.

Since two of the three causes of the Flash EOL plan are related to compatibility and performance issues, there is no reason for developers to attempt to add Flash based elements on their websites or applications. Similarly, if you’re on a website that still requires a Flash plugin to work, you should avoid the site. It means that the website hasn’t been updated in at least three years, probably more, can open you up to a cyberattack, and if you’re on a mobile device, it won’t work anyways.

Alternatives to Flash for Developers

HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3: HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3 are the core technologies for creating interactive and multimedia web content. HTML5 offers native support for audio and video elements, the canvas element for 2D graphics, and various APIs for animations and interactivity. JavaScript is a versatile and widely used programming language for enhancing web applications, while CSS3 provides powerful animation and styling capabilities. Together, these technologies enable web developers to create a wide range of interactive content without relying on proprietary plugins like Flash.

WebGL: The JavaScript API enables hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in web browsers. It is well-suited for creating 3D games, simulations, visualizations, and interactive experiences. WebGL leverages the power of the GPU and is supported by modern web browsers, making it an excellent choice for developers interested in 3D graphics and immersive content.

WebAssembly (Wasm): A binary instruction format that runs at near-native speed in web browsers. It allows developers to compile languages like C, C++, and Rust to highly efficient code that can be executed within the browser. WebAssembly is versatile and can be used to create interactive and high-performance applications, games, and simulations. It is a powerful alternative to Flash for developers who need performance and low-level control over their web applications.

Alternatives to View Flash Elements

Ruffle: An open-source Flash Player emulator that allows you to view existing Flash content in modern web browsers. It is designed to replicate the functionality of the Adobe Flash Player, making it a suitable option for websites and applications that rely on Flash-based content.

BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint: Flashpoint is a webgame preservation project that aims to archive and provide access to thousands of Flash games and animations. It includes a dedicated player that allows you to play Flash content offline.


When did Adobe discontinue Flash?

In July 2017 Adobe announced that it will stop supporting Flash on December 31, 2020. This gave web developers enough time to upgrade their websites and find alternate solutions for their content.

Why can’t I view Flash content on my old Flash player?

Adobe issued the Flash End of Life (EOL) due to multiple security and compatibility issues. In January 20921 Adobe blocked the Flash Player from playing Flash content to prevent people from using it and opening themselves up to security vulnerabilities.

Can I use older browsers that still have Flash support to view Flash content?

There are legacy browsers that were released before Flash support was removed, and they may still have the ability to run Flash-based content. However, since Flash is insecure and outdated, it’s best to avoid it whenever possible. A better option is to use a Flash alternative to view the content.
Download Adobe Flash Player now!