Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Why does Flash keep crashing in Firefox, but work fine in Chrome and IE?


Running Windows 7, Home Premium with Firefox 18.0.1 and Adobe Flash 11.
Adobe Flash does not work in Firefox probably 90% of the time. However it works
fine in Chrome and IE. On Firefox, which is my usual browser, when clicking to
play a YouTube video or any other video on any other website, the following is
displayed: “The Adobe Flash plugin has crashed. No report is available. Reload
the page to try again.” Reloading the page of course has no effect. Firefox,
Windows and Adobe Flash are all up-to-date. This is driving me nuts and I
really hope you can help. My computer man says his crashes all the time

In this excerpt from
Answercast #101
, I look at an installation of Firefox that is crashing while
watching videos.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Flash crashes in Firefox

Well, there are two approaches to this problem. There’s the practical
approach, which you’re probably not going to like, and then there’s the
investigative approach.

Switch browsers

The practical approach is… well, you know what? If it’s working in IE and
Chrome, use IE or Chrome.

Clearly, things are working there – just avoid the problem rather than
fixing the problem.

Try to fix Firefox

Now, as to why it’s crashing in Firefox? That’s the investigative approach.
Let’s take a look and see what is going on in Firefox.

The very first thing that I would do is actually disable all of the add-ons in
Firefox. That may happen to disable the Adobe Flash add-on, which you can then
re-enable to test out whether it’s made a difference.

If it hasn’t, what I would actually do is uninstall Firefox completely;
uninstall Adobe Flash completely. I would even potentially go so far as to use
Revo Uninstaller to make sure that “completely” really means completely.

Reinstall fresh programs

Then, I would reinstall Firefox from scratch. I would download the latest
Firefox and install it. Then, before installing any of the plug-ins you might
have, I would immediately go to a site like YouTube and try and watch a

It will prompt you, saying, “You need Flash for this.” See if, at that
point, a fresh installation of Flash into a fresh installation of Firefox might
work. My guess is that it will.

Either of two things will have happened:

  • Either there was just something wrong about the Firefox

  • Or the Flash installation was manifesting as a crash when you tried
    to display video in Firefox.

We don’t know which it is, but we do know that a clean reinstall cleared it

Reinstall your addons last

The other thing that might happen is – as you now go back and add the
various add-ons you had in Firefox, one of those might cause the problem to

I suggest that you be very careful about how you go about reinstalling your
add-ins in Firefox. In fact do them one at a time… very carefully – making
sure to try a video after each one.

If after installing a plug-in the video starts failing in the way that
you’ve described, well, then you know it’s that plug-in’s fault. Don’t use that

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

7 comments on “Why does Flash keep crashing in Firefox, but work fine in Chrome and IE?”

  1. Adobe Flash Player is probably working in Google Chrome because Google integrates Adobe Flash Player ino the web browser.

  2. Good one! I use Firefox, and have no problems with Flash, so I don’t have any good ideas.

    Except, is it a different version of Flash for each browser, or they they all share one? I don’t know. Maybe try installing Flash _from_ Firefox to see if the problem moves to another browser?

  3. Adobe added a new security mode for Flash in Firefox from version 11.3 called Protected mode. I don’t think this is applicable to Chrome or IE.

    If the previous suggestions don’t work try disabling Protected mode. Adobe give instructions on how to do this : Look at the bottom of the link below in their forums

  4. Could not install Flash, even after removing it with Revo. This lasted for two-months. Meanwhile, went to Ice-Dragon, and love it!

  5. I just did a fresh install of Windows to clear up little odd problems that were getting hard to track down.

    My approach is not to install any add-ins into Firefox, unless a website I want to visit requests it (so Flash is already installed).

    I’m also not installing all my software. Just the stuff I need, as I need it. I figure less stuff to mess me up again.

  6. It happened with me when i installed Chrome. I tried unnistall Flash, get older versions, then unnistall Firefox and then finally unnistall Chrome. Now the videos on Firefox are back to normal. I don’t know, but maybe the versions of the Flash of both (in my case) browsers got in conflict.

  7. Here’s what worked for me, after trying many other things, so far Flash has stopped crashing;

    device mgr >display adapters>right click on the display adapter and uninstall, reboot and let the computer re-install the software.


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.