How to re-activate Flash for Firefox on Windows

On July 13th, 2015, Mozilla announced that it would begin blocking Flash within Firefox. If you use Firefox regularly, you might have noticed this happen sooner than announced. If you’re like a few people I know, your Facebook games likely stopped working. That’s because they, and a lot of other web content, depends on Flash to work. Mozilla’s revolt against the multimedia software isn’t unjustified, though. Adobe Flash is often subject to security holes and the source of hacks or malicious behaviors. Mozilla’s demands are for Adobe to finally fix the security problem with Flash once and for all. Although, with most of the web moving to new standards that can replace the need of Flash, I favor the death of Flash and embrace the evolution of what’s new — if only existing publishers would convert their Flash products to be HTML5 compliant.

However, all of us can’t simply turn off Flash and live happily ever after. If you’re using Firefox and see that something indicating that Flash is blocked or not installed, follow the steps below.

The error message:

flash blocked

This plugin is vulnerable and should be updated. Activate Adobe Flash

If you see this or something similar indicating that Flash is not installed, then Firefox is blocking Flash.

Enable Flash in Plugins:

firefox menu

  1. Click the Firefox menu button on the top right corner, just under the X to close the window
  2. Click on Add-ons
  3. Click on Plugins on the left
  4. Scroll down to Shockwave Flash and make sure it says “Ask to Activate” on the right – if not, change it so that it reads this.
    1. Always Activate is dangerous and can leave you vulnerable to malicious activity on suspicious websites.
  5. Close the tab

This step only ensured Flash isn’t completely disabled, but it isn’t necessarily active yet either. What we’ve done is put Flash in sort of a limbo state of neither on nor off, but rather asks us for permission to activate it.

Allowing Flash on trusted websites:

firefox allow

  1. When you visit a website you’re familiar with and can trust, look for the initial error message
  2. Click on Activate Adobe Flash
  3. Choose either “Allow Now” or “Allow and Remember”
    1. Allow Now – activates Flash for this one time, blocks it again next time you visit. This may be good to use on websites you’re not familiar with or don’t fully trust.
    2. Allow and Remember – activates Flash on this website every time you visit.


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