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How to check if Flash Player is working

Some Internet video content and animations won't display in your browser properly if you don't have the latest version of Adobe's Flash Shockwave Player installed and configured correctly. While being spared Flash-based banner ads may be no bad thing, you'll probably find being unable to view your favourite streaming video clips and catch-up TV services somewhat less of a blessing. If your installation of Flash appears to be playing up, you can check it out and get troubleshooting by using Adobe's Online Flash test tool.

Navigate to Adobe's "Test Adobe Shockwave Player" page. If you see an animation playing in a labelled box, you have a working version of Flash installed for your browser. Depending on which browser you're using, you may be prompted to download an add-on to get Flash working properly.

Click on the "Test your Adobe Flash Player installation" link to check you're running the most up-to-date version of the software. You'll be presented with a list of the most recent versions of Flash for a range of operating systems and browsers. Click though to the "Player Download Center" to update to the latest version if you're running old software.

Turn off any add-ons or plug-ins that could be causing problems with your installation of Flash if you're experiencing issues. Pop-up and ad blockers and other software can stop Flash from working properly. If you have problems downloading Flash, make sure you're running the most recent version of the browser you're using, ensure JavaScript is enabled and check that your anti-virus software isn't flagging Adobe's installation files as malware. You'll need to consult your software's user guide for instructions on how to do this. Then attempt to download and test the player again.

Tip

Flash is integrated and enabled in Google's Chrome browser by default and updates automatically. If you're having trouble streaming video content despite having a working version of Flash installed, you may need to download another player such as Microsoft's Silverlight.

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About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.