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If Macromedia Flash is crashing or faulting, the best and possibly the safest thing to do is to simply reinstall it.

I repeatedly get a popup message telling me that Macromedia Flash has stopped a potentially unsafe operation which instructs me to click on a displayed "Settings" button. First, is this legitimate? And second, how do I stop it? I have tried clicking on "Settings," but nothing happens, and the message keeps popping up.

It really depends on what you're doing at the time. You didn't say, but I'll assume you're actually using your web browser when this pops up.

I don't know if you'd consider this good news or bad, but the message is probably legitimate.

Naturally, if you are concerned about viruses or spyware (as you rightfully should be), then make sure you're following all the appropriate steps to keep your computer safe.

My first reaction to the scenario was to recommend reinstalling Macromedia Flash. Flash is a technology that lets you view videos and animations on web sites, and can be downloaded and installed from Adobe's Macromedia Flash Player Download Center.

However looking into the problem a little further, I found a few traces of people experiencing this very problem after upgrading Flash, so re-downloading it may, or may not, actually help.

In fact, there's an Adobe Knowledgebase article on the topic: Security changes in Flash Player 8.

Linked from there is a TechNote: How do I let local Flash content communicate with the Internet? that details the steps you probably need to take to avoid this message in the future.

Article C2637 - April 28, 2006 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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6 Comments
Steve S.
May 1, 2006 5:09 AM

You may be interested to know that a number of AOL users (like myself) were experiencing this problem. AOL, with considerable prodding, eventually suggested this solution:

Go to: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager04.html

and select ALWAYS ALLOW; close the page and restart the computer.

I did this, and it appears to have solved the problem.

Ray
May 7, 2006 7:29 PM

It's also worth noting that because of a recent patent dispute that Microsoft lost against an outfit called Eolas, there are a number of things changing in the way embedded content is displayed inside Internet Explorer. Since Flash is one of the most ubiquitous examples, it's where you're going to see alot of strange things happening. Things that used to be seamless are now going to have security-related pop-ups and other obstacles. This doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with Flash, it's mostly a problem with how sites are trying to figure out new and better ways to implement Flash objects within the new framework required by Eolas's stupid patent.

There are also occasional browser issues that may cause the system to think the loading of the Flash plug-in is improper, but that's more about the quirky browser than anything to do with Flash.

Finally, you will find some websites that rail against Flash that try to portray Flash as responsible for all manner of ills, including security problems, global warming, and male pattern baldness (I think). A lot of the anti-Flash sentiment comes from technology snobs who have a beef with Flash because it's quickly supplanting Javascript, which stopped evolving as a programming language several years ago and is showing its age. Leo's suggestion to get a clean updated install from the Adobe site is a very good one.

Iulian
October 25, 2006 10:01 PM

I`ts a stupidity not because of security but because the way is done, what if I have a computer that i`ts not connected to the internet and I whant to view that flash contents. I know from experience that you can`t do nothing localy, so... you have to go online (but I don`t have an online connection and I still whant to see that flash).
Thanks!

Matt H.
April 25, 2007 5:50 PM

I wanted to put a flash intro on my site and have the animated enter site button take me to the main html, but I guess i'll have to put in a normal html button to make it work without causing everyone who visits my site to go through a long change settings process.

Adey
December 7, 2009 5:38 AM

Damn Microsoft and their security issues with Windows... this is the reason Adobe have to add this annoying layer of security. On a mac you can safely turn it off with minimum risk via 'Adobe Flash Settings Manager' > Global Settings > Allow All.

No more annoying pop-ups.

Bob
June 28, 2010 8:25 AM

Over the years, I've seen a number of similar issues like this. Microsoft are prevented from monopolising a particular piece of software or service, so they promote their own version and make it difficult to use anyone else's.

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