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Shockwave isn't really used as much as Flash. You might be able to just get rid of it.

I have Google and Mozilla browsers. My Shockwave keeps crashing. I've unloaded and reloaded it. I have a Dell Inspiron 518 and I'm moderately computer literate. Help!

In this excerpt from Answercast #66, I look at a computer with Shockwave that is crashing regularly.

Shockwave crashing

Well, my first recommendation, actually, is probably not very obvious. Uninstall Shockwave and don't reinstall it.

In reality, what's happened is: Shockwave is being used by fewer and fewer sites on the internet. Most people just don't need it. There's simply no reason to have it on your machine.

So that's the very first thing I would do is: I would uninstall it, uninstall it completely; either in "Add/remove Programs," or in your browser's add-ons, or both. Like I said, Shockwave just isn't something I expect most people are needing from day to day.

Needing Shockwave

If you're one of those exceptions... there are still some old game sites, and so forth, that actually implement their games using Shockwave. What I would do in your case is:

  • I would completely uninstall it;

  • I would fire up Revo Uninstaller to essentially force a more thorough uninstall of the program, and of the add-ons.

  • I would make sure that the add-ons have been uninstalled from both of your browsers;

  • And then, I would reinstall it from scratch, from a fresh download.

The problem might very well be that uninstalling it (whatever techniques you've been using in the past) may not have been uninstalling absolutely everything, and may have been leaving some traces that are causing it to be confused when it gets reloaded.

Reinstall the browsers

The other approach that I might take would be to actually uninstall both of the browsers as well. It is possible that the uninstall of Shockwave, again, isn't complete. It may have left something that is confusing the browsers to the point where the only way to solve that problem would be to uninstall and reinstall the browsers themselves.

That is pretty extreme and that's why I list it last. I'm hoping, I'm actually really hoping that you don't need Shockwave and you can simply uninstall it.

Shockwave and Flash

To clarify, you'll often see the terms Shockwave and Flash used together.

As it turns out, they are not related. They are two separate things.

While it is very common to need Flash for various things, like viewing movies or any number of other random dynamic things on the internet, Shockwave, just isn't really being used in that same way - and to that degree.

So I would definitely avoid it if at all possible. Uninstall and see if that doesn't just work for you.

Article C5985 - November 1, 2012 « »

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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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