Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Flash in 64-bit Internet Explorer won't work if it is the 32-bit version of IE running on a 64-bit machine. Confused? You're not alone!

On my Windows 7 Home Edition, 64-bit, with Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, the files of the page with "Flash" to show them come on with a warning, "Sorry, you have to update Adobe Flash", which I do as per its link making sure that the selected one is for 64-bit as the message shows. I reopen the page and get the same error message again. I do not have this problem when I use Google Chrome or using Windows XP with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.

In this excerpt from Answercast #82, I look at some confusion around 32-bit and 64-bit as it refers to both an operating system and to versions of Internet Explorer.

Flash in 64-bit Internet Explorer

Well, there's definitely some confusion here. I've got a pretty strong guess as to what's going on.

Not only is your system 64-bit, but Microsoft included on Windows 7 two different versions of Internet Explorer: a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version.

64 bit and 32 bit

The 32-bit version works just fine in 64-bit Windows. In reality, I'm not sure there's much of a reason to use the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer ever.

That being said, my guess is that what you are doing is you are running the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer (which as I said, is fine), but you're installing the 64-bit version of Flash.

Now when it says "64 bits," it's not really referring to what your operating system is, what it means is what version of Internet Explorer you're installing it into.

My recommendation is that you repeat the process, but this time install the 32-bit version of Flash.

Yes, you're installing it on the 64-bit operating system; that's OK. You'll be running it with a 32-bit version of Internet Explorer, which is exactly what you want. And yes, by providing both versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has indeed confused many, many people.

But, like I said, the 32-bit version works just fine and I would strongly recommend that you give this a try.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6182 - December 27, 2012 « »

Share this article with your friends:

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article Email a link to this article
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.

Not what you needed?

December 28, 2012 7:50 PM

Just exactly how does one install the 32-bit version of Flash? Does Adobe give you that option? I don't think it has ever done that for me.

Tom Hunn, Estepona, Spain
December 30, 2012 5:36 AM

I have to agree with Natalie about Flash giving no option.

My wife's computer had the same problem as initially described except her's was in WIN7 32 bit.

Uninstalling Flash Player, rebooting and then re-installing when asked to by YouTube, seems to have fixed the problem.

December 30, 2012 7:15 PM

Is the same true for Firefox? I have this problem in IE and Firefox.

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.