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

Flash crashing in Firefox means something is wrong with either Flash or Firefox. We'll take an investigative approach to get running again.

Running Windows 7, Home Premium with Firefox 18.0.1 and Adobe Flash 11. Adobe Flash does not work in Firefox probably 90% of the time. However it works fine in Chrome and IE. On Firefox, which is my usual browser, when clicking to play a YouTube video or any other video on any other website, the following is displayed: "The Adobe Flash plugin has crashed. No report is available. Reload the page to try again." Reloading the page of course has no effect. Firefox, Windows and Adobe Flash are all up-to-date. This is driving me nuts and I really hope you can help. My computer man says his crashes all the time too.

In this excerpt from Answercast #101, I look at an installation of Firefox that is crashing while watching videos.

Flash crashes in Firefox

Well, there are two approaches to this problem. There's the practical approach, which you're probably not going to like, and then there's the investigative approach.

Switch browsers

The practical approach is... well, you know what? If it's working in IE and Chrome, use IE or Chrome.

Clearly, things are working there - just avoid the problem rather than fixing the problem.

Try to fix Firefox

Now, as to why it's crashing in Firefox? That's the investigative approach. Let's take a look and see what is going on in Firefox.

The very first thing that I would do is actually disable all of the add-ons in Firefox. That may happen to disable the Adobe Flash add-on, which you can then re-enable to test out whether it's made a difference.

If it hasn't, what I would actually do is uninstall Firefox completely; uninstall Adobe Flash completely. I would even potentially go so far as to use Revo Uninstaller to make sure that "completely" really means completely.

Reinstall fresh programs

Then, I would reinstall Firefox from scratch. I would download the latest Firefox and install it. Then, before installing any of the plug-ins you might have, I would immediately go to a site like YouTube and try and watch a video.

It will prompt you, saying, "You need Flash for this." See if, at that point, a fresh installation of Flash into a fresh installation of Firefox might work. My guess is that it will.

Either of two things will have happened:

  • Either there was just something wrong about the Firefox installation;

  • Or the Flash installation was manifesting as a crash when you tried to display video in Firefox.

We don't know which it is, but we do know that a clean reinstall cleared it up.

Reinstall your addons last

The other thing that might happen is - as you now go back and add the various add-ons you had in Firefox, one of those might cause the problem to reappear.

I suggest that you be very careful about how you go about reinstalling your add-ins in Firefox. In fact do them one at a time... very carefully - making sure to try a video after each one.

If after installing a plug-in the video starts failing in the way that you've described, well, then you know it's that plug-in's fault. Don't use that plug-in.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6385 - April 7, 2013 « »

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?

April 7, 2013 10:55 AM

Adobe Flash Player is probably working in Google Chrome because Google integrates Adobe Flash Player ino the web browser.

Billy Bob
April 7, 2013 5:58 PM

Good one! I use Firefox, and have no problems with Flash, so I don't have any good ideas.

Except, is it a different version of Flash for each browser, or they they all share one? I don't know. Maybe try installing Flash _from_ Firefox to see if the problem moves to another browser?

April 8, 2013 9:54 AM

Adobe added a new security mode for Flash in Firefox from version 11.3 called Protected mode. I don't think this is applicable to Chrome or IE.

If the previous suggestions don't work try disabling Protected mode. Adobe give instructions on how to do this : Look at the bottom of the link below in their forums

April 9, 2013 10:20 AM

Could not install Flash, even after removing it with Revo. This lasted for two-months. Meanwhile, went to Ice-Dragon, and love it!

April 9, 2013 4:03 PM

I just did a fresh install of Windows to clear up little odd problems that were getting hard to track down.

My approach is not to install any add-ins into Firefox, unless a website I want to visit requests it (so Flash is already installed).

I'm also not installing all my software. Just the stuff I need, as I need it. I figure less stuff to mess me up again.

April 12, 2013 12:40 AM

It happened with me when i installed Chrome. I tried unnistall Flash, get older versions, then unnistall Firefox and then finally unnistall Chrome. Now the videos on Firefox are back to normal. I don't know, but maybe the versions of the Flash of both (in my case) browsers got in conflict.

April 12, 2013 11:32 AM

Here's what worked for me, after trying many other things, so far Flash has stopped crashing;

device mgr >display adapters>right click on the display adapter and uninstall, reboot and let the computer re-install the software.

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.