At my job we’ve got a product that relies heavily on Flash. The last couple of days I’ve had a number of users complain that, all of a sudden, they couldn’t view Flash content any more. Common for all of them were their browser – Chrome. It would seem that, somehow, the native Chrome Flash player got disabled by itself all of a sudden.
What’s especially unusual about this is that Chrome has a built-in Flash player, so if anyone, Chrome users should be able to view Flash content. Digging deeper I found that the built-in Flash player extension had been disabled. To check if that’s the case, see here:
Chrome Settings => Show advanced settings... => Privacy => Content settings... => Plug-ins => Disable individual plug-ins...
By just clicking “Enable”, everything is working again. But how did it get disabled? This is such a convoluted place to find that I know the users haven’t done so themselves. Looking at Twitter, it seems we’re not alone in seeing this:
I wonder why my Chrome Flash Player plugin suddenly disabled itself whilst I was listening to the radio; very odd. Enabled & all seems fine.— Gill (@AnandaWoW) 27. feb. 2013
but sorted it out :3 stupid chrome had adobe flash player listed as ‘disabled’ -.- which is stupid cause flash player runs everything D:— BazingaofSuburbia (@RachofSuburbia) 26. feb. 2013
Crisis averted. Turns out the flash player in Chrome had been disabled. Video watching can now commence :)— Lin (@linnysvault) 26. feb. 2013
@astracius And all sorted thanks to Chrome being awesome (no idea how Flash was disabled though).— David Wilson (@Astracius) 26. feb. 2013
@kevinmenzel nah, just realized flash somehow got disabled in google chrome. but thank you— junctionette (@junctionette) 26. feb. 2013
Who the fuck went on the computer and disabled Flash on Google Chrome? Why would someone do that? That was annoying.— Nathan. (@envyonthetoast) 26. feb. 2013
… I think you get the picture. It seems that all of our users had just had their Flash player auto update itself. I’m wondering, could the Internet Explorer Flash plugin perhaps updated itself and, by mistake, disabled the Chrome plugin? If the built-in Chrome Flash player is disabled, Chrome will try to use the regular Flash plugin. However, the Internet Explorer version won’t work in Chrome, so that won’t work.
Anyone else experienced this? Any tips on what’s causing it? The fix is simple, but I’d really like to understand what’s causing this, as well as knowing how widespread the issue is.