Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Confirmed: Newest Flash Update Crashes In Firefox

If like me, you’ve been having trouble with Flash in Firefox, you’re not alone. Mozilla has confirmed that the latest update to Flash is causing problems with some Firefox users. Mozilla is telling users that the company is working with Adobe to fix the problem but as of yet there is no solid solution.

Some Firefox users on Windows Vista and Windows 7 are experiencing problems when viewing videos in Adobe Flash Player 11.3, released on June 8, 2012. Firefox and/or Flash Player may crash or not load videos using Flash Player, or videos may not display correctly. Adobe and Mozilla are working closely to diagnose and address these issues. In the meantime, Firefox users experiencing problems viewing videos in Flash Player should try the workarounds listed in this help article. We will post an update on this blog once that happens.

Last week Adobe released Flash Player 11.3, with support for secure sandboxing in Firefox. That is where all the problems started. At this time it's uncertain as to what the exact issue is but it appears to be related to the sandboxing feature. If you aren't aware of what sandboxing is its a built in security feature that is meant to mitigate attacks and keep damage limited so it won’t spill over into the rest of the browser or even the operating system.

For now Mozilla’s suggestion is to “uninstall Flash 11.3 and downgrade to Flash 11.2.”

Some readers might note that Mozilla is saying this is related to video. Personally I've had nothing but issues with just about any type of flash. For now I temporarily disabled Flash and plan on trying to re-install the older version to see if that helps.

How to Uninstall Flash 11.3

To uninstall Flash 11.3 on Windows, you will need to use the uninstaller provided by Adobe.
  1. Download the uninstaller program from Adobe - uninstall_flash_player.exe (671 KB)
  2. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (File menu in Windows XP) and then click Exit.
  3. Run the uninstall Flash program that you download and follow the prompts.
  4. When you are finished, start Firefox again and continue with the next section - Install Flash 11.2
See the Adobe help article Uninstalling Flash Player on Windows for more details.

Install Flash 11.2

  1. Download the archive of older versions of Flash from the Adobe site - Flash 11.2 (170MB)
  2. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (File menu in Windows XP) and then click Exit.
  3. Open your downloads folder and look for the file named fp_11.2.202.233_archive.zip
  4. Double-click the fp_11.2.202.233_archive.zip file and browse though the folders. You will have to look for the Flash 11.2 installer. It is named flashplayer11_2r202_233_win_32bit.exe (If you are using the 64-bit version of Firefox, look for the installer named flashplayer11_2r202_233_win_64bit.exe)
  5. Drag the installer to your desktop, then double-click it to start the installation.
    Flash installer file - Win

  6. The last step of the Flash install program asks you to choose your update method. You should choose Notify me when updates are available to prevent Flash 11.3 from being re-installed automatically.
    Flash update options - Win

If all goes well you should see far fewer crashes when using Flash, or on Flash heavy website.

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