If you use Chrome as your default browser, it may have shown you a message telling you Flash is going to be discontinued in December 2020 which, technically, is a good year away. Still, the warning comes with a little button that lets you disable Flash right away. If you clicked it and are interested in using Flash for the rest of its lifespan, you can enable it again fairly easily.
Flash player in Chrome
Enabling Flash in Chrome is fairly easy. Open the browser and click the more options button at the top right. From the menu, select Settings. On the Settings page, scroll to the end and click Advanced. Click ‘Site Settings’.
Go through the various settings for websites and you will find Flash. Click it and on the Flash screen, turn the switch On.
This will enable Flash however, it will still not run automatically when a website needs it to. Although Flash is enabled in Chrome, it runs on a need-to-run only basis. This means that when you encounter a website that needs to run Flash, you will still see the ‘Adobe Flash Player is blocked’ message where the flash content is supposed to play.
To get it to play, click the little pad lock icon in the URL bar. In the menu that opens, you will see a Flash option with a dropdown next to it. Open it, and select Allow. The page will reload automatically. If it doesn’t, go ahead and refresh it yourself. When the page reloads, the Flash based content will play.
What happens in December 2020?
December 2020 is, at the time of writing, a good 17 months away. That’s over a year. Anyone who is still running Flash content on a website is going to have to update it to use something else. YouTube used to run on Flash too but it has long since switched over to HTML5.
Not all flash content, especially the games, can just be moved to HTML5. The content that can be ported over to HTML5 will take time and it’s really on its last leg if the most popular web browser is now showing prompts to disable it.
For websites that do not update their content, they likely will no longer work after the deadline. It’s not even a browser limitation once the deadline passes. Flash is going to be discontinued. Any hacks to get around it will be unsafe and they will expire soon.