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How to Use Flash Without Using Flash

Credit: Unsplash

Gone, but not forgotten.

When the year rolled over, the three main PC internet browsers, Edge, Firefox, and Chrome, all officially discontinued support for Adobe Flash Player. We all knew it was coming, and have been for a while now, but it still kinda stings knowing that beloved file format is no longer accessible. Any attempts to load Flash content will give you a warning that support has been discontinued and encourage you to uninstall the plugin, which in fairness, you should, because it is vulnerable. But while a lot sites and such have long since made preparations for this, there are still things out there that require Flash to view, such as older games and cartoons. If you’re feeling nostalgic, there are ways to circumvent Flash’s discontinuation.

The simplest, though perhaps least advisable method, would be to load the Flash plugin in an older browser. I couldn’t tell you why, but most Windows 10-running PCs still have the original Internet Explorer installed on them somewhere, even if Edge is already there. It’s a mystery, but for once, that old piece of junk could be useful, as it can run an older version of Flash and won’t prod you for it. Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem of Flash’s inherit vulnerabilities.

A better solution would be to use an intermediary to run your Flash files. Currently, one of the most popular options is Ruffle, a Flash emulator that can run the files without putting your system at risk. Ruffle can be used as both a standalone program on your desktop or as a plugin for either Chrome or Firefox. It’s still a little experimental, so not all games and cartoons may load properly, but development is still ongoing, and they’re making good progress on tweaking it.

While playing stuff in Flash is no longer an option, some sites and creatives still like to use Flash to make stuff. Flash as we know it may be gone, but you don’t have to miss out on that stuff.