How to Reactivate Flash-based Games and Screensavers on Windows 10 or 8.1

If you have an old Flash-based screensaver or game on your Windows PC, it probably stopped working in January of 2021. This is because Flash-based Windows applications usually rely on the Flash ActiveX control, which is also used by Internet Explorer. That means Flash’s removal from browsers like Internet Explorer also affected your screensavers and games. But never fear; with a few simple steps, you can get Flash Player up and running again!

(Note: This article has been updated on June 20, 2021. I now recommend using the Clean Flash installer because Adobe has disabled the archived official installers. I have updated the article to reflect this.)

Check your Flash plugin

Now copy and paste the following URL into Internet Explorer’s address bar: https://n0samu.github.io/flash-player-check.html

This will open my Flash Player test page. If you see a blank red box, go to Solution 1 and install Flash Player. If you see a Flash Player information icon like the image below, go to Solution 2.

The Flash Player information icon (time bomb screen)

Solution 1: Install Flash Player

Double-click the Flash installer to run it. Allow it to run as an Administrator if prompted, and close any web browser windows that you have open. After it finishes, open Internet Explorer and go back to my Flash Player test page. You should see your Flash Player version in the red box, and your Flash-based programs should work again!

What you’ll see if Flash Player installed successfully. (Your version may be different, though.)

Solution 2: Patch your Flash Player

First, download the FlashPatch tool. Be sure to download the FlashPatch.zip file. Next, right-click the downloaded file and click “Extract All.”

After it’s done extracting, double-click the FlashPatch program (FlashPatch.exe) and allow it to run. Click the “Patch” button, then close all of your browser windows (including Internet Explorer) when told to do so.

The FlashPatch program window

Finally, open Internet Explorer and go back to my Flash Player test page. You should see your Flash Player version in the red box, and your Flash-based programs should work again!

What you’ll see if Flash Player was successfully patched. (Your version may be different, though.)

Administrator at BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint, Discord community manager at Ruffle. I enjoy writing about technology and its history.