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
First, open up the Start menu and search for Internet Explorer. Yes, it still exists on Windows 10!
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.
Solution 1: Install Flash Player
First, download the Clean Flash Player installer. This tool allows easy installation of the latest version of Flash Player, with the time bomb and other annoyances patched out.
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!
Solution 2: Patch your Flash Player
If you see the information icon on the Flash Player test page, you’ll need to activate Flash Player by patching out its time bomb. Adobe added a time bomb to Flash Player in order to prevent it from being used after January 12, 2021. Luckily, patching out the time bomb is easy!
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.
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!