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Starred by 62 users

Issue metadata

Status: WontFix
Closed: Nov 2017
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Windows , Chrome
Pri: 2
Type: Bug-Regression

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Issue 767342: UI no longer exists to run .swf URLs

Reported by, Sep 21 2017

Issue description

UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/62.0.3198.0 Safari/537.36

Steps to reproduce the problem:
1. Change chrome://settings->Advanced->Content Settings->Flash to "Ask First".
2. Try opening any .swf URL in the browser.
3. The .swf file gets downloaded.

What is the expected behavior?
The user should be asked if Flash Player can be used to run the .swf file.

What went wrong?
In Chrome 60, the correct way to run a .swf is to enable "Allow site to use Flash" but disable "Ask First" in chrome://settings->Advanced->Content Settings->Flash.

However, with Chrome 62, which implements the change in
the "Allow site to use Flash" setting has been removed.

This means that the user no longer has a way to enable Flash Player for .swf files in the address bar.

Did this work before? Yes Chrome 60 (probably -- didn't test Chrome 61)

Chrome version: 62.0.3198.0  Channel: n/a
OS Version: 6.2 (Windows 8)
Flash Version: 

This is an identical issue to 761679.

The last comment on that issue said to "Feel free to undupe if it's a different issue."

I believe it's a different issue; however, I do not know how to undupe a bug report, so I can at best submit another identical bug report.

Comment 1 by, Sep 21 2017

Labels: Needs-Bisect Needs-Triage-M62

Comment 2 by, Sep 22 2017

Labels: -Needs-Bisect Triaged-ET M-63
Status: Untriaged (was: Unconfirmed)
Able to reproduce the issue on reported version 62.0.3198.0 , latest canary 63.0.3222.0 and on latest stable 61.0.3163.91 with the below mentioned steps using windows 7 

This seems to be a Non-Regression issue seen from M-50[50.0.2624.0]. 
Hence, removing Needs-Bisect label and marking it as Untriaged for further updates on this issue

Comment 3 by, Nov 8 2017

Affecting more than just Windows as well.  Also affecting ChromeOS and Mac.

Comment 4 by, Nov 8 2017

Also cannot open saved .swf files as of Chrome 62 - dragging the file to a new tab no longer works, and entering the "file:///" url results in the aforementioned downloading.

Comment 5 by, Nov 14 2017

This is only affecting non-embedded SWF objects.  If the website uses the object tag, it works as intended.

Comment 6 by, Nov 15 2017

Hello team, 
another case was reported with the same issue, you can reproduce it going to and try to access to any activity to reproduce the issue

Comment 7 by, Nov 15 2017

Our school district uses a swf file with the teaching of how a library is organized.  With the latest version of chrome being used by our schools (62.0.3202.94 (Official Build) (64-bit)), it no longer works from the URL and, instead, prompts to download.  
THe .swf game is located directly at

Flash is currently set to run on ask and both the main source site as well as my local site have been given permission to allow running flash.  Flash version is the current version being used.  I have been able to reproduce the same results with chrome and canary on windows 7, windows 8, and windows 10.  The problem is not present in IE11 or Firefox.

To test with, I downloaded the file and made a local website for it.  Using either <object> or <embed> HTML tags does allow it to work, but we don't have an active website for students to access outside of the district.  

I am not sure if it is related, but our district also uses and while their troubleshooter shows that flash is not running, flash will run under the same browser settings.  It displays that flash is blocked, even though it is running during the session.  

What I am getting from results is that flash is not enabled until it is called upon and, therefore, doesn't react to a swf file as something to present.  That seems to be why it downloads.  In my i-ready example, flash is failing the troubleshooting check, but still works in the actual practice by our students and that appears to be because the check only looks for flash to be active but doesn't aim to activate it whereas the actual i-ready use calls on it to be enabled.
259 KB View Download

Comment 8 by, Nov 16 2017

#6 - I've tweaked the code within Chrome browser to create a semi functional model of Activity 1 and have attached it as a screenshot here. I'm not sure how the move bottom navigation is expected to work on this activity, but all other aspects seem to work find.

Again, this just emphasises that it can work, but is less than optimum.

The Flash Roadmap on Chrome can be found here ( with the full removal of Flash support slated for 2020.
Screenshot 2017-11-15 at 17.36.55.png
61.8 KB View Download

Comment 9 by, Nov 16 2017

The problem occurs for example on
The swf runs well on Microsoft Edge! but not (anymore) on Chrome Version 62.0.3202.94 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Comment 10 by, Nov 19 2017

Same to me, Win 7,Version 62.0.3202.94 (Official Build) (64-bit) and can't play swf files from (photo tool) 

I can play the SWF file in firefox and edge, but no in this chrome version

Comment 11 by, Nov 21 2017

I am also having the issue of it wanting to download the SWF file instead of playing it in the chrome browser.  I have tried it on both ChromeOS 60 & 61.  I am attaching a video shot with screencastify to show exactly what was happening.
Nov 20, 2017 7:43 PM.webm
3.1 MB View Download

Comment 12 by, Nov 21 2017

27 stars and counting. Can we get an official response, please?

Comment 13 by, Nov 21 2017

I am also suffering from this bug. i have had to download a .SWF file player in order to continue playing my games. I am currently on WIN10 and on chrome 62.

Comment 14 by, Nov 21 2017

We are also suffering from this bug, unable to play content at, it just wants to download the .swf files. I had to tell a teacher that they would have to wait for a fix from Google, because the students are using Chromebooks so there is no option to use another browser.

Comment 15 Deleted

Comment 16 by, Nov 22 2017

Really messing up my school for these past 2 weeks. We need an answer on this. SWF files are unplayable on Chrome. Previously worked without issue - this update broke the ability to play SWF files. It just downloads them over and over. There is no way to enable Flash in settings. 

when going to   chrome://settings/content/flash   there is no longer a way to allow flash. please address, this is a serious concern.

Comment 17 by, Nov 22 2017

This issue affecting our educational software as well.
Some links go direct to embeded .swf files and play fine.
Others that pass data via the URL:

Are now completely unusable in Chrome.  However, it depends on what settings were chosen BEFORE the option was removed.

Those who were allowing it, it still works fine for.  Those who werent, no longer have the option to change settings (as discussed above), and are locked in to not be able to use .swf files directly.

Comment 18 by, Nov 23 2017

Components: Internals>Plugins>Flash

Comment 19 by, Nov 25 2017

Can we get an update? This is bs.

Comment 20 by, Nov 25 2017

Day 83 - No food, running out of water

Comment 21 by, Nov 25 2017

Been dealing with this too, can't play flash game betas run off local .swfs that I paid for on Patreon because Google's going full nazi on Flash 3 years early.

Comment 22 by, Nov 25 2017

Before Chromium engineers decided to fix this or just close this bug as "WontFix", there is an easier workaround you use:

Assuming the file is saved at C:\location\flash.swf

In Notepad, copy-paste the following and save the file as C:\location\object.html

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="flash.swf" width="650" height="800"></object>

Open C:\location\object.html in Chrome.

Comment 23 by, Nov 26 2017

While that workaround does work (and work quite well, I might add, thank you so much for pointing us to it, loorong), it is just that- a workaround. All it does is create an html webpage with the .swf file embedded in it, rather than asking Chrome to open the .swf file directly.

The bug itself needs to be fixed.

Comment 24 by, Nov 27 2017

Labels: Hotlist-Enterprise M-61 OS-Chrome
We have a customer having this issue on Chrome OS.    
I can reproduce this behavior on Chromebooks running M61-M63.

Comment 25 by, Nov 27 2017

I am able to repro this as well in Chrome Version 62.0.3202.94 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Thank you for the suggested workaround; this is working for most of our cases.

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="reports.swf" width="100%" height="100%"></object>

However, we still need to execute swfs directly in some cases, so please triage this bug.

Comment 26 by, Nov 27 2017


Comment 27 by, Nov 27 2017

Status: WontFix (was: Untriaged)
With the introduction of HTML5 by Default we require users to enable Flash Player on a per-origin basis (i.e., the first time that a user goes to a site and engages with Flash content we'll ask them to enable it for that site).  To ensure explicit user intent, we require interaction w/ the page (i.e., a click) versus a navigation (i.e., directly loading/ navigating to a .swf, which a site can trigger) before we prompt the user.

Comment #22 is spot on regarding guidance.  The best approach for developers is to embed the Flash content into an HTML page.

Comment 28 by, Nov 27 2017

You shouldn't break something without warning and expect everyone else to accommodate. It should be trivial to simply add the prompt for .swf links.

Comment 29 by, Nov 27 2017

This is typical Google.
From Hangouts, the Play Store, to the Browser.
Our way or the highway, if it breaks or you hate it, too bad.
Chopping off something like this, a simple UI option, suddenly and without warning is hilariously dumb.
Well, if it's not going to get fixed despite being something so trivial then I'll take the highway.
I've been curious about Firefox anyway.

Comment 30 by, Nov 27 2017

Well congratulations Google, I will now be switching my entire K-12 district onto Microsoft Edge. I'm talking over 6,000 devices. You don't just break something like this with no notice and no fix. Flash will be gone in 2020, don't jump the gun by 3 years. 

I am stunned that such a large tech has such an awful approach to dealing with users. You "Won't fix" because why? Add in an option and let ME worry about the security. This is a shame and now I will be recommending all people stay away from Chrome.

Really poor response here Google.

Comment 31 by, Nov 27 2017

Being a Chrome Top Contributor in Chrome Help Forum, I *knew* this bug was going to be closed with "WontFix", which was why I put the workaround and ask you guys to save yourself.

All the changes about Flash were announced through Google Groups and at least a few months before being roll out in Chrome Stable. However, "blocking directly loading/ navigating to a .swf" is only *implied*, not explicitly stated.

Secondly, "explicitly Flash permission per site" and "PPS tiny" clash together.

So if a user set "Allow" for a website, but if the website has Flash < 300px x 400px, they will still be blocked. Again, this clashing is only implied. We Chrome forum experts did not get any briefing about this potential breaking/edge case. Both users and forum experts were confused for many months until one of us figure out this *on our own*. I blame Chromium engineers not telling Chrome Community Manager to update us.

And clearly, Google is not done with Flash settings yet as you can see in the roadmap, two more breaking changes in Chrome 66+ and 76+ before final removal in Chrome 87+. I expect two more complaint tsunamis in Chrome Help Forum.

Comment 32 by, Nov 28 2017

I would argue that it's not even implied. That roadmap simply says that the UI 
option to always run flash will be removed. But if I manually whitelist "", I expect "" to automatically run. If I haven't whitelisted it, I expect it to show a "click to run" message. Same goes for locally saved files. This downloading behavior is completely out of left field.

Comment 33 by, Nov 28 2017

I wonder if it'd be possible to write an extension that catches swf downloads and opens them in an auto-generated container page?

Comment 34 by, Nov 28 2017

#c33 I believe the answer is yes.

Comment 35 by, Nov 28 2017

It's worth pointing out that the workaround doesn't work for flash files that require communication with the origin server.

Comment 36 by, Nov 28 2017

@35: Would making the container page hotlink the swf work, instead of playing a downloaded local copy?

Comment 37 by, Nov 28 2017

@36: Quite likely.  But one would need control over the origin server to serve such a container page.  A regular client who is running flash on another company's website is doomed.

Comment 38 by, Nov 29 2017

Hello, I found the cause and fix for the issue :)

The Chrome settings file, is not writing out the value when you save it :/

Which is well suboptimal :)

I've tested on Windows 2012 Server / 7, 10, 32 and 64 bit versions with the most recent and older versions of chrome so this should fix them all :)

Your Chrome settings file is located here, you should exit chrome, and make a backup before editing.

In Windows: 
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Preferences

In OS X: 
~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/User Data/Default/Preferences

Open the file with a text editor:

Find the setting: "plugins": which apears after "permission_autoblocking_data" 

replace with this setting to enable flash player

"plugins": {"*,*": {"per_resource": {"adobe-flash-player": 1}}},

or if you want to replace the entire profile section in the setting file with a generic default one:

"profile" : {
		"avatar_index" : 26,
		"content_settings" : {
			"domain_to_origin_migration_status" : 1,
			"exceptions" : {
				"accessibility_events" : {},
				"app_banner" : {},
				"auto_select_certificate" : {},
				"automatic_downloads" : {},
				"autoplay" : {},
				"background_sync" : {},
				"bluetooth_guard" : {},
				"client_hints" : {},
				"cookies" : {},
				"durable_storage" : {},
				"geolocation" : {},
				"images" : {},
				"important_site_info" : {},
				"javascript" : {},
				"media_stream_camera" : {},
				"media_stream_mic" : {},
				"midi_sysex" : {},
				"mixed_script" : {},
				"notifications" : {},
				"password_protection" : {},
				"permission_autoblocking_data" : {},
				"plugins" : {
				"*,*" : {
				"per_resource" : {
					"adobe-flash-player" : 1
				"popups" : {},
				"ppapi_broker" : {},
				"prompt_no_decision_count" : {},
				"protocol_handler" : {},
				"sensors" : {},
				"sound" : {},
				"ssl_cert_decisions" : {},
				"subresource_filter" : {},
				"subresource_filter_data" : {},
				"usb_chooser_data" : {}

			"pref_version" : 1
		"exit_type" : "Crashed",
		"exited_cleanly" : true,
		"icon_version" : 4,
		"last_engagement_time" : "13156449498380465",
		"managed_user_id" : "",
		"name" : "Person 1",
		"observed_time" : 7,
		"was_obsolete_http_data_cleaned" : true

You can use the value of 1 to never ask you to run flash just do it :)  or 2 to prompt if you would like to run it :)

wish you well on your side of the screen,


Comment 39 by, Nov 29 2017

Thank you very much Comment #28;  I confirmed that this completely mitigates the .swf download bug on Windows 10 x64 / Chrome Version 62.0.3202.94 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Here's a shortcut to navigate to the file on Windows 7 and later:


Comment 40 by, Nov 29 2017

Unfortunately, it does not fix the issue for Chromebooks...

Comment 41 by, Nov 29 2017

Hey :)

I don't own a chrome book, but this location might be where is stores the same data preferences,


Wish you well on your side of the screen :)


Comment 42 by, Nov 29 2017

Thing is that the Chromebook doesn't give users access to the traditional Linux Bash terminal, unless it's in Developer Mode.

This is a big issue since the majority of schools adopting Chromebooks are major  consumers of Flash Media in SWF formats.

Comment 43 by, Nov 29 2017

with Chrome 62, which implements the change in
the "Allow site to use Flash" setting has been removed.

Why did they remove this option?? Bring it back!

Comment 44 by, Dec 2 2017

So is this just going to be left to rot now? There is no logical or communicated reason for the swf to download instead of being click-to-run, especially for already whitelisted sites.

Comment 45 by, Dec 2 2017

> To ensure explicit user intent, we require interaction w/ the page (i.e., a click) versus a navigation (i.e., directly loading/ navigating to a .swf, which a site can trigger) before we prompt the user.

This makes no sense at all.  Navigation *is* explicit intent: if I type a URL of a .swf file into my address bar, that's because I *explicitly intend* to request that file.  At that time, Chrome can and should notify me that I've requested a Flash file and ask if I want to use Flash to play it, just as it does for an embedded Flash <object>.

Of course we'd all like Flash to go away, but there are still enough sites beyond our control that require it.  Don't break Chrome just to prove a point. :)

Comment 46 by, Dec 2 2017

As loorong states in C31 that Chromium engineers are going to completely rid of all Flash by version 87+ anyway so I'll just take the highway and start weaning my staff and friends away from Chrome and over to Firefox for all browsing needs. Oh well.

Comment 47 by, Dec 2 2017


Hmm this looks to be a straightforward fix, there was a commit that removed the code that was saving out the flash preferences, if it can be rolled back it will fix the issue and not break anything else :)  My work around to edit the preference file will work, but would help many people if that fix could be implemented :)

Comment 48 Deleted

Comment 49 by, Dec 5 2017

Under macOS 10.13, the "User Data" subdirectory does not appear, so after closing Chrome I attempted to make the same change to the Permission file in this folder:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/

I could tell this is the active permissions file because I noticed some site-specific settings I had added through the user interface at chrome://settings/content/flash.  I did confirm that this entry was successful for a bit of content that had been downloading previously, but also noticed that if I returned to the user interface page, it would revert the settings.

Comment 50 by, Dec 7 2017

"Status: WontFix

With the introduction of HTML5 by Default we require users to enable Flash Player on a per-origin basis (i.e., the first time that a user goes to a site and engages with Flash content we'll ask them to enable it for that site).  To ensure explicit user intent, we require interaction w/ the page (i.e., a click) versus a navigation (i.e., directly loading/ navigating to a .swf, which a site can trigger) before we prompt the user.

Comment #22 is spot on regarding guidance.  The best approach for developers is to embed the Flash content into an HTML page."


Comment #22 is NOT GUIDANCE, it IS the problem.

SWF files cannot always be loaded via webpages, and by some software setups they are opened directly with URL arguments.



I have TWO identical copies of Chrome(same build ver, everything), one where the above example runs perfectly, the other where it fails and asks to download the file instead.

One might ask:
What is the difference?
Why does it work in one and not the other?
Can't you just make the settings the same? 

The answer is:
It depends what settings was chosen and saved under the former options NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

PER-SITE permissions have NO EFFECT.  

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can be done in the current version to make an swf used in the above way work.  BUT, if you happen to have had it set up properly before, ie not to default to HTML, and to allow FLASH, then it runs JUST FINE on the CURRENT VERSION.

The browser LITERALLY can do it, but THEY ARE CHOOSING to not allow you to do it. It only works if your proper settings from before are LOCKED into ALLOWING IT.

This is absolutely outrageous and completely unprofessional.  Stop being distracted by people trying to play local files, games, etc, and FIX THE REAL PROBLEM.

Stick to your road map, and at minimum allowed advanced users the option to not have intentionally broken browsers. 

#38 IS ON TO THE REAL SOLUTION.  Which is editing the settings that exist but are pathetically being blocked in the browser.

Comment 51 by, Dec 15 2017

Please fix, we cannot view this page on our chromebooks

Comment 52 by, Jan 21 2018

former solution in 38 no longer works in 
Version 63.0.3239.132 (Official Build) (64-bit)
any ideas?

Comment 53 by, Jan 23 2018

Disappointed that Google won't do anything about this, but very thankful for comment 25 as we have a ton of SWF files teachers still use.  I just stuck them all in a local server with a bunch of these generic HTML files pointing to the flash files.

Here is the code again in case anyone comes here looking for a quick answer and scrolls to the bottom:

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="reports.swf" width="100%" height="100%"></object>

Comment 54 by, Jan 26 2018

uh why dont you delete chrome, and install chrome 61 where it still works?

Comment 55 by, Jan 26 2018

I blame net neutrality

Comment 56 by, Feb 15 2018

Hi, has there been anything done to fix this yet? I am currently running Chromium 60.0.3112.89, and wish to be able to run certain .swf files that I navigate manually to. In Chromium 60, this is possible by disabling the "Ask first" option in the Flash settings, but I prefer to leave this option turned on because I only want Flash to run on sites that I want it to.

Currently, as a workaround, I am manually turning the "Ask first" option off temporarily whenever I want to run a .swf file directly by URL, but this option has been removed in Chromium 62+.

Does anyone know what it would take to fix this bug satisfactorily? I'd like to at least see a patch for this, so if need be, I can patch and compile the latest Chromium myself.

Comment 57 by, Feb 15 2018

For current and future implementation details please consult the Chromium Flash roadmap:

Comment 58 by, Feb 15 2018

Nowhere on does it say anything about preventing accessing .swf files via URL instead of via embed. Flash support is supposed to end in 2020, not 2018. Navigating to arguably shouldn't be treated any differently than a normal embedded Flash object. Please, stick to the timeline, Chromium developers.

Comment 59 by, Feb 15 2018

As I mentioned in comment 38,there is a simple
Fix, one line of code was changed, where the settings are not saved when you change your swf preferences.  They are loaded if you had the setting enabled in a previous Chrome Build.  If that commit can be rolled back it would fix Flash for everyone :)  Save us Team Chromium your our only hope :)

Comment 60 by, Feb 15 2018

It may not be a permanent fix, but I found an app that should let you run .swf from your local drive.

It's called Cloud SWF Player with Drive, and while a little bundy, it's worked fine for me.

Comment 61 by, Feb 15 2018

Well, there doesn't seem to be any fix in the works for this, despite the simplicity of the issue. Firefox still supports it and currently is getting much better load/running speeds as well as using less RAM and GPU. Sorry guys, I'm out. It's been swell Chrome.

Comment 62 by, Feb 18 2018

The Cloud SWF player above requires to to download the SWF, then manually load and size it. This is not ideal.

I've had someone else point me in the direction of "FlashEmbed", an extension that generates embedding on the fly. You don't have to do any manual saving or loading of the SWF.

I'd feel more comfortable if the extension had reviews or a way to follow up on the trustworthiness of the author and project.

Here's the link to the extension:

Comment 63 by, Mar 8 2018

i am a non-techie who only owns/uses a chromebook and i am PISSED

Comment 64 Deleted

Comment 65 Deleted

Comment 66 by, Mar 16 2018

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