Do you know what version of Flash you have installed? Do you know what the latest version of Flash is, so you can make sure you’re running the latest and greatest?
See Also: What is a Version Number?
Do you know why either question is important?
Adobe Flash, sometimes still called Shockwave Flash or Macromedia Flash, is a platform that many websites choose to use to play video.
On your end, your browser, like Chrome, Firefox, or IE, needs to have something called a plug-in so you can play those videos.
So, when you ask “what version of Flash do I have?” what you’re really asking is “what version of the Flash plug-in for my browser do I have installed?”
Knowing what version number of the Flash plug-in you have installed on each of your browsers (assuming you use more than one) is important if you’re troubleshooting an issue with videos playing, or are having some other problem with your browser.
“What Version of Flash Do I Have?”
The easiest way to tell what version of Flash you have installed in the browser in question, assuming Flash and your browser is working, is to visit Adobe’s excellent help page:
Flash Player Help [Adobe]
Once there, tap or click on the Check Now button.
In the YOUR SYSTEM INFORMATION that appears, you’ll see the Flash version that’s running, as well as the name of the browser you’re using and your operating system version.
If Adobe’s automatic check doesn’t work, you can usually right-click on any Flash video and look for the Flash version number at the end of the pop-up box. It will look something like About Adobe Flash Player x.x.x.x….
If Flash videos aren’t working at all, you get some kind of Flash related error message, or you can’t even use your browser, see How to Manually check the Flash Version for a Browser below for more help.
Important: If you use more than one browser, re-run the check from each browser! Because browsers handle Flash differently, it’s very common to be running different versions of Flash from browser to browser. See Flash Support in Windows by Browser below for more on this.
“What is the Latest Version of Adobe Flash?”
Adobe updates Flash on a regular basis, sometimes to add new features but usually to correct security issues and other bugs. This is why keeping Flash updated to the latest version is important.
See the Adobe Flash Player page for the latest version of Flash for every supported browser on every supported operating system.
Updating to the latest version of Flash can be done from the Adobe Flash Player Download Center on Adobe’s site.
How to Manually Check the Flash Version for a Browser
Adobe’s Check Now button is great, but if you’re dealing with a major problem with Flash or your browser, which is a big reason why you’d want to know what version of Flash you have in the first place, it will probably do you no good.
Here’s how to manually check the version of Flash running in each of these browsers:
Google Chrome: If Chrome will start, type about: plugins in the address bar and look for Adobe Flash Player in the list. The Flash version number will be listed after Version: If Chrome will not start, search your computer for pepflashplayer.dll and note the most recent version number of that file that’s found.
Mozilla Firefox: If Firefox starts, type about: plugins in the address bar and look for Shockwave Flash in the list. The version number of Flash installed will be shown after Version: If Firefox will not start, search your computer for NPSWF32. A number of files may be found, but take note of the version number of the file that has several underscores.
Internet Explorer (IE): If IE starts, tap or click the gear button, followed by Manage add-ons. Tap or click on Shockwave Flash Object and then note the Flash version number at the bottom of the screen.
Flash Support in Windows by Browser
The various major browsers in use today all work with Flash in different ways, making it a little difficult to stay updated if you use multiple browsers.
Google Chrome keeps Flash updated automatically so, assuming Chrome is working properly and updating automatically, so will Adobe Flash.
Mozilla Firefox does not keep Flash updated as Firefox updates, so you’ll need to update Flash when prompted on your computer or download and install the latest versions as they become available.
Internet Explorer (IE) in Windows 8 will keep Flash updated via Windows Update. See How Do I Install Windows Updates? if you need help with that. In versions of Windows older than Windows 8, however, Flash will need to be updated in IE via Adobe’s Flash download center, just like with Firefox.
See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you’re not sure what version of Windows is on your computer.
Other browsers not listed usually follow the same rules I outlined for Mozilla Firefox.
Can’t Figure Out What Version of Flash You’re Running?
See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.
Let me know exactly the problem you’re having, what operating system you’re using, what browser you’re checking for the Flash version on, and anything else that might be helpful.