Credit: Evil Erin via Flickr
I switched over to Google Chrome as my preferred Internet browser a couple of years ago, relegating Firefox to back-up browser status.
I'm hardly alone. Chrome has gained market share for six consecutive months, according to Net Applications. Google's browser now has more than 20% browser market share, blowing by Firefox and trailing only Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
But like that of many converts, my love of Chrome often is challenged by persistent problems with Adobe Flash. You can be cruising along on Chrome for days and even weeks without issue. Then one day Chrome will freeze or crash every time you go to a website. Oddly enough, the sad little computer face that shows up with the "He's dead, Jim" or "Aw snap!" messages becomes far less amusing after the fifth or sixth consecutive crash.
Typically when Flash misbehaves, your browser freezes and you get a message at the top of the screen telling you, "A plug-in (Shockwave Flash) isn't responding," along with a "Stop plug-in" button to push. This hardly ever works. Even more annoying, a "Pages unresponsive" box pops up shortly after offering you the option to "wait" or "kill page." Neither will get you what you want, which is a functional Chrome browser.
That's because neither is addressing the fundamental problem, which usually involves a conflict between Adobe Flash, which users download, and Chrome's internal Flash installation. When both are enabled, Chrome can get confused about which to use and will try to employ both. Then you start getting old Star Trek references on your screen.
To solve the issue you'll have to go beyond the error pop-ups that Chrome serves up and get under the Settings hood. Even though Chrome's Settings page can be really confusing, this fix is easy. Do the following:
1. Open Chome and type this into the address bar: chrome://plugins.
2. Now you're looking at a white screen with plug-ins listed in teeny, tiny type. Locate Adobe Flash Player (it was third down on my list), then look at the top right of your screen for the word "Details" in blue with a plus sign next to it. Click on that.
3. You should notice two versions of Shockwave Flash listed. If you see the word "Disable" in blue within the descriptions of each, that means they're both enabled. That's got to change.
4. Click "Disable" on the Chrome version of flash. That's the one with the word "Chrome" in the URL presented under "Location." That version immediately will be highlighted in pale blue.
5. Close and reopen Chrome and you should be good to go.
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