Play Flash Videos Under 64-Bit Windows

Despite the increasing prevalence of 64-bit operating systems, support at the application level is often tenuous. What happens if you want to play a Flash-based video on a 64-bit OS?

Photo blogger Helen Bradley recently found herself in that situation, and details the steps she went through to get access to the Flash player on a 64-bit Windows 7 system. Essentially, the fix involves ensuring you're running the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer, and then backgrading to an older version of Flash; hit the post for the full details.

It's a workable fix, but one that shouldn't be necessary. We'd certainly endorse Bradley's conclusion:

Given that so many people are switching to 64-bit operating systems, if only because it allows you to address great wads of memory, it really is time that the big name companies came to the party and provided basic tools compatible with these systems.

Flash movies and Windows 7


    I thought this was common knowledge from back when Windows XP 64-bit came out. Only 64-bit plugins work with 64-bit browsers. Flash is only a 32-bit plugin.

    Well yeah its an Adobe product. Some of the dodgiest software you will ever see on the desktop.

    This is the same product that has its options panel on a web page (yes you need internet access to change flash settings).

    Also if you change settings using a cfg file which is designed to be deployed by corporate users the only way to verify turning auto update is switched off is to use a packet capture tool as recommeneded by the Adobe Knowlege Base.

    So yeah not suprised with this one at all.

    I don't get this story, it's not like everyone who uses a 64 bit OS can't browse youtube without doing all that. Firefox does not come in 64 bit, and you shouldn't need to downgrade flash in 32 bit IE. In fact you really shouldn't because it could be lacking exploit updates.

    I don't get this article... I have 64 bit Windows 7 and have installed it with no problems in Firefox or Internet Explorer using it's default installation. No downgrading/tweaking required at all, it works out of the box. Even when i used 64bit IE, it would inform me that it's not supported and to launch the 32bit version. Am I a minority? I didn't realise there were any issues, or is Win 7 different?

      Have you tried running it under IE 64-bit? Because that most definitely won't work.

      I just stick to Chrome 32-bit... and seeing as flash is now integrated into the dev version (which I run) I don't really see the point in this. Especially since IE, Firefox & Safari all got pwnt and the pwn2own comp this year... Chrome is still rock solid at this stage.

      TBH, there is no need to run any browser under 64-bit modes due to the lack of real processing power or memory requirements for web pages (I can't say I've EVER seen a chrome session take up more than 200mb of memory).

      Sure, this may be different in the future, but at this stage it's a non-issue.

      Many posibilities: 1. dabatase is corrupted. 2. Insufficient online record Codex. Whatever will be the problem. You should do the subsequent as this kind of problem happen to me. A] Try browsing different record website. B] Download the latest version of adobe and a record codex for better results. C] Youtube videos now and again tend to malfunction, you should report this to the youtube companionship. D] Clear all history. Otherwise reformat your computer!

    Wha??? There isn't a 64 Bit Flash? What is this 2002? I thought every major software that relied on CPU architecture was good to go for 64bit.

    No, this is just a bit of shotgun journalism.

    Firefox only comes in 32bit (there is a 64bit unsupported build, but it tells you about the flash and plug in incompatibilities). When you use Firefox on Windows 7 it downloads the 32 bit flash and runs it, as does Chrome and IE without any need for "backgrading".

    64bit IE does indeed warn you about the flash issue.

    I also have to agree with Wil, Adobe products are the bane of the average system admins life, and not much better for individual users.

    This article was the inspiration I needed to unsubscribe for lifehacker.

    This post is mind-boggling; why on earth would you put up something advising you run an older version of Flash, particularly given that all Flash updates of late are primarily security/vulnerability fixes?

    Poor choice.

    LOl... well this article had an underlying effect.. it was hell amusing since it confused the s**t out of some people hahaa!

    hmmn yeah seems like a big fuss about nothing to me too - running 64bit win 7 and never had any issues, same applies when i had 64bit vista. Like other people have said since Chrome and FF are only 32bit then its no issue at all.

    Are there really tech savvy people who run 64bit OS and then elect to use 64bit IE??? Plus on top of that from memory I am pretty sure by default windows launches 32bit IE, not the 64bit one but may be wrong on this as I have banished it from my desktop :-)

    1. Install Firefox
    2. Use Flash
    3. ???
    4. Profit!

    I've been reading Lifehacker for about 3 months now, and have picked up some genuinely cool things from it and find it to be a great source of information. The sometimes I run into posts/articles like this that make me want to string the person who wrote them up but the neck.

    This is poor journalism for 2 reasons:
    1. There has obviously been no research into this topic before the article was thrown up (pun intended) onto the site. Any 64bit Windows user could have addressed this issue in about 3 seconds flat with a blank look and a raised eyebrow which would indicate that perhaps the situation was not what you thought.
    2. The writing of this article gives the idea that users should downgrade the version of flash they are using. Flash is already notoriously "leaky" and you are suggesting users downgrade? Either poorly thought out (most likely) or downright malicious (very unlikely).

    Either way, remember that your readers will take some things you say as gospel, and with such a following comes the need for you to be careful with what you post. I would love to see Angus come out and reply here or amend his original article :) Not being malicious, just wanting to see what he has to say :)

    I think the question "What happens if you want to play a Flash-based video on a 64-bit OS?" could best be answered by simply saying use any browser except Internet Explorer 64-bit.

    Secondly, Adobe's players are a bit touch-and-go but anybody who uses their Creative Suite software professionally will tell you they're second to none.

    Thirdly @James van der Moezel - lol :)

    If you've ever had the joy of watching one of Helen's how to vid's or articles over the years; you'd get to know that she seems to take great joy out of doing things so differently, compared to the usual methods. Either Photoshop or Dreamweaver, if there's a hard/long way - Helen will help you find it.

    Doesn't IE run in 32 bit mode anyway ? Wasn't it done so add ons could run easily ?

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