Corrupt Flash Player install after IE 7 upgrade

I’ve been seeing a few mails about this since the Internet Explorer update was released, so I wanted to post some info about it to maybe help the people having issues.

The complaint generally goes something like this:

A user has Flash Player 9 (or other version) installed on their system and everything works fine with IE6. That user then runs the IE7 update and their computer stops showing Flash content on sites like YouTube or MSN video and other Flash sites. However, if the user goes to some other sites with Flash content, the content will play just fine, even if the site requires the Flash 9 Player.

I’m not sure of the official cause for this, and am still doing some research into what causes it, but a first guess I have is that when you upgrade from IE7, the browser install is not correctly reinstalling your existing Flash Plugin, so scripts that check for the Flash Player are failing, but since the plugin file is there, if you visit a site that does not use a detection script (like SWFObject) you will see the Flash content just fine.

There may not be a solution to this for the sites using detection scripts – they rely on a series of Windows registry entries that seem to be missing after an IE7 upgrade.

For users, here is a fix that seems to work well:

  1. Quit all open programs. This step is important because other programs may be using the Flash Player, and if they are, the uninstaller will fail silently.
  2. Run the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller.
  3. Reinstall your Flash player.

If you are still having problems after running the uninstaller and reinstalling the plugin, please post a comment with your system setup and other relevant details. (And remember, sometimes a system restart can make a difference with problems like this, so try that first).

UPDATE (1-8-2007): Added a new step 1.

221 thoughts on “Corrupt Flash Player install after IE 7 upgrade

  1. sorry all, wrong area to post my previous comment. (how do I delete? plz delete Geoff, sorry)

  2. I was having the same problems as most above along with Stewart’s issue. I combined the above fix with a fix a googled somewhere else (Which is to use the above fix, however save both the Flash Player uninstaller and installer to your desktop. Close all windows especially IE. Then, uninstall Flash Player from your desktop. Next reinstall Flash Player from your desktop) and it finally worked. Previously I kept uninstalling and installing from within IE and nothing worked.

  3. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! couldn’t view ANY flash content despite the macromeida site saying i have dl the flash player. Well i did your two steep and it works. Good thing I am looking for appartments and they all use flash to view. THANK

  4. I have tried all of the recommendations on this blog with no success. I can’t get Flash to re-install properly on the machine. Maybe one out of a dozen times it will, then it does the same thing saying it cannot find a program associted with .swf or if it is a website it directs me to “install” flash. I developed a program with the output being .swf now I (and my client) can’t view it! thanks.

  5. P.S. on the link to the full install, it gives the following instructions “Once downloaded, I right-clicked on the installer and chose Run Elevated. Worked like a charm. ” please provide the step by step instructions on this as I can’t figure out how to “chose run elevated.”

  6. This advice to download the uninstaller and re-install is spot on!
    No reboot required. It’s a simple fix, and a rudimentary albeit perfect solution. Thank you!. I have been near postal over this issue.

  7. Geoff,

    Any updates on this?

    More and more of our clients are reporting that our sites with Flash (and SWF Object) are failing to display the Flash. When I question them, every one of them has recently upgraded their IE to IE7. I know the fix Geoff suggests will work as I’ve done it on my own machine (uninstall and reinstall Flash player) but that is obviously not an option for all of the people who are viewing these web sites. We cannot expect people to go through a software uninstall/reinstall just to view our content!!!

    For now we are dropping SWF Object and going back to “classic” embedding. It works but of course there is the annoying “click first” to activate the Flash in IE7 (thanx EOLAs). Lesser of two evils.

  8. Yes, the simple uninstall / reinstall of Flash player worked perfect for IE7. No re-start needed.

  9. The problem continues for me on my home PC. I’ve tried every tip mentioned on this blog since this thread started. After all the uninstalls, installs and restarts; some Flash movies work and others don’t. My machine’s OS is Windows XP Home SP 2 and my browser is IE7. I can’t view You Tube videos and for some reason the website. FWIW, Flash is working correctly on my laptop. Only difference for the laptop is the OS is Windows XP Pro.

  10. Anything new on this problem?

    In our testing we confirmed what Geoff had already stated and that is,

    – when upgrading an existing version of IE to IE 7,
    1) pages using SWFObject fail to load their Flash and your alternate content is not displayed either
    2) pages that use Adobe’s standard embed technique continue to work fine
    3) the only way we found to fix this was to use the Adobe Flash player uninstaller to uninstall the Flash player and then reinstall the Flash player – after that the SWF Object pages worked again
    4) Firefox worked correctly in all cases

    I have a couple of observations on all of this!

    – First I’m very surprised there is not more discussion about this here in the forums! In my opinion this is a HUGE problem as every site we have deployed using SWFObject is now subject to breaking and the only way to fix that is tell each and every site visitor to fix their Flash player install! Obviously that is not a viable solution.

    – An extremely large number of end-users are and will be upgrading their browser from IEx to IE7 over the next few months so this problem will only get worse. Over time it should diminish as everyone has upgraded and fixed their Flash player or purchased a new computer with IE7 already installed.

    – Although I’d generally agree that this is caused by IE7, on the other hand, it is SWFObject that stops working. IE7 and Firefox continue to display Flash correctly when the pages are set up like the Flash development tool deploys them. Maybe there is something that could be done in SWFObject to detect this and fail more gracefully?

    As I mentioned previously, we have stopped using SWFObject on all projects until we can figure out a way to get it to work again. :(

    I have examined all of our Flash sites using the standard SWF embed and all of our Flash works perfectly even though there is the little “click to activate” annoyance. Since this does not stop our Flash from running and most of our Flash is visual rather than interactive, we are switching back to embedding for now. We would rather have the annoying “click to activate” than having our Flash content just go missing.

    I’m really hoping SWFObject will be updated to work around this issue!

  11. Hey John,

    Stuff like this should really be posted in the forum – much more people will see it there and it’s easier to discuss it.

    As for your issue – I have only seen this problem happen on a small number of windows machines that upgrade to IE7. Not every machine is affected by it.

    However, if you feel it is a larger problem than most people seem to think it is, you should post the steps to reproduce it, and maybe narrow down the cause of it? (i.e. does it only happen when you already have Flash Player installed and you upgrade from ie6 to ie7, or does it only happen in some other circumstances?)

  12. Thanks for your response Geoff. Because we create public sites for large (but not captive) audiences, even a small percentage represents a lot of people. I have had three separate reports of this happening “in the wild” and it happened on my work machine as soon as I upgraded it from IE6 (with Flash) to IE7. Plus the number of reports of this problem right here on this thread indicates to me this is not something rare.

    If I can get time I will do some experiments and post the results in your forum. I know I can duplicate this easily on my work machine. One thought I had was to do a test for IE7 and if it is IE7 then embed otherwise use SWFObject.

    But in the meantime we are just switching back to embedding our Flash. That way it is not broken for users with this problem. In the future we plan to revisit this and adjust as appropriate.

    Kudos to you for creating and supporting SWFObject – it is great. But with these new IE problems we just can’t take advantage of it. :(

  13. It showed up for me that
    var axo = new ActiveXObject(“ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash.x”);
    doesn’t work.
    It seams that something prevents JavaScript to access ActiveXObject.
    Still looking for a workaround…

    At least it works for me to get an alternative image showing up:

    <div id=”flash”>
    <a target=”_blank” href=”clickUrl”>
    <img src=”alternative.gif” alt=”alt text” border=”0″ height=”90″ width=”728″>
    <script type=”text/javascript”>//<!–
    var so=new SWFObject(“flash.swf”,”flash”,”728″,”90″,”″,”#FFFFFF”,”high”);

  14. I’m still having the problem with flash content on certain sites not displaying correctly. I have used the uninstaller, and re-installed, and it works fine for a while. Then, it suddenly isn’t working again. Sometimes simply rebooting fixes it. Other times I have to go through the uninstall process again. This problem first started when I upgraded to IE7. But now, I am running IE6 and still have problems! Any other suggestions?

  15. I couldn’t download flashplayer in IE7 but could in Firefox; however, when I tried to use it in firefox by going to a awa
    a web site to view a video it told me I have to use IE7. I just read your posts today so when I get a chance I will try some of the suggestions posted and let you know if they worked or not. Thanks!

  16. Hello All, After upgrading to ie7 and trying to install flash player 9 everything I tried failed,
    including your uninstall solution. I then downloaded a standalone flash player and shockwave player
    from a website tech republic and this works but when I go to adobe to test, it fails, I am happy
    enough with the situation. (((((( )))))
    This is a good short term solution until Adobe or microsoft fix the error.

  17. I have seen this problem several times, and everytime Ihave unistaled Ie 7 and reinstaled it , the problems was fixed, but now I am experiencing a new issue, I instal Ie 7 and it takes me to a MSN runonce2 page, this page installes much malware and it renders IE7 unusuable!

    Unistaling and reinstaling does not fix this, and my defender pro antivirus antispyware, and microsoft anti malware does not find any problems.

    I am a repair tech i know a format and reinst will do it, but I dont feel like going that far with it.

    Any help will be much apreciated.

  18. Uninstall and reinstall works well. However when I used Regseeker to delete redundant files Flashplayer did not work. There are 25 files (Activex etc.) which you need to exclude to get Flashplayer to work.

  19. Well in short, i did everything with IE 7. I even disabled and enabled the plugin (flash 9) but doesn’t seem to work. I reverted to the new FIREFOX.
    It works very NICE.

    PC configuration:
    P4 2.66 Ghz 512 MB RAM
    Geforce 6200

  20. Anybody who thinks this IE mess is acceptable for “normal people” (those who do not make a career out of making sure that Li’l Billy Gates gets every little thing he wants) is nuts. The solution to every one of these problems is simple: use Firefox.

  21. I started having a problem just a few days ago. Some parts of my MySpace profile and parts of other websites are not working. I’ve tried multiple uninstalls and reinstalls withe no positive results. Here is my PC info:

    Dell Dimension XPS 600, IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® D 3.20GHz CPU, 1.00 GB RAM
    500 GB SATA-II Primary Hard Drive, 320 GB SATA-II Secondary Hard Drive Windows XP Media Center Edition Operating System, IE7 Internet Browser

  22. k i really need to install flash player 7 does anybody know where i can install it?

  23. My Flash Player Vs. 9 would not come up without a prompt to upgrade and even then no matter what I did with uninstall and reinstall and restart and whatever. It did work on Fire Fox.
    I did find the fix on the previous comments and that was to go to the following site:
    I did not do an uninstall of the previous version and I did not do an elevated install but simply folllowed the menus. It was for Vista but it worked for XP.
    This apparently is a stand alone installer and it installs Adobe Flash Player Active X instead of Adobe Flash Player Plug as with all the other attempts. Has taken be all day to come to this point. Thankyou for this comment page. It’s been hidden in most of of my Google searches. Adobe help was of little help.

  24. Another issue that will affect Flash playback is related to variables placed in the html wrapper or the url. For example, swfobject lets you pass variables to the swf file.
    It seems that IE7 will import the variables on first view but will then cache the swf which (for some unknown security reason) prevents the swf from accessing the variables…
    Setting IE7 temporary files to ‘Check for newer versions every time I visit the web page’ seems like the only way to ensure that the Flash file plays correctly.

  25. Tried everything on this page, then I remembered good old – their page describing flash 9 standalone installer saved the day!

    I’d always be careful when downloading stuff from unknown 3rd party sites. So use that site at your own risk.

  26. I had recently the situation that Flash Player would only works fine when IE is started with admin rights.
    This can be solved by starting Regedit on on admin accounts – you simply need to add read permissions for all users on the following keys:

    I did it and now Flash player is working fine on all accounts :-)

  27. Thank you > “ try this installer. worked for me” After about 6 months, this finally solved it. Just run this installer, re-open ie when completed, and that’s it. :) Thank you again.

  28. I’ve had this problem of Flash not working in IE7 ever since I installed Flash CS3 on my laptop. After endless searching and trying everything that was recommended, I finally found that the standalone installer MSI found at worked! Now, SWFs display properly for me in IE7. Thanks!

  29. I modified the swfobject to work perfectly on IE7


    var _19=””;


    var _19=””;

    var msie7 = (parseFloat(navigator.appVersion.substring(navigator.appVersion.indexOf(‘MSIE’)+5)) == 7);

    if(msie7 || (navigator.plugins&&navigator.mimeTypes&&navigator.mimeTypes.length))


    $(‘div_id’).innerHTML = “

  30. You can also do exactly what the patch is doing like this ..

    How To Make all Flash content play automatically in IE7 or Windows Vista June 2007

    You have probably noticed most flash will not play at all, and what does play has to have the
    flash’s active X installed each time in Internet Explorer 7 and/or Windows Vista, and even then
    you will find that it still will not work.

    This is simply a “Permissions” and “Default Player” problem that has a easy and permanent fix.
    If you are just browsing the web or plan to create a flash web site, you will need to make these
    few changes listed below in order to do either of these things. Please keep in mind, millions
    of Internet users will never make these changes, this means making a web site with flash content
    will only reach less than 40% of the people you target.

    My personal opinion is, every IE7 user should make these changes. Not doing so will limit
    your web browsing and create many other veiwing problems everyday. Flash is not going away
    anytime soon, Microsoft and Adobe do not see eye to eye, so now it is your job to make the two
    connect. At one time it was all done for you, now it is all up to the end user.

    Follow These Steps ..

    1. With IE7 open, click (TOOLS) at the top right corner of the browser.
    In the drop down menu click (INTERNET OPTIONS)
    2. Now click the (PROGRAMS) tab at the top. Click the (SET PROGRAMS)
    button at the bottom.

    3.Click (ASSOCIATE A FILE TYPE OR PROTOCOL). Scroll down until you see
    ( .flv ) files extension on the left side in the list. If Internet explorer is
    not set as the default program on the right, then you have found half the problem.

    4.Select the ( .flv ) extension and then click (CHANGE PROGRAM) at the top right.
    Browse until you have found the IE7 icon “application” and double click it.

    You have solved the first of two problems. Now you will need to set “Permissions”.

    1. With IE7 open, click (TOOLS) at the top right corner of the browser.
    In the drop down menu click (INTERNET OPTIONS)

    2. Click the (ADVANCED) tab at the top. Scroll down until you see

    3. Put a check mark next to that item and click (APPLY) at the bottom.

    4. Set IE7 as the Default browser if you have not already. You can do this by
    clicking (TOOLS) at the top right corner of the browser.
    In the drop down menu click (INTERNET OPTIONS)
    Now click the (PROGRAMS) tab at the top and click (MAKE DEFAULT) at top.

    Welcome to the new FORCED WORLD OF FLASH CONTENT !

    Josh Bartholow

  31. I am having same problems as all above, tried all fixes including making sure all programs closed, unistaller/re-installer program, rebooted, several times. No luck…the copy of the screen shots for how it looks in IE7 and Firefox can be found at I have XP SP2, IE7, Flash 9 [but the code in the html says 6.0.0]. I am going crazy trying to fix this…I would like to correct it in the code on this site, because I don’t use IE as my default browser, so personally it’s not a problem…but to my client who has the same error, he is worried it will be the same for some of his customers. I am willing to pay for some help in fixing this code, if someone can actually can help me fix it. I’m a novice, and would most likely make it worse. Thanks, Carla

  32. Here is how I FOUND the problem (note it is not FIXED):
    Did a SYSTEM RESTORE to June 4th 2007. Started to reinstall WINDOWS UPDATES. Saw that WINDOWS DEFENDER appears to be the update that messes up SOME (but not all!) “movie” content. example working: (advertising flash). not working: – jigsaw puzzle (sadly, you are “forced” to watch the movie before you can download today’s jigsaw!)

    Let me know anyone resolves this?

  33. Before the update flash player worked fine but could not play embeded WMV(I have a green screen)files from news sites like CBS in browser.
    After the update embeded WMV files from news sites like CBS play just fine in browser.
    Tried your suggestion of Running the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller and reinstalling flash, flash works now but embeded wmv does not work!

  34. I reformated my PC june/18. I’ve had a horable time reseting this thing up.
    I’ve spent the last 3 hours trying to fix a issues. Went to check my downloaded program files from the Tools, IE options, settings,flash player shows as a long line of numbers & letters. Uninstall it{flash player} go reinstall macrodiea flash player 9. Check the add remove & shows up as a active x. Shows in the downloaded program fiels as damaged. Ran the uninstaller reinstalled same thing over & over again. Found the phone # for IE7 support. Was told that is normal for ANYthing showing in the downloaded program files in IE7 to show as Damaged :S I asked you say showing as Damaged is normal?? Was told Yes… they are aware of the coding problems & trying..mind you TRYING to find a fix. This is the worst time I’ve had trying to reset up my PC after a reformat. Guess I’ll start all OVER again. And NOT install the IE7. This is Not the 1st time having Major issues with IE7. Was on the phone with IE7 suport 6 times & NEVER could 100% uninstall it. Why? I ask WHy do they foruce this on us as a “security” update when they know there are sooo sooo many issues with it??? 2 days of tring to get my PC back togetether for nothing. I could just scream. Oh before I forget. Go read on Adobes Macrodeida Flash Player. Dont show it suports IE7 at all.

  35. Hi,

    I too have these problems.

    I was interested in Josh’s solution (June 1, 2007). However despite the fact that I installed the flash player, flv does not show up in the extension list when I try to “Associate a File Type with a program”

    Can anyone suggest why this might be??


  36. I am dismayed to see so many users having trouble viewing Flash content. I was beginning to think it was just my inadequacies as a small time web developer and creator of Flash content who had lost the plot after three major ops on my shoulder. The problem began for me when recently upgrading to Flash Player 9 while using IE7, which had been behaving as it should prior to this. After the Flash Player 9 upgrade, as others have also reported, Flash content played perfectly on the local machine with both Firefox and IE7 yet failed “silently” when downloaded by IE7 from the server. After tearing my hair out for a day, I eventually re-created the relevant pages and then re-uploaded the active-x control “scripts” folder which Dreamweaver 8 automatically generates when wrapping an html page around Flash content and – bingo- everything worked perfectly. Considering I had only uploaded the site a month previously and everything had been working perfectly, it seems us poor old web developers (small or not) are going to have to keep on our toes if we are going to have to keep thrashing our way through these so-called security issues. Soon we’ll be so snug and secure the Internet will be unusable.

  37. Hi guys,
    I am having trouble setting flash movie width and height to “100%”. It seems to work fine in IE6 but not in Firefox, IE7 or firefox on the MAC.

  38. i have 4 windows accounts on my pc but flash player only works on one of them, i have the latest version of flash installed but when i go to view flash content it promts me to install the latest version, i do so and see the animation thing to show that it is correctly installed but still i have the same problem and still get the message that i dont have the lates version.
    AND IM STILL RUNNING IE6 BECAUSE IE7 WONT INSTALL FOR SOME REASON, i tell ya im almost eating my keyboard as im that stressed, and the official support forums seem a little slack

  39. Had to go back to embedding the flash, it works fine, what a nuisance though.

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