Fixing Adobe Flash Problems on Vista

For you Vista users out there, if you’re seeing strange issues with Adobe Flash (boy it feels strange to call it that) where the plugin is installed but not recognized on certain sites, I have a solution for you. On my wife’s laptop (Toshiba M50) I’m using IE7 and have installed Flash. The “installation successful” page tells me that I have Flash installed. I can see the Flash banners just fine. Yet when I go to look at one of my videos on Revver, it tells me that I need to have the latest Flash player installed. The same thing happens on YouTube. I’ve confirmed that “Shockwave Flash Object” is installed (Tools > Manage Add-Ons), and Flash9b.ocx is the file name. If you’re having the same problem, keep reading.

Even though Adobe’s online tool said I was running the latest version of Flash (9.0.28), it still wasn’t working properly. I ran across a forum post that suggested trying several things, so I found the install folder for Flash:


Inside that folder, there are two files: Flash9b.ocx, the ActiveX control that IE7 uses, and FlashUtil9b.exe. I shut down IE7 then ran FlashUtil9b.exe and it said that there was an update for my version of Flash – it downloaded a new version, I rebooted the PC as it suggested, and now I can view all Flash content on YouTube and Revver as I should. What’s interesting is that the version number of Flash didn’t change. I suspect the issue is more one of registering Flash with the system properly, and Adobe has a bug in the installer. This worked for me, so I hope it will work for you!

UPDATE: If you have Vista 64-bit, which is much more common now then when I wrote this post, you’ll want to look in this folder: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\flash\ (thanks to Charles Culver for pointing that out)

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  • thedude1001

    re – Jason Dunn blog – answer to adobe flash/vista problem, this fix worked great for me, had been trying to sort it out myself with no luck, Jasons solution works just as he says , many thanks mate!!!!

  • Glad I could help dude. 😉

  • booba


    Many thanks for your fix. I altered your instructions slighly and this worked for me without a reboot or a need to shutdown IE7.

    Inside a command prompt

    cd %systemroot%\system32\macromed\flash
    regsvr32 flash9b.ocx

    Hope this additional information is usefull.


  • Sampo

    I just wanted to thank you for your post. I tried for the nth time to install Flash on my Vista system and googled for the solution which led to your site. I had the exact same problem you described in your blog.

    Tears filled my eyes when your solution worked! Thank you!

  • Sampo: glad I could help. It’s amazing to me that neither Adobe nor Microsoft has fixed this stupid problem yet. I’ve noticed that sometimes Flash also becomes “unregistered” with IE, so you lose it and need to repeat the process again.

  • mwilliamsADBE

    Adobe is in fact working on a solution to this issue. We will be posting new installers within a short period In the meantime you can find solutions to common install problems here:

  • standfree33


    Thanks for the solution – you’ve made my 4 year old (& me!) very happy. What is going on with Adobe…

  • garytkh

    I just wanna say a big THANK YOU for solving a months old problem! You bring tears to my eyes! THANK YOU!!!

  • I don’t know how to thank you for such a great solution..
    I’ve been looking around for a soultion and finally landed here
    I searched Google for “adobe flash player Vista problem” and your page came the entry number six!
    Do the people in Adobe know about this ubiquitous problem of there own!

  • Unca Lar

    Jason… thankfully you had the answer. I was getting so frustrated with Vista/IE7 settings not allowing Adobe Flash to download their update. I went as far as turning off all security settings and, amidst all the constant warnings about my PC being at risk, I still couldn’t get it to work. I would’ve never thought to jump into the Macromedia Flash subdirectory and manually run the FlashUtil! You are a genius! Thanks muchly.

  • froggirlwendy

    Thanks for the info Jason. Unfortunately, nothing I try will work. Using your info above, the download gets as far as around 60% then ‘retry’ or ‘cancel’. Tried for an hour, getting to various % (between 15 and 62%). The file name in mine is FlashUtil9e.exe (not b), whether that makes a difference. Hopefully Adobe will devise a fix soon – very frustrating. Thanks again :o)

  • froggirlwendy,
    The fact that the download starts then stalls out tells me there’s some other problem. Are you running any anti-virus software on your computer? If so, disable it then try again.

  • mynotebook

    When nothing works…..

    Instructions from God how to install adobe on windows vista.

    I was having trouble installing adobe on windows vista and after reading and trying endless instructions nothing worked…

    Then it hit me….

    Jesus said: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” —Matthew 7:7–8

    I prayed to the Lord to forgive my sins and to give me wisdom and He answered my prayer.
    Glory to the Lord for being so loving, forgiving and giving us what we seek even when we dont deserve it.

    I hope that the following instructions will help you with your work as God helped me.

    Step 00. Backup your important files and documents because the installation of vista will delete all

    Step 01. Install Dell Media Direct CD wich will create a partition for media files ( I have Dell Pc)

    Step 02. Install windows vista choosing to create fresh installation. when prompted delete the previows windows partition then create a new one and do not forget: chose the option to format it.

    Step 03. Install all necessary drivers, anti-virus, firewall and update your windows.

    Step 04. Turn Off UAC ( user account control ) by going on control panel – click user accounts –

    Step 05. Restart your PC on safe mode by pressin F8 when it is starting up.

    Step 06. Insert your adobe CD and copy all the files in your favorite folder on your Pc

    Step 07. Restart your PC normally – open the folder where you saved adobe – right click on setup.exe and chose option “run as administrator”. You will now be able to use adobe on vista

    Praise the Lord for guiding us when it seems impossible. We struggle because we dont ask and when we ask we doubt. Believe and you will receive the blessings of God. We try to solve things ourselves and we dont ask The Almighty that created everything that has ever been created. God knows it all and He is willing to give us wisdom without finding fault. We just have to come near him by prayer and with repentful heart and He hears us and helps us no matter what.

    If you need more info contact me at: [email protected]

    God Bless

  • MaxN

    WOW! I can’t believe it was that easy! Actually, all I did was go into c\windows\system32\macromed\flash and then clicked onto flashutil9b application and WALA! I didn’t even have to reboot. It does irritate me however that Adobe or Microsoft has not put this information out to users instead of folks like Jason having to do it for us. THANKS AGAIN, JASON.

  • MaxN

    As a followup to my last post. I just wish I had read Jason’s post before I wasted $39 to download a “Cleaner” program that supposedly cleaned up my computer and fixed errors, which of course did nothing as far as I could tell.

  • tracy21

    I’m having this same problem and I tried this, but it did not work for me. I didnt have this problem until I got the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player. I have 10 not 9, so maybe thats why what you did didnt work for me? I have tried everything I could think of, but nothing is working. I want to reinstall the Adobe Flash Player 9. I’ve tried looking for it on Adobe but I can’t find it for my pc. Is it not possible for me to go back to using Adobe 9? Any help I cant get would be nice!

  • tracy21,
    The latest version of Adobe Flash is 9f – version 10 is still in beta, so I suspect that’s why you’re having trouble. Go go and search for their Flash uninstall tool, then install v9. I was using v10 for a while, but there were some things that just never worked right.

  • tracy21,
    I stand corrected – the latest version is in fact 10.x

    I’m a bit confused though, because I just re-built my computer and installed Flash for both IE7 and Firefox 3, and on IE7 I have 9.0.124 and on Firefox I have So I really have no idea what the heck Adobe is up to… 🙁

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  • Don Moir

    This finnally happened to me and I believe I have the correct answer.

    The details can be found here:


  • fredg773

    I would love to try this fix, however I have no such directory as C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash.
    I have the latest version of Flash installed, and on most sites it does work. However it does not work on, that site keeps telling me I need flash! It’s very annoying and I have tried almost everything. No clue why I don’t have that directory tho if flash is installed.

  • fredg773,
    I’ve never seen a computer that didn’t have that folder, so my suggestion to you is to go to Adobe’s Web site, do a search for their Flash uninstall tool, and run that. Then come back and re-install Flash 10.

  • fredg773,
    I received an email from a Charles Culver who pointed out something useful:

    “The last poster says that he didn’t have that directory. Thats probably because he has vista x64. On my install of vista 64, the directory you need to browse to is:
    C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\flash\ The flashutil prog is in there.”

    So there you go…if you have Vista 64-bit, look in that folder…

  • jodie

    Hi there. Im searching on my mums behalf (Im not silly enough to have vista!!) and I was wondering if someone could run through the “fix” for the above problem again with installing adobe version _10_ again? Im getting a bit lost in all the posts.. I realise this is an old thread, so I hope someone is still listening! Thanks in advance. Jodie

  • jodie,
    The best thing to do is go to Adobe and use their uninstaller:

    Then just re-install Flash again:

  • Everlast118

    Thanks for that. I found it useful with Windows 7 as well since I had the same issue.

  • Dianahavelarolmos

    I am still having this problem, when I go the root (C:WindowsSystem32MacromedFlash) I only have an uninstall option.

  • Phripsyaktime

    Jason any suggestions for those of us who have windows 7 and having this problem??  I am not a puter geek so have to have simple instructions; any ideas would be appreciated as my game sight suggestions don’t seem to fix the problem

  • I haven’t seen this issue on Windows 7. Generally an uninstall of Flash using the Adobe uninstaller:

    Followed by a fresh install does the trick. Alternatively, use Chrome, which comes with Flash pre-installed (last time I checked).