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)