New Chrome Edition Not Looking so Flash

Google has introduced a feature from Apple’s portable device range to the latest edition of the Chrome browser. Unfortunately, that feature is Flash not working… or at least, not working too well.

Ever since the update to the 10th edition of the browser I — and it appears a lot of other people — have been having a series of problems. Some, such as Google Gears crashing when accessing Gmail, appear rarely. But the main one is the browser’s frequent but not consistent inability to deliver Adobe Flash content doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. (Though of course, typically, everything is working fine as I write this!)

The problem doesn’t seem to be getting much coverage in the tech media: this article by ZDNet from last week is the only major report I could find, but judging from posts in various Google help forums, it appears I’m far from alone. Naturally that’s led to numerous attempts to deduce the cause of the problem, few of which have proved anywhere close to successful.

Here’s what’s known and what’s been dismissed:

  • The 64-bit edition of Windows 7 appears to be the most common set-up experiencing the problems, but not exclusively so.
  • There’s a theory that the problem occurs when two pages using Flash are opened and one is then closed. I can’t say my experience bears that out.
  • It doesn’t appear the problem is the result of Chrome having two ways of processing Flash (an Adobe plug-in and Chrome’s own support.) Disabling either of the Flash systems (by typing about:plugins) only produces temporary relief at best.
  • The problem hasn’t been fixed: several minor updates since Chrome 10 have made no difference.
  • The timeline suggests the problem isn’t related to Google fixing a recently-discovered security flaw in Flash.
  • The problem doesn’t seem to be related to Chrome running Flash content in a sandbox in the new edition: disabling the sandboxing (which requires a command line execution) doesn’t consistently solve the problem.

Meanwhile Google doesn’t seem to be having much joy, even 12 days on from the original reports. The most recent comment from the company suggests removing the Adobe Flash Player 10 (not Adobe Flash Direct X) via the Windows Control Panel, but in my case that appeared to have wiped out Chrome’s built-in Flash support as well.

That only leaves one potential source of joy: the readers of GeeksAreSexy. Are any other people having this problem? Has anyone deciphered a definite cause? And has anyone found a consistent and lasting solution?

Advertisement





53 Responses to New Chrome Edition Not Looking so Flash

  1. I've noticed the exact same thing! I'm running the latest version on Ubuntu (Latest stable built), and youtube videos often fail to load… I also get a lot of error messages on top of the browser which announce that flash has crashed.

    Since then, I've stopped using it on Ubuntu and I've switched to Firefox instead. However, Chrome works well on my XP box at work…

  2. I was having the same problem using Windows 7 32-bit and Chrome. I also dual boot Linux Mint 10 and have had no problems there. Under Windows, I uninstalled Flash, re-installed Flash and let Windows think about it for a few days while I stayed with Linux. After a few days, I booted back in to Windows and have not had a problem since (it has been a solid week).

  3. With Chrome 9 I had a ton of issues with Flash on my MacBook, especially with YouTube videos. The audio would play but there would be an empty space where the YouTube player would be. In fact, it would be like a hole in the browser window itself, and I'd see to the windows behind it. I thought v10 was handling Flash a lot better, but recently the issue seems to be coming up again.

    • I sort of had this issue, but it wasn't like a hole in the browser, it was more that visually, nothing happened. The time would stay on zero, and I'd just see the loading screen, but the sound still played, as you say. I also found that if friends sent me links to videos on MSN etc, no browser would open or anything, but I would be able to hear it, or sometimes it would open, but the sound would be doubled up, like I'd opened it twice, when there was only one window open.

    • I sort of had this issue, but it wasn’t like a hole in the browser, it was more that visually, nothing happened. The time would stay on zero, and I’d just see the loading screen, but the sound still played, as you say. I also found that if friends sent me links to videos on MSN etc, no browser would open or anything, but I would be able to hear it, or sometimes it would open, but the sound would be doubled up, like I’d opened it twice, when there was only one window open.

  4. I use XP at work and yes It happens a few times each work day.
    With all the corporate non-sense services running on the work PC, I did not attribute this to chrome going bad until this post.
    I can't really find the source of the problem but I definitely can say it happens when more than a few tabs are using flash.
    Also, I don't think it is related to user interaction as more than once, I have arrived at work and logged in to see the debris from what used to be my working tabs with flash that were OK the evening before.

    Weird.

  5. I have experienced this too, on both Win 7 64-bit and OS X 10.6. It doesn't happen consistenly, but occasionally I can't play YouTube videos, or the audio doesn't play properly, or something fucks up in one way or another.

  6. I have had the exact same problem with a constant crashing of flash. Finally gave up and installed IE 9. It hurt to make the change but IE 9 is actually pretty good and its speed is not bad.

  7. Am on Win 7 x64 and the only issue i'm having with chrome is that youtube videos don't load if I have another one opened in another tab, even if it's paused. Also, while switching to/from fullscreen i have some minor screen flickering. It's not that bad but i wish they'd fix it.

  8. Am on Win 7 x64 and the only issue i'm having with chrome is that youtube videos don't load if I have another one opened in another tab, even if it's paused. Also, while switching to/from fullscreen i have some minor screen flickering. It's not that bad but i wish they'd fix it.

  9. Turn off the new Hardware Acceleration feature. (easiest is to right click a youtube video, settings,display)

  10. Turn off the new Hardware Acceleration feature. (easiest is to right click a youtube video, settings,display)

  11. IT's nice to know I am not alone with this issue. I do have problems with chrome pulling up pdf documents. I have to go back to the old explorer to see specific documents which is a pain.

  12. IT’s nice to know I am not alone with this issue. I do have problems with chrome pulling up pdf documents. I have to go back to the old explorer to see specific documents which is a pain.

  13. IT’s nice to know I am not alone with this issue. I do have problems with chrome pulling up pdf documents. I have to go back to the old explorer to see specific documents which is a pain.

  14. I'm running Chrome on google's prototype Cr-48, and have had the issue where i open two pages running flash media and then close one, both pages then fail. Since this device is still a prototype (used for testing Google's Chrome OS) I expected to find a few bugs, but now that I've read this, I'm not surprised. I've had flash issues in nearly every application I've ever used that uses flash.

  15. I’m running Chrome on google’s prototype Cr-48, and have had the issue where i open two pages running flash media and then close one, both pages then fail. Since this device is still a prototype (used for testing Google’s Chrome OS) I expected to find a few bugs, but now that I’ve read this, I’m not surprised. I’ve had flash issues in nearly every application I’ve ever used that uses flash.

  16. Seems really odd to me as this is the first I've heard of the problem, having not had a single error with Chrome since 10 was released (touch wood). Guess I'm just one of the lucky ones lol

  17. Honestly, I haven't experienced any of these problems. I guess it's a vast majority that are having them, but I'm not a part of that. Sorry to hear your issues chaps.

  18. WIN7 X64, Chrome 10. Never had this kind of a problem. Just sometimes there is black box, and no video on youtube, but I think this is some extension's fault…

    • Nah, this is part of the problem. I've seen Chrome running on a few boxes with that symptom, and they had no extensions installed…

      • I'm using FF and had the "black box" issue a few days ago and jumped through a few hoops REinstalling flash and all that.
        I think it was more on youtubes end and maybe something to do with acceleration and all that because IE9 just hit the streets. Youtube making their own adjustments.
        About a day later all was well and no problems since.

  19. In running Win7 x64 with latest Chrome and have had the same issue a number a time. Restarting Chrome usually works.

  20. Running WinXP SP3. The only problem I've had is with videos in YouTube itself. They run fine on a Facebook wall page, or on your pages, but if I click-through to YouTube, all I get is a black rectangle with the audio portion playing. Maybe it's a YouTube problem and not a Chrome problem?

  21. Running WinXP SP3. The only problem I’ve had is with videos in YouTube itself. They run fine on a Facebook wall page, or on your pages, but if I click-through to YouTube, all I get is a black rectangle with the audio portion playing. Maybe it’s a YouTube problem and not a Chrome problem?

  22. YES! I've been noticing this loads recently. I've found there are some sites that trigger it to happen every time I visit them (generally sites I need really to get on…), but it also happens more generally. It's so frustrating having to go through and refresh every tab every time it happens, especially as it can happen every few minutes. I really hope they bring out a new fixed version soon. I run Ubuntu 10.10, and find Chrome so much faster than Firefox, so I don't want to have to stop using it, but I may have to if it gets any worse.

  23. YES! I've been noticing this loads recently. I've found there are some sites that trigger it to happen every time I visit them (generally sites I need really to get on…), but it also happens more generally. It's so frustrating having to go through and refresh every tab every time it happens, especially as it can happen every few minutes. I really hope they bring out a new fixed version soon. I run Ubuntu 10.10, and find Chrome so much faster than Firefox, so I don't want to have to stop using it, but I may have to if it gets any worse.

  24. I have had Chrome 10 for over a week now, but the Flash Crash (hehe that ryhmes!) has only started today. However I did notice everything crashing straight after an Adobe Air update. Maybe that's the problem? My only reason being that Air installs Flash – I think.

  25. I've avoided this issue by uninstalling Chrome shortly after I've installed it to see if they've added the option for bookmarks on the side, instead of that clunky top bar…

  26. I'm having the same problem at work. Running on the latest ubuntu, i discovered that flash used to crash a lot with chrome.
    I noticed that the crash was not happening when only one page with flash running was open. The problem seems to come from the loading of two different flash. (advertisements using flash in the same page of a flash player became a nightmare)
    I found some time ago that the problem was known for ubuntu users. I admit i never had the problem with chrome or firefox on my WinXP SP3 at home.
    Fun fact : crash is also happening with firefox on the same ubuntu system.

  27. It seems to be crashing at least twice a day now for me. I’m running Chrome 10 on Windows 7 64-bit.

  28. JFYI: I recently uninstalled Flash as well via the control panel, while I was watching a stream that is displayed using flash in chrome.. (I was uninstalling flash because I was getting rid of all other browsers on my pc, and I know that chrome has flash built-in)

    Whilst uninstalling the stream stopped, but I simply refreshed the page and it worked again after a few seconds.

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, running chrome 10.0.648.151.

  29. Chrome on my Windows 7 machine has this exact problem. I've had to switch – reluctantly – back to Firefox. Chrome on my Mac, though, works fine.

  30. Just navigated to your page in search of a solution to the chrome/Flash crash problem, and, ironically, the following plug in…….you know the rest. Flash still seems to fall over for no particular reason. It's frustrating as I have found Chrome to be fast, simple and user friendly until this last update.

  31. Yep, same problem on 3 computers – one XP, One vista and one Windows 7.
    Tried all recommended theories found so far (mainly regarding disabling plug-ins etc). No Joy.

    Plug-in crashes occurring 5 or 6 times a day requiring browser restart to provide short term relief before the next crash.

  32. Windows 7 64-bit: Flash crashes constantly. So does Google Gears when opening Gmail. I'm still looking for a solution to the problem.

    • Yep. Switched to Chrome last week because Firefox 4 was constantly crashing. Chrome has been worse. I did install Avira instead of AVG at about the same time I started to have browser problems.

  33. Also broken on Chrome Mac.

    The symptoms are flash elements work ok for a while but eventually they start 'freezing' the web pages. Killing the plug-in process is enough to unfreeze the pages (btw, the plug-in process was idle at the time), but the problem often reappears when the process restarts.

    This started happening since I upgraded my Mac to SSD. Coincidence perhaps, as it might just be my browser hadn't updated for a while, but it could indicate that it's triggered by some kind of race condition.

  34. Also broken on Chrome Mac.

    The symptoms are flash elements work ok for a while but eventually they start ‘freezing’ the web pages. Killing the plug-in process is enough to unfreeze the pages (btw, the plug-in process was idle at the time), but the problem often reappears when the process restarts.

    This started happening since I upgraded my Mac to SSD. Coincidence perhaps, as it might just be my browser hadn’t updated for a while, but it could indicate that it’s triggered by some kind of race condition.

  35. Same general problems on my Win 7 – 32 bit installation with Chrome when playing Flash video (from YouTube or other sources). In my case – the video plays but no sound.

    When I go to the same site – my IE 9.08.nnn installation works fine. Also – all other sound applications work fine.

    I have the K-Lite Media Player Classic Codec pack installed. I have tried removing Chrome and Adobe Flash Player – but no success. I will use IE again – at least until this is resolved.

  36. I just re-installed firefox because thought youtube is functioning properly- i can't go on livemocha and a shit ton of other crap that i like on the intenet and it is pretty freakin' annoying.

  37. I'm using Chrome on Windows 7 and had many problems with flash content..Youtube freezes the whole browser couple of times a day. There was annoying scroll boxes in every embedded videolink in Facebook, that is gone now. But now I have a problem with some flash content, there's just black boxes..when I click right mouse button, those boxes appear normal..otherwise they are black. I've had even couple of bluescreens, and I think because of this same problem!