Adobe Flash Player (labeled Shockwave Flash in
Internet Explorer and
Firefox) is freeware for using content created on the Adobe Flash
platform, including viewing multimedia contents, executing rich
Internet applications, and streaming audio and video. Flash Player can
run from a web browser as a browser plug-in or on supported mobile
devices. Flash Player was created by
Macromedia and has been developed
and distributed by
Adobe Systems since Adobe acquired Macromedia.
Flash Player runs
SWF files that can be created by Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash Builder or by third party tools such as
FlashDevelop. Flash Player supports vector graphics, 3D graphics,
embedded audio, video and raster graphics, and a scripting language
ActionScript is based on
ECMAScript (similar to
distributed free of charge and its plug-in versions are available for
every major web browser and operating system.
Google Chrome, Internet
Explorer 11 in
Windows 8 and later, and
Microsoft Edge come bundled
with a sandboxed
Adobe Flash plug-in.
Flash Player once had a large user base, and was a common format for
web games, animations, and graphical user interface (GUI) elements
embedded in web pages. Adobe stated in 2013 that more than 400 million
out of over 1 billion connected desktops update to the new version of
Flash Player within six weeks of release. Flash Player has become
increasingly criticized for its performance, consumption of battery on
mobile devices, the number of security vulnerabilities that had been
discovered in the software, and its closed platform nature. Apple
Steve Jobs was highly critical of Flash Player, having
published an open letter detailing Apple's reasoning for banning Flash
from its iOS device family. Its usage has also waned because of modern
web standards that allow some of Flash's use cases to be fulfilled
without third-party plugins.
In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would end support for Flash
Player in 2020, and continued to encourage the use of open HTML5
standards in place of Flash. The announcement was coordinated
with Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and
1.1 Data formats
1.3 Streaming protocols
1.4.1 Hardware acceleration
2 Development methods
3 Development tools
3.1 Game development
4.1 Desktop platforms
4.2 Mobile platforms
4.3 Other hardware
5 Open source
6.4 Vendor lock-in
6.5 Apple controversy
7 Release history
8 See also
9 References and notes
10 Further reading
11 External links
Adobe Flash Player is a runtime that executes and displays content
from a provided
SWF file, although it has no in-built features to
SWF file at runtime. It can execute software written in the
ActionScript programming language which enables the runtime
manipulation of text, data, vector graphics, raster graphics, sound
and video. The player can also access certain connected hardware
devices, including web cameras and microphones, after permission for
the same has been granted by the user.
Flash Player is used internally by the
Adobe Integrated Runtime
Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR),
to provide a cross-platform runtime environment for desktop
applications and mobile applications. AIR supports installable
applications on Windows, Linux, macOS, and some mobile operating
systems such as iOS and Android. Flash applications must specifically
be built for the AIR runtime to use additional features provided, such
as file system integration, native client extensions, native
window/screen integration, taskbar/dock integration, and hardware
integration with connected
Flash Player includes native support for many different data formats,
some of which can only be accessed through the
XML: Flash Player has included native support for
XML parsing and
generation since version 8.
XML data is held in memory as an XML
Document Object Model, and can be manipulated using ActionScript.
ActionScript 3 also supports
XML (E4X), which allows
XML data to be manipulated more easily.
JSON: Flash Player 11 includes native support for importing and
exporting data in the
allows interoperability with web services and
AMF: Flash Player allows application data to be stored on users
computers, in the form of Local Shared Objects, the Flash equivalent
to browser cookies. Flash Player can also natively read and write
files in the Action Message Format, the default data format for Local
Shared Objects. Since the AMF format specification is published, data
can be transferred to and from Flash applications using AMF datasets
JSON or XML, reducing the need for parsing and validating
SWF: The specification for the
SWF file format was published by Adobe,
enabling the development of the SWX Format project, which used the SWF
file format and AMF as a means for Flash applications to exchange data
with server side applications. The SWX system stores data as
SWF bytecode which is automatically interpreted by Flash
Player. Another open-source project, SWXml allows Flash
applications to load
XML files as native
ActionScript objects without
XML parsing, by converting
XML files to SWF/AMF on the
Flash Player is primarily a graphics and multimedia platform, and has
supported raster graphics and vector graphics since its earliest
version. It supports the following different multimedia formats which
it can natively decode and playback.
MP3: Support for decoding and playback of streaming MPEG-2 Audio Layer
III (MP3) audio was introduced in Flash Player 4.
MP3 files can be
accessed and played back from a server via HTTP, or embedded inside an
SWF file, which is also a streaming format.
FLV: Support for decoding and playing back video and audio inside
Video (FLV and F4V) files, a format developed by Adobe Systems
and Macromedia. Flash
Video is only a container format and supports
multiple different video codecs, such as Sorenson Spark,
VP6 and more
recently H.264. Flash Player uses hardware acceleration to display
video where present, using technologies such as
OpenGL to do so. Flash
Video is used by YouTube,
Hulu, Yahoo! Video, BBC Online and other news providers. FLV
files can be played back from a server using
download, and can also be embedded inside an
SWF file. Flash
also be streamed via RTMP using the
Adobe Flash Media Server or other
such server-side software.
PNG: Support for decoding and rendering Portable Network Graphics
(PNG) images, in both its 24-bit (opaque) and 32-bit
(semi-transparent) variants. Flash Player 11 can also encode a PNG
bitmap via ActionScript.
JPEG: Support for decoding and rendering compressed
JPEG images. Flash
Player 10 added support for the
JPEG-XR advanced image compression
standard developed by
Microsoft Corporation, which results in better
compression and quality than JPEG.
JPEG-XR enables lossy and lossless
compression with or without alpha channel transparency. Flash Player
11 can also encode a
JPEG-XR bitmap via ActionScript.
GIF: Support for decoding and rendering compressed Graphics
Interchange Format (GIF) images, in its single-frame variants only.
Loading a multi-frame GIF will display only the first image frame.
HTTP: Support for communicating with web servers using
and POST data. However, only websites that explicitly allow Flash
to connect to them can be accessed via
HTTP or sockets, to prevent
Flash being used as a tool for cross-site request forgery,
cross-site scripting, DNS rebinding and denial-of-service attacks.
Websites must host a certain
XML file termed a cross domain
policy, allowing or denying Flash content from specific websites
to connect to them. Certain websites, such as Digg, Flickr,
Photobucket already host a cross domain policy that permits Flash
content to access their website via HTTP.
RTMP: Support for live audio and video streaming using the Real Time
Messaging Protocol (RTMP) developed by Macromedia. RTMP supports a
non-encrypted version over the
Transmission Control Protocol
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or
an encrypted version over a secure
Transport Layer Security (SSL)
connection. RTMPT can also be encapsulated within
HTTP requests to
traverse firewalls that only allow
TCP: Support for
Transmission Control Protocol
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Internet socket
communication to communicate with any type of server, using stream
sockets. Sockets can be used only via ActionScript, and can transfer
XML or binary data (
ActionScript 3.0 and later).
To prevent security issues, web servers that permit Flash content to
communicate with them using sockets must host an XML-based cross
domain policy file, served on Port 843. Sockets enable AS3
programs to interface with any kind of server software, such as
Until version 10 of the Flash player, there was no support for GPU
acceleration. Version 10 added a limited form of support for shaders
on materials in the form of the
Pixel Bender API, but still did not
have GPU-accelerated 3D vertex processing. A significant change
came in version 11, which added a new low-level API called Stage3D
(initially codenamed Molehill), which provides full
similar to WebGL. (The partial support for
GPU acceleration in
Pixel Bender was completely removed in Flash 11.8, resulting in the
disruption of some projects like MIT's Scratch, which lacked the
manpower to recode their applications quickly enough.)
Current versions of Flash Player are optimized to use hardware
acceleration for video playback and 3D graphics rendering on many
devices, including desktop computers. Performance is similar to HTML5
video playback. Also, Flash Player has been used on multiple
mobile devices as a primary user interface renderer.
Although code written in
ActionScript 3 executes up to 10 times faster
than the prior
ActionScript 2, the Adobe
ActionScript 3 compiler
is a non-optimizing compiler, and produces inefficient bytecode in the
resulting SWF, when compared to toolkits such as
CrossBridge, a toolkit that targets
C++ code to run within the Flash
Player, uses the
LLVM compiler to produce bytecode that runs up to 10
times faster than code the
ActionScript 3 compiler produces, only
LLVM compiler uses more aggressive
Adobe has released
ActionScript Compiler 2 (ASC2) in Flex 4.7 and
onwards, which improves compilation times and optimizes the generated
bytecode and supports method inlining, improving its performance at
As of 2012, the
Haxe multiplatform language can build programs for
Flash Player that perform faster than the same application built with
Adobe Flex SDK compiler.[unreliable source?]
Flash Player applications and games can be built in two significantly
"Flex" applications: The
Adobe Flex Framework is an integrated
collection of stylable Graphical User Interface, data manipulation and
networking components, and applications built upon it are termed
"Flex" applications. Startup time is reduced since the Flex framework
must be downloaded before the application begins, and weighs in at
approximately 500 KB. Editors include
Adobe Flash Builder and
"Pure ActionScript" applications: Applications built without the Flex
framework allow greater flexibility and performance. Video
games built for Flash Player are typically pure-Actionscript projects.
Various open-source component frameworks are available for pure
ActionScript projects, such as MadComponents, that provide UI
Components at significantly smaller
SWF file sizes.
In both methods, developers can access the full Flash Player set of
functions, including text, vector graphics, bitmap graphics, video,
audio, camera, microphone, and others. AIR also includes added
features such as file system integration, native extensions, native
desktop integration, and hardware integration with connected devices.
Adobe provides five ways of developing applications for Flash Player:
Adobe Flash Builder: enterprise application development and debugging
Adobe Animate: graphic design, animation and scripting toolset
Adobe Scout: visual profiler for performance optimization
Apache Flex: a free SDK to compile Flash and
Adobe AIR applications
from source code; developed by Adobe and donated to the Apache
CrossBridge: a free SDK to cross-compile
C++ code to run in Flash
Third-party development environments are also available:
FlashDevelop: an open-source Flash
ActionScript IDE, which includes a
debugger for AIR applications
Powerflasher FDT: a commercial
CodeDrive: an extension to
Visual Studio 2010
Visual Studio 2010 for
ActionScript 3 development and debugging
MTASC: a compiler
Haxe: a multi-platform language
Adobe offers the free Adobe Gaming SDK, consisting (as of August
2014[update]) of several open-source AS3 libraries built on the Flash
Stage3D APIs for GPU-accelerated graphics:
Away3D: GPU-accelerated 3D graphics and animation engine
Starling: GPU-accelerated 2D graphics that mimics the Flash display
Feathers: GPU-accelerated skinnable
GUI library built on top of
Dragon Bones: GPU-accelerated 2D skeletal animation library
A few commercial game engines target Flash Player (Stage3D) as
run-time environment, such as Unity 3D and Unreal Engine
3. Before the introduction of Stage3D, a number of older 2D
engines or isometric engines like
Flixel saw their heyday.
Adobe also developed the
CrossBridge toolkit which cross-compiles
C++ code to run within the Flash Player, using
LLVM and GCC as
compiler backends, and high-performance memory-access opcodes in the
Flash Player (termed "Domain Memory") to work with in-memory data
CrossBridge is targeted toward the game development
industry, and includes tools for building, testing, and debugging
C++ projects in Flash Player.
Notable online video games developed in Flash include Angry Birds,
FarmVille 2, and
AdventureQuest (started in 2002, and
still active as of 2011).
The latest version of Flash Player is available for
Windows XP and
Mac OS X 10.6
Mac OS X 10.6 and later and Linux.
Adobe Flash Player is available in four flavors:
Internet Explorer – ActiveX" version is an
ActiveX control for
use in Internet Explorer, its shells, and other Windows applications
ActiveX technology. This plugin cannot be installed on
Windows 8 and later, because these OSes come with their own integrated
Flash Player ActiveX.
Firefox – NPAPI" version is available for
Firefox as well as
other applications that support
The "Opera and Chromium – PPAPI" version is available for Chromium
and browsers based on Chromium (such as Opera) as well as other
applications that support
PPAPI technology. This plugin cannot be
Google Chrome as it comes with its own built-in Flash
The "projector" version is a standalone player that can open
On February 22, 2012, Adobe announced that it would no longer release
new versions of
NPAPI Flash plugins for Linux, although Flash Player
11.2 would continue to receive security updates. In August
2016 Adobe announced that, beginning with version 24, it will resume
offering of Flash Player for
Linux for other browsers.
The Extended Support Release (ESR) of Flash Player on macOS and
Windows was a version of Flash Player kept up to date with security
updates, but none of the new features or bug fixes available in later
versions. It has been on version 11.7 as of July 9, 2013, version
13 as of May 13, 2014, and version 18 as of August 11, 2015.
Adobe has decided to discontinue the ESR branch and instead focus
solely on the standard release as of August 2016.
Availability on desktop operating systems
Latest stable version
XP and later, Server 2003 and later
Current stable version: 188.8.131.52
Old version, no longer supported: 184.108.40.206
98 and ME
Old version, no longer supported: 9.0.289.0
95 and NT 4 (IA-32)
Old version, no longer supported: 220.127.116.11
Current stable version: 18.104.22.168
Old version, no longer supported: 10.3.183.90
10.4 (IA-32,PPC)–10.5 (PPC)
Old version, no longer supported: 10.1.102.64
Old version, no longer supported: 9.0.289.0
Classic Mac OS
Old version, no longer supported: 22.214.171.124
Old version, no longer supported: 5
Current stable version: 126.96.36.199
Old version, no longer supported: 188.8.131.52
Main article: Adobe Integrated Runtime
In 2011, Flash Player had emerged as the de facto standard for online
video publishing on the desktop, with adaptive bitrate video
streaming, DRM, and fullscreen support. On mobile devices
however, after Apple refused to allow the Flash Player within the
inbuilt iOS web browser, Adobe changed strategy, enabling Flash
content to be delivered as native mobile applications using the Adobe
Up until 2012, Flash Player 11 was available for the Android (ARM
Cortex-A8 and above), although in June 2012,
that Android 4.1 (codenamed Jelly Bean) would not support Flash by
default. Starting in August 2012, Adobe no longer updates Flash for
Android. In spite of this,
Adobe Flash is still available to
install on Android devices via Adobe's update archives (up to Android
Flash Player is certified to be supported on a select range of mobile
and tablet devices, from Acer, BlackBerry 10, Dell, HTC, Lenovo,
Logitech, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, SoftBank,
Sony (and Sony
Ericsson), and Toshiba. As of 2012, Adobe has stopped
browser-based Flash Player development for mobile browsers in favor of
HTML5, however Adobe continues to support Flash content on
mobile devices with the Adobe Integrated Runtime, which allows
developers to publish content that runs as native applications on
certain supported mobile phone platforms.
Version 9 is the most recent version currently available for the
Linux/ARM-based Nokia 770/N800/N810 Internet tablets running Maemo
Mac OS and Windows 95/NT. Version 10 can be run
under Windows 98/Me using KernelEx. HP offers Version 6 of the player
for HP-UX. Other versions of the player have been available at
some point for OS/2, Symbian OS, Palm OS,
BeOS and IRIX. The Kodak
Easyshare One includes Flash Player.
Adobe said it will optimize Flash for use on
ARM architecture (ARMv7
and ARMv6 architectures used in the Cortex-A series of processors and
in the ARM11 family) and release it in the second half of 2009. The
company also stated it wants to enable Flash on NVIDIA Tegra, Texas
Instruments OMAP 3 and
Samsung ARMs. Beginning 2009, it was
announced that Adobe would be bringing Flash to TV sets via Intel
Media Processor CE 3100 before mid-2009.
ARM Holdings later said
it welcomes the move of Flash, because "it will transform mobile
applications and it removes the claim that the desktop controls the
Internet." However, as of May 2009, the expected ARM/
devices had poor support for Web video and fragmented software
Among other devices,
LeapFrog Enterprises provides Flash Player with
Multimedia Learning System and extended the Flash
Player with touch-screen support.
Sony has integrated Flash
Player 6 into the PlayStation Portable's web browser via firmware
version 2.70 and Flash Player 9 into the PlayStation 3's web browser
in firmware version 2.50.
Nintendo has integrated Flash Lite 3.1,
equivalent to Flash 8, in the
Internet Channel on the Wii.
The following table documents Flash Player and AIR support on mobile
Android 2.2–4.1, ARM Cortex-A8+
Flash Player 11.1, AIR 3.1
Flash Lite 3.0
Flash Player 11.1, AIR 3.1
Flash Player 11.1, AIR 3.1
BlackBerry Tablet OS
Flash Player 11.1, AIR 3.1
Flash Player 9.4
PlayStation 3 with Firmware 2.50, NetFront 2.81
Flash Player 9.1 (update 3)
PSP with Firmware 2.70
Flash Player 6
Flash Lite 4.0
Wii (Internet Channel)
Flash Lite 3.1
Pocket PC 2003
Flash Player 7
Windows Mobile 5
Flash Player 7
Some CPU emulators have been created for Flash Player, including
Chip8, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and the Nintendo
Entertainment System. They enable video games created for such
platforms to run within Flash Player.
Adobe has taken steps to reduce or eliminate Flash licensing costs.
For instance, the
SWF file format documentation is provided free of
charge after they relaxed the requirement of accepting a
non-disclosure agreement to view it in 2008. Adobe also created
Open Screen Project
Open Screen Project which removes licensing fees and opens data
protocols for Flash.
Adobe has also open-sourced many components relating to Flash.
In 2006, the
ActionScript Virtual Machine 2 (AVM2) which implements
ActionScript 3 was donated as open-source to
Mozilla Foundation, to
begin work on the Tamarin virtual machine that will finally implement
ECMAScript 4 language standard with the help of the Mozilla
community. It was released under the terms of a MPL/GPL/LGPL
tri-license and includes the specification for the ActionScript
Tamarin Project jointly managed by
Mozilla and Adobe
Systems It is now considered obsolete by Mozilla.
In 2011, the
Adobe Flex Framework was donated as open-source to the
Apache Software Foundation
Apache Software Foundation and rebranded as Apache Flex. Some saw
this move as Adobe abandoning Flex, and stepping away from the Flash
Platform as a whole. Sources from Apache say that
"Enterprise application development is no longer a focus at Adobe. At
least as Flash is concerned, Adobe is concentrating on games and
video.", and they conclude that "Flex Innovation is
Exploding!". The donated source code included a partly developed
AS3 compiler (dubbed "Falcon") and the
BlazeDS set of
In 2013, the
C++ cross-compilation toolset was open
sourced by Adobe and released on GitHub. The project was
formerly termed "Alchemy" and "Flash Runtime
C++ Compiler", and
targeted the game development market to enable
C++ video games to run
Adobe Flash Player.
However, Adobe has not been willing to make complete source code of
the Flash Player available for free software development. Free and
open source alternatives to the
Adobe Flash Player such as Shumway and
Gnash have been built, but are no longer under active development
and therefore not a viable alternative. The only fully functional
open-source third-party Flash Player is the commercially available
Scaleform GFx Player, which is game development middleware designed
for integration into non-Flash video games.
In some browsers, prior Flash versions have had to be uninstalled
before an updated version could be installed. However, as of
version 11.2 for Windows, there are now automatic updater
Linux is partially supported, as Adobe is cooperating
Google to implement it via Chrome web browser on all Linux
Mixing Flash applications with HTML leads to inconsistent behavior
with respect to input handling (keyboard and mouse not working as they
would in an HTML-only document). This is often done in web sites
and can lead to poor user experience with the site.
The February 20, 2014 update to 184.108.40.206 introduced a reported bug,
producing green video with sound only. This defect is related to
hardware acceleration and may be overcome by disabling hardware
acceleration via the Adobe settings in
Firefox (accessed by right
clicking within the video) or in
Internet Explorer (within the Tools
settings). This defect may be related to widely used graphics
hardware, AMD Radeon HD video cards, and similar visual defects have
occurred in earlier Flash updates, with the same workaround.
Adobe Flash § Flash cookies
Flash Player supports persistent local storage of data (also referred
to as Local Shared Objects), which can be used similarly to HTTP
Web Storage in web applications. Local storage in Flash
Player allows websites to store non-executable data on a user's
computer, such as authentication information, game high scores or
saved games, server-based session identifiers, site preferences, saved
work, or temporary files. Flash Player will only allow content
originating from exactly the same website domain to access data saved
in local storage.
Because local storage can be used to save information on a computer
that is later retrieved by the same site, a site can use it to gather
user statistics, similar to how
HTTP cookies and
Web Storage can be
used. With such technologies, the possibility of building a profile
based on user statistics is considered by some a potential privacy
concern. Users can disable or restrict use of local storage in Flash
Player through a "Settings Manager" page. These settings can
be accessed from the Adobe website or by right-clicking on Flash-based
content and selecting "Global Settings".
Local storage can be disabled entirely or on a site-by-site basis.
Disabling local storage will block any content from saving local user
information using Flash Player, but this may disable or reduce the
functionality of some websites, such as saved preferences or high
scores and saved progress in games.
Flash Player 10.1 and upward honor the privacy mode settings in the
latest versions of the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari
web browsers, such that no local storage data is saved when the
browser's privacy mode is in use.
Adobe Flash § Security
Adobe security bulletins and advisories announce security updates, but
Adobe Flash Player release notes do not disclose the security issues
addressed when a release closes security holes, making it difficult to
evaluate the urgency of a particular update. A version test page
allows the user to check if the latest version is installed, and
uninstallers may be used to ensure that old-version plugins have been
uninstalled from all installed browsers.
In February 2010, Adobe officially apologized for not fixing a
known vulnerability for over a year. In June 2010 Adobe announced a
"critical vulnerability" in recent versions, saying there are reports
that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild
Adobe Flash Player, and
Adobe Reader and
Acrobat. Later, in October 2010, Adobe announced
another critical vulnerability, this time also affecting Android-based
mobile devices. Android users have been recommended to disable Flash
or make it only on demand. Subsequent security vulnerabilities
also exposed Android users, such as the two critical vulnerabilities
published in February 2013 or the four critical vulnerabilities
published in March 2013, all of which could lead to arbitrary
Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report states that a remote
code execution in
Adobe Reader and Flash Player was the second
most attacked vulnerability in 2009. The same report also recommended
using browser extensions to disable Flash Player usage on untrusted
McAfee predicted that Adobe software, especially Reader and
Flash, would be primary target for attacks in 2010. Adobe
applications had become, at least at some point, the most popular
client-software targets for attackers during the last quarter of
2009. The Kaspersky Security Network published statistics for the
third quarter of 2012 showing that 47.5% of its users were affected by
one or more critical vulnerabilities. The report also highlighted
that "Flash Player vulnerabilities enable cybercriminals to bypass
security systems integrated into the application."
Steve Jobs criticized the security of Flash Player, noting that
Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst
security records in 2009". Adobe responded by pointing out that
Symantec Global Internet Threat Report for 2009, found that Flash
Player had the second lowest number of vulnerabilities of all Internet
technologies listed (which included both web plug-ins and
April 7, 2016, Adobe released a Flash Player patch for a zero-day
memory corruption vulnerability CVE-2016-1019 that could be used to
deliver malware via the Magnitude exploit kit. The vulnerability could
be exploited for remote code execution.
Flash Player 11.2 does not play certain kinds of content unless it has
been digitally signed by Adobe, following a license obtained by the
publisher directly from Adobe.
This move by Adobe, together with the abandonment of Flex to Apache
was criticized as a way to lock out independent tool developers, in
favor of Adobe's commercial tools.
This has been resolved as of January 2013, after Adobe no longer
requires a license or royalty from the developer. All premium features
are now classified as general availability, and can be freely used by
Main article: Apple and
Adobe Flash controversy
In April 2010, Steve Jobs, at the time CEO of
Apple Inc. published an
open letter explaining why Apple would not support Flash on the
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. In the letter he blamed problems
with the "openness", stability, security, performance, and touchscreen
integration of the Flash Player as reasons for refusing to support it.
He also claimed that when one of Apple's
Macintosh computers crashes,
"more often than not" the cause can be attributed to Flash, and
described Flash as "buggy". Adobe's CEO Shantanu Narayen
responded by saying, "If Flash [is] the number one reason that Macs
crash, which I'm not aware of, it has as much to do with the Apple
Steve Jobs also claimed that a large percentage of the video on the
Internet is supported on iOS, since many popular video sharing
websites such as
YouTube have published video content in an HTML5
compatible format, enabling videos to playback in mobile web browsers
even without Flash Player.
Adobe Flash Player version history
Macromedia Flash Player 2 (June 17, 1997)
Mostly vectors and motion, some bitmaps, limited audio
Support of stereo sound, enhanced bitmap integration, buttons, the
Library, and the ability to tween color changes
Macromedia Flash Player 3 (May 31, 1998)
Added alpha transparency, licensed
Brought improvements to animation, playback, and publishing, as well
as the introduction of simple script commands for interactivity
Macromedia Flash Player 4 (June 15, 1999)
Saw the introduction of streaming MP3s and the Motion Tween.
Initially, the Flash Player plug-in was not bundled with popular web
browsers and users had to visit
Macromedia website to download it; As
of 2000, however, the Flash Player was already being distributed with
Internet Explorer browsers. Two years later it
shipped with all releases of Windows XP. The install-base of the Flash
Player reached 92 percent of all Internet users.
Macromedia Flash Player 5 (August 24, 2000)
A major advance in ability, with the evolution of Flash's scripting
abilities as released as ActionScript
Saw the ability to customize the authoring environment's interface
Macromedia Generator was the first initiative from
separate design from content in Flash files. Generator 2.0 was
released in April 2001, and featured real-time server-side generation
of Flash content in its Enterprise Edition. Generator was discontinued
in 2002, in favor of new technologies such as Flash Remoting, which
allows for seamless transmission of data between the server and the
In October 2000, usability guru Jakob Nielsen wrote a polemic article
regarding usability of Flash content entitled "Flash: 99% Bad".
Macromedia later hired Nielsen to help them improve Flash usability.)
Macromedia Flash Player logo
Macromedia Flash Player 6 (version 220.127.116.11, codenamed Exorcist)
(March 15, 2002)
Support for the consuming Flash Remoting (AMF) and Web Service (SOAP)
Supports ondemand/live audio and video streaming (RTMP)
Support for screenreaders via
Microsoft Active Accessibility
Sorenson Spark video codec for Flash Video
Support for video, application components, shared libraries, and
Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, also released in 2002,
allowed video to be streamed to Flash Player 6 (otherwise the video
could be embedded into the Flash movie).
Macromedia Flash Player 7 (version 18.104.22.168, codenamed Mojo)
(September 10, 2003)
Supports progressive audio and video streaming (HTTP)
ActionScript 2.0, an object-oriented programming language for
Ability to create charts, graphs and additional text effects with the
new support for extensions (sold separately), high fidelity import of
Adobe Illustrator 10 files, mobile and device development and
a forms-based development environment.
ActionScript 2.0 was also
introduced, giving developers a formal object-oriented approach to
ActionScript. V2 Components replaced Flash MX's components, being
rewritten from the ground up to take advantage of
ActionScript 2.0 and
In 2004, the "Flash Platform" was introduced. This expanded Flash to
more than the Flash authoring tool. Flex 1.0 and Breeze 1.0 were
released, both of which used the Flash Player as a delivery method but
relied on tools other than the Flash authoring program to create Flash
applications and presentations. Flash Lite 1.1 was also released,
enabling mobile phones to play Flash content.
Last version for Windows 95/NT4 and Mac Classic
Macromedia Flash Player 8 (version 22.214.171.124, codenamed Maelstrom)
(September 13, 2005)
Support for runtime loading of GIF and PNG images
New video codec (
Improved runtime performance and runtime bitmap caching
Live filters and blendmodes
File upload and download abilities
New text-rendering engine, the Saffron Type System
ExternalAPI subsystem introduced to replace fscommand
On December 3, 2005,
Adobe Systems acquired
Macromedia and its product
portfolio (including Flash).
Macromedia Flash Player 8 (version 126.96.36.199) (April 23, 2006)
Adobe Flash Player 9 (version 188.8.131.52, codenamed Zaphod and formerly
named Flash Player 8.5) (June 22, 2006)
ActionScript Virtual Machine 2 (AVM2) with AVM1
retained for compatibility
ActionScript 3 (a superset of
ECMAScript 3) via AVM2
E4X, which is a new approach to parsing XML
Support for binary sockets
Support for regular expressions and namespaces
AVM2 donated to
Mozilla Foundation as open-source virtual machine
Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 1 (version 184.108.40.206, codenamed Marvin)
(November 9, 2006)
Support for fullscreen mode
Adobe Flash Player 9 (version 220.127.116.11) (March 27, 2007)
Support for Creative Suite 3.
Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 2 (version Mac/Windows 18.104.22.168 and Linux
22.214.171.124, codenamed Hotblack) (June 11, 2007)
Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 3 (version 126.96.36.199, codenamed Moviestar
or Frogstar) (December 2007)
AAC (HE-AAC, AAC Main Profile, and AAC-LC)
Video file format F4V based on the ISO base media file
format (MPEG-4 Part 12)
Support for container formats based on the ISO base media file
Last version for Windows 98/ME and other platforms
Adobe Flash Player 10 (version 10.0.12.36, codenamed Astro) (October
3D object transformations
Custom filters via Pixel Bender
Advanced text support
Speex audio codec
Real Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP)
Dynamic sound generation
Vector data type
Larger bitmap support
Graphics drawing API
Anti-aliasing engine (Saffron 3.1)
Read/write clipboard access
Adobe Flash Player 10 (version 10.0.32.18) (July 27, 2009)
Adobe Flash Player 10 (version 10.0.42.34) (November 16, 2009)
Adobe Flash Player 10 (version 10.0.45.2) (February 21, 2010)
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 (version 10.1.53.64, codenamed Argo) (June 10,
Reuse of bitmap data copies for better memory management
Improved garbage collector
H.264 video decoding
HTTP Dynamic Streaming
Peer-assisted networking and multicast
Support for browser privacy modes
For Macs/OSX 10.4 ppc or later
Using Cocoa UI for Macs
Use of double-buffered
OpenGL context for fullscreen
Use of Core Animation
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 (version 10.2.152.26, codenamed Spicy)
(February 8, 2011)
Stage Video, a full hardware-accelerated video pipeline
Internet Explorer 9 hardware-accelerated rendering support
Custom native mouse cursors
Multiple monitor fullscreen support
Enhanced subpixel rendering for text
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 (version 10.2.152.32) (February 28, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 (version 10.2.153.1) (March 21, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 (version 10.2.159.1) (April 15, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.181.14, codenamed Wasabi) (May
Media measurement (video analytics for websites; desktop only)
Acoustic Echo Cancellation (acoustic echo cancellation, noise
suppression, voice activity detection, automatic compensation for
microphone input levels; desktop only)
Integration with browser privacy controls for managing local storage
Native control panel
Auto-update notification for
Mac OS X
Last version for
Mac OS X 10.5 and
Windows 2000 (unofficially
bypassing the XP installer)
Adobe replaced Extended Support Release 10.3 by 11.7 on July 9,
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.181.23) (June 5, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.181.26) (June 14, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.181.34) (June 29, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.183.5) (August 14, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.183.7) (August 24, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.183.10) (September 21, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.183.11) (November 11, 2011)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.183.25) (September 18, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 10.3 (version 10.3.183.29) (October 8, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11 (version 188.8.131.52, codenamed Serrano) (October
Stage 3D accelerated graphics rendering
Desktop: Windows (
DirectX 9), OS X (
Intel processor only) and Linux
OpenGL 1.3), Swift
Mobile: Android and iOS (
OpenGL ES 2)
H.264/AVC software encoding for cameras
Asynchronous bitmap decoding
TLS secure sockets
Desktop and mobile
Video hardware acceleration
Native extension libraries
Desktop: Windows (.dll), OS X (.framework)
Mobile: Android (.jar, .so), iOS (.a)
JPEG XR decoding
G.711 audio compression for telephony
HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS)
Unlimited bitmap size
Background audio playback
Device speaker control
16- and 32-bit color depth
Adobe Flash Player 11.1 (version 184.108.40.206, codenamed Anza)
(November 10, 2011)
Last version of the web browser plug-in for mobile devices (made for
Android 2.2 to 4.0.3)
iOS 5 native extensions for AIR
StageText: Native text input UI for Android
Security enhancements, last official version for Windows 2000
Adobe Flash Player 11.1 (version 220.127.116.11) (March 5, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.2 (version 18.104.22.168) (March 28, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.2 (version 22.214.171.124) (April 12, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.2 (version 126.96.36.199, codenamed Brannan) (May
The Windows version offers automatic updater options
Dropped support of the browser plug-in for mobile devices (Android).
Android app developers are encouraged to use Adobe Air and Android web
developers should switch to HTML5.
Extended support for Flash player 11.2 on Solaris as it is the last
version to be supported.
Adobe replaced Extended Support Release 11.2 on
Linux with 24.0 on
December 13, 2016.
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.257) (June 8, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.262) (June 21, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.265) (July 11, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.268) (July 26, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.270) (August 4, 2012)
Desktop and mobile
Fullscreen interactive mode (keyboard input during fullscreen)
Native bitmap encoding and compression (PNG, JPEG, JPEG-XR)
Draw bitmaps with quality (low, medium, high, best)
Texture streaming for Stage3D
Dropped support for
Linux and Solaris
Auto-orientation on specific devices
USB debugging for AIR on iOS
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.271) (September 18, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.3 (version 11.3.300.273) (October 3, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.4 (version 11.4.402.259) (August 10, 2012)
Flash Player only
Licensing support: Flash Player Premium features for gaming
Flash Player and AIR
Stage3D "constrained" profile for increased
LZMA support for ByteArray
Video attachCamera/Camera improvements
Compressed texture with alpha support for Stage3D
Deprecated Carbon APIs for AIR
Direct AIR deployment using ADT
Push notifications for iOS
Exception support in Native Extensions for iOS
Adobe Flash Player 11.4 (version 11.4.402.265) (August 21, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.4 (version 11.4.402.278) (September 18, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.4 (version 11.4.402.287) (October 8, 2012)
Adobe Flash Player 11.5
Invoke Event enhancement (for openurl)
Packaging multiple libraries in an ANE (iOS)
Debug stack trace in release builds of Flash Player
Statically link DRM (desktop only)
Adobe Flash Player 11.6 (codenamed Folsom)
Lossless video export from standalone and authplay.dll
Support for flash.display.graphics.readGraphicsData() that returns a
Vector of IGraphicsData
Improve permissions UI related to full screen keyboard access
ActiveX abuse in Office documents
Support file access in cloud on Windows
Migration certification for ANEs
File API update so AIR apps conform to Apple data storage guidelines
Separate sampler state for Stage3D
Set device specific Retina Display resolution (iOS)
Adobe Flash Player 11.7 (version 11.7.700.169, codenamed Geary) (April
Remote hosting of
SWF files in case of multiple SWFs
Support for uploading 16-bit texture formats
Android – create captive runtime apps
Adobe replaced Extended Support Release 11.7 on Mac and Windows with
13.0 on May 13, 2014.
Adobe Flash Player 11.8 (codenamed Harrison)
Stage3D baselineExtended profile
Recursive stop on MovieClip
Flash Player & AIR Desktop Game Pad Support
Support for large textures (extendedBaseline, 4096)
Substitute a redirected URL from a source URLRequest for part of the
URL in a new URLRequest
Adobe Flash Player 11.9 (codenamed Irving)
OS X Mavericks
OS X Mavericks Support
.pkg Installation Support
Adobe Flash Player 12 (codenamed Jones)
.pkg Installation Support for the work flow and UI
Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7
Support for Safe Mode in Safari 6.1 and higher
PPAPI Flash Player for
Graphics: Buffer Usage flag for Stage3D
Adobe Flash Player 13 (codenamed King)
Supplementary Characters Enhancement Support for Text Field
Full Screen video message tweak
As of 13 May 2014[update] this is the Extended Support
Adobe Flash Player 14 (version 188.8.131.52, codenamed [Lombard Street
(San Francisco)Lombard]) (June 10, 2014)
Stage 3D Standard profile
Adobe Flash Player 14 (version 184.108.40.206) (July 8, 2014)
Adobe Flash Player 14 (version 220.127.116.11) (August 12, 2014)
Adobe Flash Player 15 (version 18.104.22.168, codenamed [Market Street
(San Francisco)Market]) (September 9, 2014)
Improved support for browser zoom levels
Adobe Flash Player 15 (version 22.214.171.124) (September 24, 2014)
Adobe Flash Player 15 (version 126.96.36.199) (November 11, 2014)
Adobe Flash Player 15 (version 188.8.131.52) (November 25, 2014)
Adobe Flash Player 16 (version 184.108.40.206, codenamed Natoma) (December
Stage3D – Standard Constrained Profile
PPAPI Installers for Windows and Mac
Adobe Flash Player 16 (version 220.127.116.117) (January 13, 2015)
Adobe Flash Player 16 (version 18.104.22.1687) (January 22, 2015)
Adobe Flash Player 17 (version 22.214.171.124, codenamed Octavia) (March
Control Panel improvements
Installer improvements for Mac
Adobe Flash Player 18 (version 126.96.36.199, codenamed [Presidio of San
FranciscoPresidio]) (June 9, 2015)
Contains fixes for Adobe Security Bulletin APSB 15–11
Adobe Flash Player 19 (version 188.8.131.52, codenamed Quint) (September
Adobe Flash Player 20 (version 184.108.40.206, codenamed Rankin) (December
Adobe Flash Player 21 (version 220.127.116.11, codenamed Sutter) (March
Adobe Flash Player 22 (version 18.104.22.168, codenamed Townsend) (June
Adobe Flash Player 23 (version 22.214.171.124, codenamed Underwood)
(September 13, 2016)
Adobe Flash Player 24 (version 126.96.36.199, codenamed [Van Ness
AvenueVan Ness]) (December 13, 2016)
Adobe Flash Player 24 (version 188.8.131.52) (January 10, 2017)
Adobe Flash Player 25 (version 184.108.40.206, codenamed Webster) (March
Adobe Flash Player 25 (version 220.127.116.11) (April 11, 2017)
Adobe Flash Player 25 (version 18.104.22.168) (April 20, 2017)
Adobe Flash Player 26 (version 22.214.171.124, codenamed York) (June 13,
Adobe Flash Player 27 (version 126.96.36.199, codenamed Zoe) (September
Adobe Flash Player 27 (version 188.8.131.52) (October 10, 2017)
Adobe Flash Player 28 (version 184.108.40.206, codenamed [Atka]) (November
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Understanding Flash Player with
Adobe Scout – an article discussing
the internals of the player and the
Adobe Scout profiling tool
Adobe Flash Player
Flash Tester (explains official old working version check)
Action Message Format (AMF)
XML Graphics (FXG)
Local shared objects (LSOs)
Flash Movie (SWF)
Flash Code Library (SWC)
Adobe Flash Player
List of Flex frameworks
Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder
Adobe Flash Media Server
Adobe Flash Builder
Adobe Flash Catalyst
Adobe Flash Lite
HTML5 and Flash
Thoughts on Flash
Real-Time Messaging Protocol
Real-Time Media Flow Protocol
Creative Cloud (Creative Suite)
Adobe Marketing Cloud
Technical Communication Suite
Flash Media Server
Adobe Font Folio
Digital Negative (DNG)
Portable Document Format
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Adobe Document Cloud
Adobe Solutions Network
Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Premiere Express