Brief description of the problem: The computer slows down, hangs-up, or crashes when Flash videos are accessed online with a browser. If the browser reports that Shockwave Flash is disabled, then go to the browser plugin options and be sure that the plugin is installed and enabled, or try using another browser. The following instructions are to resolve an issue where the enabled Shockwave Flash plugin causes the computer to crash.
Work-around quick guide
1 – Disable the Adobe Flash plugin in your main browser (I use Firefox as my main browser).
2 – Enable the Adobe Flash plugin in your backup browser. (I use Internet Explorer as my secondary browser).
3 – When you encounter a video that does not work in the main browser, switch to your backup browser.
4 – In the backup browser, enter or paste the url of the website, and play the Flash video.
5 – Remember to close the backup browser when finished watching the video (to prevent Flash from crashing the system).
NOTE: These instructions pertain to Flash as browser plugin, not the version of Flash that is downloaded and installed on the computer. The Flash browser plugin is what the computer uses to play videos online.
The Flash Crash Work-Around
The internet is abuzz with complaints about the Adobe Shockwave Flash plugin crashing or becoming unresponsive. It happens in both in the Firefox and the Chrome browsers. When the plugin crashes or becomes unresponsive the whole computer can freeze up or sometimes just the video or browser would fail.
Here’s how I fixed it.
- Open the “Add-ons” menu
- Locate the drop down menu to the right of the Shockwave Flash plugin.
- Select “Never Activate”
Now whenever I start a YouTube video, there is for a split second the message: “This plugin is disabled” and then the video starts and runs perfectly with no crashes. Note: I previously tried setting the plugin to “Ask to Activate” but the problem returned.
I don’t usually use the Chrome browser but decided to test if the Shockwave Flash plugin could be disabled there as well.
Here’s the official instructons: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/108086?hl=en
After disabling the Flash plugin in Chrome, I fired up a You Tube video, and it played perfectly.
As I type this, I have several You Tube videos playing on the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers simultaneously, all while the Flash plugins are disabled, with no crashes.
Bonus Tip! Rescue the computer when it gets snagged by an unresponsive website .
When the laptop computer becomes unresponsive while connecting to a slow website, disconnect the internet connection. This is a really big deal if you have unsaved work and the computer becomes unresponsive and rebooting will cause the loss of your work.
How to disconnect the internet connection:
- Disconnect from the internet by pressing the internet connection button. On my laptop it is on the F12 key with a little shining led light.
- Wait for the computer to start working again.
- Press the internet connection light again to reconnect to the net.
- Another option is to disconnect from the router or turn it off and wait a couple of minutes for the session to time out.
- Do nothing and wait for the session to time out.
There are other reasons why a computer hangs up, such as malware, in which case, be sure that antivirus protection is running, and scan the computer for errors.
Another reason is that the there is “100% Disk” (view the Task Manager). I took two steps to get rid of this hassle in Windows 8:
In Control Panel under “Administrative Services”:
Disabled the automatic “defrag” operation. I will run it manually rather than letting it start on its own.
Examine the start-up items under “System Configuration”
Under Control Panel –> System –> Advanced System settings –> Advanced tab –> Performance settings –> Visual effects, change from “Let Windows Choose” too either “Best Performance”, or “Custom” and select your choice. “Best Performance” is not the most visually appealing and at the minimum I like to enable the “smooth screen fonts” option. Now my laptop is zippy!
There are lots of options under Control Panel worth investigating, includiing the Administrative area and turning off the User Account Control security feature, which I have turned completely off on my laptop.
Other actions that have helped my laptop speedup and stop crashing:
- Run the CHKDSK command to fix disk errors.
- Change around the UFEI settings in the bios.
- Use a free system tool such as CCLEANER.
- Run an antivirus program.
- The care and feeding of the PC requires it to be regularly pruned and cared for. There are many possible causes for slow response and crashing and this is not a comprehensive list.
- Install the NoScript plugin. I got tired of it always asking questions and decided to uninstall it. That is when the program asked if I wanted it run run in basic mode. I said yes, and it has been running silently in the background and the computer runs much better.
- Install the “Disconnect” plugin for Firefox (there are other similar plugins for other browsers). It saves bandwidth by blocking advertisers, social media, and analytics tracking.