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Disable the Old Adobe Flash Plugin in Google Chrome

If you’ve just updated to the Dev or Beta release of Google Chrome, you might have noticed that a special version of Adobe Flash is now integrated into the default distribution of Chrome. But what about your old plug-in?

As it turns out, the old plug-in is generally still installed… but you can easily disable Chrome plug-ins in the latest version, so let’s get to work.

Disable the Extra Flash Plug-in

Head over to about:plugins and look through the list—you should notice two Shockwave Flash plugins. The first one should be in your Google Chrome installation folder, and has the filename gcswf32.dll. This is the NEW one, so don’t disable it!

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If you keep scrollling down, you’ll see the old one, with the file name NPSWF32.dll. This is the OLD plugin, and you can safely disable it.

image

Of course, if you only use Chrome you could just completely uninstall Adobe Flash from your system by heading into Control Panel’s Uninstall Programs screen, and then finding and uninstalling Adobe Flash Player Plugin. The ActiveX version is for Internet Explorer.

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We’ve not done any testing to see if the old Flash plugin is even still active or not, but may as well disable it just to be sure, right?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/4/10

Comments (9)

  1. Rob Hyndman

    Thanks. In following these instructions I took at look at the plugins installed and noticed there were several plugins all called “QuickTime Plug-in 7.6.4 – Version: 7.6.4 (1327.73)” but with different dll names: npqtplugin.dll, npqtplugin2.dll, …, npqtplugin7.dll. Is this normal? Why do I need more than one?

  2. SquareWheel

    That is normal, no idea why they’re there though. I disabled the extras myself, haven’t seen any problems yet.

  3. Janet

    In reference to today’s article,
    how does one get to the “about:plugins” which you refer to in the first paragraph?
    It makes me wonder
    if I can not even find my way to this spot,
    should I even attempt to proceed with your directions?
    Please advise.
    Thank you kindly.
    I am grateful for your time and response.
    Sincerely, Janet

  4. The Geek

    Janet,

    Just type it into the location bar.

  5. Andy R

    I tried it on mine and video on cnn.com did not work anymore, had to turn it back on.

    Andy

  6. thejynxed

    There is also certain issues to deal with if you use Windows Vista or 7 64-bit. If Chrome’s internal version of Flash player is outdated, you’ll have to manually delete the Macromed folder under ?:\Windows\System32\Macromed and ?:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed in order to manually install an updated version, because for some reason, the Adobe Updater will not properly update to either of these locations from a manually downloaded and run version of their installer, even if you choose “Run as Administrator”.

    This will require you to change default permissions on both of these folders manually before they can be deleted (hint: it will require removing all inherited permissions from parent object and setting your user account as Full Control over this container and it’s objects, etc) or else you’ll get nothing but a big fat Denied message.

    After they are removed in this fashion, the manual installation process will then function properly and install new versions of the plugin to both locations via their associated installers (for those of you installing both 32 and 64-bit versions of Flash).

    Restart Chrome and it will now pick up that you have an updated version of Flash under about:plugins, that you can then enable.

    I only mention this because people swapping around Chrome versions from Stable/Beta/Dev and versions of Flash (debugger, stable, rc, preview) on these two operating systems will likely run into this issue, especially since the recent preview release not containing the stable version’s security bug).

  7. Roger Palmer

    You are absolutely brilliant.

    I have had so much trouble with SWF crashing and causing my computer to jam for short periods…on frequent occasions, that I was thinking about replacing it.

    After following your fix above, everything is good again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    PS. I was using Chrome version 12.0.742.30

  8. David M. Russell, Ph.D.

    Dear Sir,

    It is now 10/6/2011. Which of these Google Chrome plugins is NOW the right one to enable:

    C:\Users\Russell\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\14.0.835.187\gcswf32.dll
    or
    C:\windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32.dll ? Or do I need to download a newer one?

    The first one was giving me constant troubles (such as being unable to attach docs in gmail) until I disabled it and enabled the second one, but now I am having other difficulties that seem related to Shockwave. These are both 10.3.183.10 and I am on windows 7 on a netbook.

    Thanks, David

  9. Lucka

    Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote inoframvtie articles.

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