Flash Icon Shown on an iPhone Screen
Khamosh Pathak

Growing up, you might have come across Flash while playing a game or using an interactive site. But Adobe Flash never officially made it to iOS devices. Here’s the only way to access Adobe Flash sites on your iPhone and iPad.

What Is Adobe Flash?

Once upon a time, Adobe Flash was the de-facto standard for delivering video, audio, animation, and interactive elements across the web. But then, thankfully, open standards like HTML 5, CSS, and JavaScript came along. Adobe Flash was proprietary, slow, and consumed a lot of battery. It just didn’t work well on mobile devices.

By 2011, Adobe had already ended mobile development of Flash.

Since then, the mobile web has thrived. Adobe is scheduled to officially sunset the Adobe Flash product in 2020. Major desktop browsers are now discontinuing support for Adobe Flash, although you can manually re-enable Flash in Google Chrome.

Why Flash Isn’t Supported on iOS and iPadOS Devices

Apple devices like iPhone and iPad never officially supported Adobe Flash. In 2010, Steve Jobs wrote an open letter called Thoughts on Flash (which still makes for a good read). In it, he outlined the reasons for not implementing Adobe Flash in Apple devices.

Jobs had a couple of arguments: Adobe Flash was not an open platform; the open H.264 video format was much better at delivering video than Flash; and when it came to games, there was the App Store. He also pointed out the issues with security, reliability, and performance.

The biggest reason, though, was that Flash just did not work well with touchscreens.

RELATED: How to Install and Update Flash on Your Mac

How to Use Adobe Flash on iPhone and iPad

If you need to access an Adobe Flash site on your iPhone or iPad, you have several third-party options. Browsers such as the Puffin Web Browser comes with out-of-box support for Adobe Flash. Other browsers like Photon also offer this feature, but we recommend Puffin because it’s highly rated and free.

Technically, rather than running Flash on your iPad or iPhone, Puffin runs websites that use Flash on a remote server and streams you the video. From your end, you appear to be using a Flash-based website as normal. But all the heavy lifting happens remotely.

To get started, open the App Store, search for “Puffin Web Browser,” and tap on the “Get” button to download the free browser.

Once downloaded, open the browser and tap on the URL bar.

The web browser Puffin's Home Screen

Here, enter the web address of the Flash site you want to visit. Tap on the “Go” button to open the website.

Enter the URL of the Flash site in URL bar

The Flash site will now open, with all its components. You can tap on the Flash player part and then select “Fullscreen” to open the game or the player in the fullscreen view.

Tap on Fullscreen Button in Player to Go Full Screen

If you’re using an iPhone, you should switch to the landscape view as Flash player usually works in a landscape widescreen format.

Once you enter the fullscreen view, you’ll see two buttons on either side of the player. On the left is a button to access the keyboard. On the right is the menu button.

Tap on Menu Button To Get Flash Player Options

The menu includes options to change the Flash quality and to enable the on-screen mouse and the gamepad.

Trackpad and Gamepad Shown Overlaid on Flash Player

To exit the fullscreen view, tap on the “Menu” button and select “Exit.”

Options for Trackpad and Gamepad in Menu

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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