How Flash works with Safari 11 in macOS High Sierra

While sites and services continually adopt newer technologies such as HTML5 in the place of Flash and other older plug-ins, in your internet activity you'll likely find that Flash is still a major component of a number of sites. Some browsers still treat these plug-ins the same as they always have, but Safari has a different way of interacting with Flash than it has in the past.

For one thing, Flash is off by default.

How Flash works in Safari on macOS High Sierra

Since macOS Sierra, Adobe's Flash plug-in has been turned off in Safari by default to encourage users — and websites — to use HTML5 for features like video, and this remains true in macOS High Sierra. This is because Flash is easily exploitable, and if someone with nefarious intentions hacks the plug-in or the site, Apple previously couldn't prevent users from being exposed.

Flash permission

However, there are some sites and services, such as Hulu, Spotify, and Pandora, that require the use of Flash for video playback, music streaming, and more. When you visit one of these sites in Safari, by default you'll see either a black screen with a button saying Click to use Flash or the website will encourage you to download Flash. If Flash is installed, when you click the link to download, you'll be presented with a dialogue box asking if you want to use Flash on the current site just once, or every time you visit. Clicking either will allow you to watch the video as you normally would.

In addition to these new Flash permissions, you can also control these settings on a more granular basis in Safari's settings. Here's how.

How to manage Adobe Flash in Safari

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Click on Safari in the Menu bar.

  1. Click on Preferences
  2. Click the Websites tab.

  1. Click on Adobe Flash Player under Plug-ins.
  2. Click on the drop-down menus next to the names of currently-open sites in Safari.

Click Adobe Flash Player, click drop-down menu

  1. Use the menus to decide if Flash will run, stay off, or ask to be run on the sites in questions.
  2. Click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page to determine the same thing for all other sites.


Want to know more about how Flash and Safari operate in macOS High Sierra? Let us know below.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.