Flash Player 23 and Later in Google Chrome - Local Playback of Published Content

Sep 13, 2016

Hi all, 

Our team recently discovered an issue with Google Chrome and Flash player 23 (and later) that is causing some issues with the local playback of published Storyline and Studio content. This is a new security feature of Flash player 23, and if you attempt to launch content locally you may see just a spinning circle or Flash player notification.

Our recommendation at Articulate is to always test the content in the intended publish environment by uploading to your web server, LMS, Articulate Online, etc. You can see a few options detailed here for locations to test your content. 

If you need to view e-learning projects on your local computer, your best option is to publish for CD, then double-click the launch file in your published output.

Another option for local playback is to add one or more trusted locations to your local Flash Player settings. For example, you could add folders where you commonly publish content, such as your desktop or the My Articulate Projects folder in your documents.

Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions about this! 

27 Replies
Jim Powell

Okay. So it is safe to say that it's an "easy" fix to just adjust your flashplayer local settings that that will fix the problem completely?  I have not experienced the problem, yet, but I've had other problems with flash in the past as it relates to articulate and it makes me wonder.  Justin, could you respond to these items for me, I'd appreciate it:

(1) Is there a plan to move beyond flash with the Articulate Studio software?  I'm not a programmer but all I keep hearing is "flash is dead" and... old... and going nowhere.  Yet there's still a large installed base.

(2) Is Studio 16 or 17 or whatever the next version of studio is... actually what is the status of that, we're on Studio 2013, so we're about due, right?


Paul Barker

Hi all.  I believe we are hitting the same problem.  Our situation is that we take the Presenter output and compile it into an exe (using SWFKit Pro).  The advantage of this is that we can distribute our material without giving people free access to our source files from the data folder.  All the exe really does is run the playershell file.

We are getting the same problem as described here if our partners have Flash player  Same error, but it's a situation where we can't use the 'settings' workaround.

Has Articulate logged a bug on this with Adobe?  If so, can I know the id please so that I can add my vote for it.  If not, will you be logging this as this is a pretty major problem and a huge concern if this is considered potentially a permanent change.



Justin Grenier

Good Morning, Paul.

Adobe's decision on this is deliberate and well-documented.  You'll want to focus on the Disabling local-with-filesystem access in Flash Player by default section.  I'm not sure they'll budge on this, but you are certainly welcome to log a bug and encourage the E-Learning Heroes Community to pile on.

You can also read more here about the the architectural cause of the problem and our long-term vision to eliminate these sorts of dependencies.

Jim Powell

Justin, thanks for your post showing the visual of how to do this.  Having said this, do you guys really realize what a problem this is?  Here are some specifics... I have nearly 75 Articulate training programs, they all get published to their own directories.  When I first saw your excellent tutorial on how to configure flash I thought -- piece of cake, I'll just go up the directory tree to a common root, such as

C:\Users\Jim Powell\Dropbox (TDG)\Cdrom\Powerpoint\IMDG\IMDG Unit 4 - Presenter output\presentation.html

With the common root being what I have underlined above.  All 75 programs are BELOW that level so if I allow that parent level, all is good! (?) However I've been poking around trying to figure out who to do that.  Is there a wildcard I can put in here: C:\Users\Jim Powell\Dropbox (TDG)\Cdrom\Powerpoint\************* ?

If so how does that work.  If I cannot find a way to do that is Articulate telling me that I am going to have to manually allow each and every one of the 75 subdirectories to which my presentation.html files are published in order to view them locally to proof them?

Hopefully I just missed the easy answer to this, I was poking around quite a bit before I saw your tutorial, but I've got a bad feeling about this and I hope I'm wrong and there is an easy fix such as some way to specify a wild-card for a common parent directory to all my published output.



Paul Barker

Hi Jim.  I've spent quite a while on this too.  I did try the trusted locations and it did work.  I used a parent directory and that worked for all subfolders.  Then I just entered 'C:' as a trusted location and then any subfolder would work.  Give it a try.

I also tried the workaround given in the Flash 23 release notes.  This was to add to the Flash player config file:

The legacy behavior can be restored by applying the EnableInsecureLocalWithFileSystem=1 flag to mms.cfg

Lots of tries on this and I haven't got it to work.  You'll find this config file in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash if you want to try it yourself.

And you could always roll back to an older Flash version, but I realise that may violate your IT policy.

I hope this helps.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jim,

Thanks for reaching out here and sharing a copy of your file structure as an image. Looking at that first I did notice that some of your project files are located not on your local drive (C:) but instead an F and D drive which are likely networked locations. Trying to play the published output while it's hosted on a network drive is known to cause issues, but in your set up you'd also need to add it as a trusted location so that the Chrome/Flash set up could read from both of them.

I tested on my own system again, and I was able to add the root direction (such as C:\Users\Ashley\Documents\My Articulate Projects) and then things were playing normally. That is where I publish all my project files too, so I didn't have to go direct to the individual course that I was looking to play.

Hope that helps and if you're still having issues with that we'd be happy to look further at the behavior and set up if you're able to connect with our Support Engineers. Please reference this thread when doing so, so that they're aware of the items you've already tried. 

Jim Powell

Okay, thank you both.  Yeah, those other directories aren't locations I use for production, just backup storage, everything I do is off the C drive, albeit in a dropbox folder.  I do now about some of those pitfalls so I only work on projects on my laptop, and if I need to move them I package them up as you guys instructed a while back.

If I can get the permissions through to flash from a root directory then that solves the problem and it isn't a bad deal... I just have to get it to work.  I'll try again and let you all know, but thanks for the feedback knowing that it CAN work, someone got it to work...  Thanks.

Michele Micha

Hi, I published a Storyline module to "Web" a few months ago and then burned a CD with the module on it.  (I didn't publish to the CD setting.) Some of the users who have these CDs seem to be experiencing this Flash issue--they double-click the story.html file and they see the spinning circle on a white screen. I have two questions: 

1. If I re-publish the course to "CD" setting and then burn the course to a CD, will that work fix this issue? 

2. Does this issue happen with other browsers besides Chrome? 

Thanks! Michele


Michele Micha

Ashley, I have one more question about this... the result of publishing to CD is the EXE file as well as the HTML file. I assume the way to get around the Flash issue is to open the course using the EXE file, is that correct? Rather than the story.html file, even though that still opens the course? 

The audience for the course I am working on is global and all computers are configured differently. I am worried that some computers may not be able to run the EXE content. But that's the only option to view locally, right? 



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Michelle,

If publishing for CD, it shouldn't be an issue with local playback of Flash content as that is based on web or LMS based content. If you're sharing the published CD output with folks you'll want to share the entire zipped folder and instruct them to download locally and unzip the output and run the .EXE file.

Josh Miller

I just wanted to chime in and say that the CD publish option has also been difficult for us as a resolution for this local file access issue. My courses are called from an HTML page and it is not a friendly user experience to access EXE files in this way. We have opted for HTML5 outputs in lieu of programming an entirely new front end. Either way, expect challenges... thanks Adobe. :-)

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Josh,

If you're hosting on an HTML page, are you publishing for Web vs. publish for CD? Unless I'm missing a piece of your overall project plan that'd be my recommendation and then include the HTML5 output to let Storyline determine which output to show based on how the user accesses the course. So that way you'll point to the story.html file.

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