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

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! 

146 Replies
Bert Casaert

Hi, 

Currently, we can change our own flash player settings, by adding secure locations, but this can not be the permanent solution, as many of our clients who want to (p)review this content locally don't want to go through the hassle of adding trusted locations to their flash player settings. 

Please consider this issue a really big issue, as more non-tech savvy users will be stuck and won't know what to do to fix this issue that 'suddenly' appeared.

In case someone wants to turn off their built-in chrome flash pepper player (to always use the HTML5 version), you can go to: "chrome://plugins/" in your chrome address bar. (wasn't mentioned before, just 'NM, found it' )

P-O E
Bert Casaert

Currently, we can change our own flash player settings, by adding secure locations, but this can not be the permanent solution, as many of our clients who want to (p)review this content locally don't want to go through the hassle of adding trusted locations to their flash player settings. 

Please consider this issue a really big issue, as more non-tech savvy users will be stuck and won't know what to do to fix this issue that 'suddenly' appeared.

Strongly agree!!!

@ Staff: Please don't continue with the "harm reduction" attitude - the problem is for real for us producers and our customers.

Justin Grenier

Good Morning, Michael.

Since it sounds like you're interested in the architectural cause of the problem, here are some more details:

  • Here is a description of the change that Flash Player 23 made, with Adobe's recommended workaround.  You'll want to focus on the Disabling local-with-filesystem access in Flash Player by default section.
  • We can work around Flash Player's new change in all other browsers, but there is unfortunately a long-standing Google bug that doesn't allow us to do the same in Chrome.
  • I can't speak to all of our competitors, but you'll find Captivate customers here who have a similar problem.
  • You'll find other developers of Flash applications discussing the problem here and here.

Is it conceivable that another tool has a product architecture that is not impacted by this problem?  Yes, that's possible.  Chrome is permitted to load Flash SWFs from the local filesystem, but not other files such as mp4, jpg or xml files.  So, if another tool is not experiencing issues, it is because they are not trying to load these file types locally.

We don't think that the solution to this problem is to alter the architecture of our Flash output.  That would be a costly workaround that would only hold until the next bug or feature is introduced by a third-party dependency.  We think the future is to devote our resources to an HTML5-first/HTML5-only world, and our focus is on that very thing as we speak.

Thanks for chiming in, as I'm sure there are others interested in the technical explanation as well.  Have a great day!

Justin Grenier

Good Morning, Lynn.

The Browse for folder button doesn’t work, so you'll need to manually enter the full path for a folder where you often publish in the field provided, then click Confirm.  If this still doesn't work for you, please reach our to our team and we can give you a hand.

Have a great day!

Justin Grenier

Good Morning Pieter, and welcome to Heroes!

You can read my reply to Michael for a technical explanation of the problem and its root cause.  As I mentioned, we think the long-term solution is to help our customers move away from Flash and into HTML5, and we're working on this as we speak!

Justin Grenier

Good Morning, P-O.

I'm really sorry for the trouble.  It's super annoying and frustrating for everyone impacted by the change.  We feel strongly that the problem is due to the perfect storm of a new Flash feature and an old Chrome bug, but our eye is on an HTML5 future that eliminates ugly dependencies like this one.

P-O E

I have seen that you say that it is only due to the combination with Chrome. BUT we (a number of SL users in my own organization and outside) have exactly the same problem with IE 11 with exactly the same remedies that have been posted here (Publish to CD and Trusted files in Global Security Setting panel for Flash player).

You can imagine that this makes the problem a bit more widespread!

Rodrigo Leite

Thank you for all the information shared my friends! :)

About the "temporary" solution with the Adobe security stuff, it still does not solve my problem. In my company, we use a local network to store all of our content and that solution doesn't work in this situation. Can you guys help me to solve this issue? Or at least a temporary fix?

Thanks in advance!

Justin Grenier

Greetings Rodrigo, and welcome to Heroes!

While testing content from the local C: Drive is fraught with its own set of challenges, running production content from a Network Drive is entirely unsupported.  You'll encounter various security restrictions and unexpected behavior. Published content should be uploaded to a Web server or LMS for proper playback.

This is is not an Articulate-specific policy, and Adobe themselves have stated that use of Flash files across local networks is not supported in any context.

If our instructions don’t allow you to add a network drive as a trusted location (remembering that the ⁠⁠⁠Browse for folder⁠⁠⁠ button is broken), you should upload your published content to a Web server or LMS for proper playback.

Please let us know if you need anything else, and have a great day!

Linda Vincent-Smith

I am using Flash Player 21 Active X (version 21.0.0.242) and Chrome (version 53.0.2785.116 m). Suddenly View Project quit working as described here this week. I decided to go ahead and try the fix for Flash Player, even though I was using an older version - IT WORKED! You may want to add a note to the title that is may involve older versions of Flash as well.