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
Jackie Van Nice

Thanks so much for the guidance, Ashley! It solved the problem for me.

Just a note about trying it with the My Articulate Projects folder (not my preferred location, but just in case anyone else tries it): I'm guessing this one didn't work because of the spaces between the words in "My Articulate Projects".  

Anyway, thank you again! 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kay, 

I know there has been a lot of talk about disabling Flash in Chrome and it no longer working, but per what we've read and reviewed of Chrome's documentation it will disable Flash by default - but you can still access Flash based content if you enable the Flash player within the browser. Knowing that isn't an option for a number of users and companies where it'll be set as a company wide restriction, our team continues to invest in looking at the HTML5 experience and ways in which we can provide that to meet the expectations of customers. Hopefully we'll be able to share an update on that with all of you soon. 

Katherine Murphy

We do need to preview these files very often with less-computer-savvy folks.  They are not going to add Trusted Locations to thier browsers (which often doesn't work, anyway).

In case others are still having difficulty with Storyline's insistence on Flash content, and the internet's systematized abandonment of the format since 2008 - I can offer one potential pre-deployment review option for you!

We found that if you use Sharepoint or Office 365, put your Storyline output in a "folder" in this cloud, and rename the story.html file to story.aspx, your reviewers can simply be pointed to this file and it will load and work in at least IE and Chrome (those are the only ones we've tested it with).

Hope this helps some of us while we watch our content quickly become unplayable!


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Katherine,

One other item to note, the recent release of Storyline 2 Update 11 also included a notation about this behavior and a link to update the trusted files/folders if they try to use the Flash output locally. So that'll at least point folks in the right direction for what they're experiencing. 

Katherine Murphy

Right - I'm saying all the computer speak about trusted setups will be WELL above the computer knowledge most reviewers can/will accommodate.  They need a simple link, and one that doesn't require them to open anything but the link to make the link link. All of our reviewers are reviewing the work locally.  They are not going to open thier Flash Settings in thier browsers and start noodling with permissions, unfortunately.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Katherine,

I can certainly understand that, and if you need individuals to review the content before it goes live on a website or LMS, I'd recommend publishing for CD and instructing folks to use that output or look at uploading to a site such as Tempshare as that would allow you to point directly to the story.html URL and invite reviewers to view it there within 10 days of uploading it. 

Logan Stahler

Hi Katherine-

Thanks for sharing this option!  Any chance you could provide a bit of detail on the how-to for Sharepoint?  I tried this morning to no avail.  The issue with Sharepoint is trying to load folders...are you zipping the output first?  Publishing to web or LMS?  Changing the .hmtl .aspx before loading to Sharepoint?   

Thanks for any further clarification - this could work well for us and our SMEs.

Sarah Ednay

Hi Logan

The trick with Sharepoint is to use the "Open in Explorer" option which will mean you get a normal sort of windows explorer view and can just copy a folder over as normally.
To get that option you need to open your sharepoint in IE (Explorer), not Edge, not Chrome or any other browser. Then in your document library click to get the library tool bar (easiest if in classic view rather than new experience view) and you'll see "Open in Explorer" button is not greyed out any more.... yipppee..... you can copy the whole folder over.
As Katherine says you then just rename the .html files to .aspx (well personally I make a copy of the files and rename the copy, so it can work either way) and then from somewhere else on the sharepoint do a link to the story.aspx file. I've been using a promoted link tile with a picture of the storyline file on it. And for no reason I can understand it all works :) 

Katherine Murphy

Unfortunately for us, these are not really viable solutions - CD's?  Does anyone still have a CD drive any more?  About 4 years ago we gave away all our blank CDRoms (and it was hard to find someone to take them) when we got our new computers that no longer had drives...  Additionally, using external sources for file delivery add yet another layer of confusion for those reviewers, as well as a layer of security our IT Department will not allow.

We all really hope Storyline will not be the VERY last application to drop flash, but the pack is thinning for that title.

Katherine Murphy

Hi Logan!  Just wanted to add to Sarah's comments -  I'm basically talking about OneDrive.  OneDrive is essentially modern Sharepoint.  If you have Office 365, you can put these items in your own OneDrive and share them to your reviewer and SME.  It doesn't matter what browser you use (Exploder, Chrome, whatever your poison)  the important point is that it's using Office 365's version of Sharepoint.  I have set up new Groups in 365 (again, modern Sharepoint) and pointed my reviewers and SMEs at the resources there.

Jared K

Hi Ashley,

It's always important to note that the Publish to CD option is Windows-only. That is a major limitation. Instead of the team focusing on adding a OS X wrapper, I'd prefer them focusing more on html5 output which essentially covers every configuration.

I think it is in Storyline's interest to remember to accommodate a path to end users who play the content from the local filesystem security sandbox. I'm deploying content to end users via USB drives. It's also useful for sharing modules on a LAN. I use the Web Publish option to do this, relying heavily on html5. Instructing end users to modify Flash trust locations is not a viable solution, and not necessary.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jared, 

I can certainly appreciate that the publish to CD/local source doesn't work for all users, especially those on Mac. As for publishing to Web and placing that on a USB drive, it would present the same issues with the local playback not working as we'd expect, Flash or otherwise. Knowing that Flash in general is a fading option for a number of users and companies where it'll be set blocked/disabled as a company wide restriction, our team continues to invest in looking at the HTML5 experience and ways in which we can provide that to meet the expectations of customers. Hopefully we'll be able to share an update on that with all of you soon.