How do I tell if a course uses Flash?

Nov 29, 2016


Our client is phasing out Flash on all of their devices, so they want to know which courses in our library use Flash. I don't have time to check each course for Flash incompatibility because our course library is extensive, so I am wondering:

Is there any way to know by looking at a SCORM file structure whether a course would run without Flash?

I've noticed that there are Flash files in the SCORM output of courses that I have designed with Storyline even though none of the course components were built with Flash, so just searching the directories for .swf or .flv files isn't an indicator that a course will break if the user doesn't have Flash.

Please help!

Thanks so much,



46 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi Cindy,

Storyline 1 and 2 and Studio '09 and '13 courses with HTML5 output will only be supported in Chrome and Safari. 

Browsers like IE and Firefox may phase out Flash, so it's possible your courses won't work there, even if they do have HTML5 in the output.

Since your company is limited to using IE and Firefox, I would actually recommend updating all of your content to Articulate 360. That way, you can be sure your course will play in both of those browsers. 

Cindy Shaver

Hi Alyssa,

  I'm confused by your paragraphs 2 and 3.  Para 2 says the courses may not work in IE/Firefox, even with HTML5 output.  Para 3 says to use Articulate 360 (which has HTML5) for them to work in IE/Firefox.  Articulate 360 will give HTML5 (or HTML5/Flash) output, which you mentioned won't work anyway. Help? lol

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cindy,

The reason courses from Storyline 1, 2 or Studio '09, '13 may not work in IE/Firefox, is because we don't support HTML5 output from those versions in browsers other than Chrome or Safari. 

If you're limited to using those browsers, the best course of action is to look at upgrading all your content into Articulate 360 (Storyline 360 or Studio 360) and republishing with the option of HTML5 first/Flash Fallback or HTML5 only. That way your courses will work in the following browsers:

Windows: Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version)

Mac: Safari (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version)

Mobile: Safari in Apple iOS 10 or later, Google Chrome in Apple iOS 10 or later, Google Chrome in Android OS 4.4 or later

Hope that helps! 

Cindy Shaver

That helps, thanks Ashley.

Our Storyline 360 courses were built with Flash/HTML5 (not HTML5/Flash). Will that still work in IE/Firefox after the change?

I heard that HTML5 doesn't work well in Firefox. Can you confirm? I'm working on a course with the modern player setting that will only accept HTML5 as an output.


Alyssa Gomez

Hi Cindy!

I'm sorry my last reply wasn't clear, and I'm glad Ashley could help!

Storyline 360 courses published with Flash/HTML5 will first direct to Flash. If IE and Firefox remove Flash in the future, then the course will automatically direct to HTML5. In other words, all your bases are covered, and you don't have to worry if Flash is available or not. It's a win-win!

Storyline 360 HTML5 output is supported in the latest version of Firefox, so you shouldn't have any issues there. If you do, our Support Team is ready to help you sort it out!

Brandan laura

I know this thread is old, but I am converting many Articulate "Presenter" 9, 13 & 360 courses from Flash to HTML5. In reading this great thread, I will start republishing them all with the HTML5 option only. I have the source files.
Question; is this the correct way to tell from an Articulate Presenter zip file (not Storyline) if the course was published as Flash only, or Flash with HTML5 backup or HTML5 with Flash backup:

If the expanded zip file has index_lms.html only, then it is a Flash only zip file.
If the expanded zip file has index_lms_flash.html and index_lms_html5.html then it is HTML5 and Flash.
I don't have a story.html file in the expanded zip file like is discussed above obviously, but I do have a presentation.html that has;
" runtimeOrder: [{"type":"html5","url":"presentation_html5.html"},{"type":"flash","url":"presentation_flash.html"}],"
so I take it that means it is a HTML with Flash backup?

Vincent Scoma

Hi Brandan,

Great question!

The published output for the file you are describing is the HMTL5 with Flash as a fallback option. Learners that are using a supported HTML5 browser, will see the HTML5 output. If they are not, the course will revert to the Flash output.

Please let us know if you have additional questions on this! 

Vincent Scoma

Hi Karen,

Great question! 

It does depend on which publish format option was selected: 

HTML5 This publishes the course as HTML5-only output.
HTML5/Flash This publishes your course as HTML5 first with Flash fallback. Learners will see HTML5 output if they’re using a supported HTML5 browser. If not, they’ll see Flash output.
Flash/HTML5 This publishes your course as HTML5 first with Flash fallback. Learners will see HTML5 output if they’re using a supported HTML5 browser. If not, they’ll see Flash output.
Flash This publishes your course as Flash-only output.


As an example, if a course is published to HTML5 only, the published output will only include a story_html file. If the course was published using HTML5/Flash, then the published output will include a story_html5 and a story_flash file:

Please let us know if you have any questions on this! We are happy to help! 

Katie Riggio

Hi Jacques. Happy to help!

What happens to courses that include both Flash and HTML5 output?

Rise Rise 360 does not use Flash Player and publishes HTML5-only courses. To see the supported browsers, check out this resource.

If your LMS requires you to identify the launch file, point to indexapi.html 

slStoryline 360 published courses will continue to work if they include HTML5 output, but converting content to HTML5-only is the right step forward to avoid any issues with Flash. Check out this article to view the supported browsers.

If your LMS requires you to identify the file that launches your course, point to index_lms.html for cmi5/SCORM/AICC content or story.html for Tin Can API content.

Let me know if that helps!

John Ebeling

Hi all.  We have a LOT of published content that we'll have to sift through and a short time to do it.  

Any thoughts on Does anybody have a field expedient way to check functionality of this content?

One thought I had was loading and attempting to run on iPad.  If the content runs it should be functional since iPads don't support flash.


Kurt Ogden

First time on this website, GREAT! Question - I have several project created in Storyline in which we have inserted various Flash objects. I know that if I publish these as HTML 5.0 Only, these items will not work. Is there any way to identify specific Flash objects that are already in a project so I can pull them out and replace them with something else?

Ren Gomez

Hi Kurt,

Thanks for reaching out! This discussion may help point you in the right direction:

The easiest way to check for Flash is to look for .swf files in the published course. If you see files with that extension in the story_content folder, the course uses Flash.

You would also see references to .swf files in the imsmanifest.xml file if the course uses Flash.

You may also want to try running your course in a browser with Flash disabled and see which elements fail to display.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Jeremiah,

There is, but it requires a few steps.

If you need to know what version of Storyline was used to save the project file, follow these steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the project file.
  2. Extract the files from the .story file.
    • If you have WinZip, rename the .story extension to .zip, right-click, and extract the files.
    • If you have 7zip, right-click on the .story file and extract the files right away.
  3. Once extracted, open the file folder created, and then open the docProps folder.
  4. Open the app.xml file in a browser or text editor.
  5. The code should show the version enclosed within AppVersion tags
    • <AppVersion>3.41.22450.0</AppVersion>