What we’re doing about Flash (updated 01/16/2020)

NOTE:  The discussion below is now outdated.  For the most updated information on how the end of Flash affects Articulate apps and courses, please click here.

You may have heard that Adobe is phasing out support for Flash in 2020. We’ve known that Flash has been on its way out for some time. To make sure we’re ready, we’ve been working hard to build tools that’ll fit your needs today and in the future.

We’ve been shifting to HTML5 for several years. That’s why Articulate 360 and Storyline 3 have HTML5-first or HTML5-only publishing options, making it easy for you to create e-learning that relies only on HTML5. You can read a bit more about our shift towards HTML5 here.

For your existing courses, you have a couple of options:

  • If you included HTML5 as a part of the published output, you can point to that directly over the Flash version and make sure your users are viewing the course in a supported HTML5 browser. Here’s how.
  • You can update your courses using Articulate 360 or Storyline 3, and publish for HTML5 only.

Articulate 360 is officially Flash-free, so the Flash Player isn’t required to use any Articulate 360 apps.  The same is true for Storyline 3.

Storyline 2 and Studio '13 rely on Flash for authoring.  We recommend that you upgrade to Storyline 3 or Articulate 360 since these applications do not have any Flash dependencies.

UPDATE (01/16/2020): Edited to link to this article.

246 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Yakov, 

Storyline 2 content may be unusable if you had published without HTML5, and you view in a browser which no longer allows Flash content. A lot of the browsers have started to disable Flash by default, but you can always choose to enable it. Also, Flash support is ending in 2020 - it's not likely to be fully gone from any and all internet sites by than (the Flash support isn't specific to Articulate). 

If you'd like to look at using Storyline 3, I'd suggest starting a trial here. You'll be able to open your Storyline 2 courses in Storyline 3 and choose to publish for HTML5 only (or HTML5 first, Flash fallback). 

Hope that helps !

Karen Siugzda

I'm currently creating courses in Storyline 2 and the customer will be adding them to their LMS in a few months. I'm concerned that once Flash goes away, the courses I built in SL2 will not have proper functionality in HTML 5, as you currently say that SL2 only supports Chrome and Safari for HTML5.

It's great that the course will auto detect that Flash is not available and display the HTML5 version, but if the course doesn't run well, that's not acceptable. (in IE and FireFox)

How can we ensure that all HTML5 versions of content, generated with SL2, will work in browsers once Flash is gone?


Does SL3 fully support HTML 5 in all browsers?

Knut Jackowski

Hi Karen,

this change is the main reason, we switched to SL3 at our company. Now we still have some courses from SL2 times online, that are causing increasing problems, because many users do not hae Flash anymore.
SL3s HTML5 output works in all browsers that support HTML5.

When you look through this forum, you will see the occasional problem with IE. The staff says, that these are things that they are fixing, but I am sceptical about that, because IE does not a very good job at any HTML5 and it is not actively developed anymore.

Compared with the Flash versions, the HTML5 versions tend to load slower and need more system resources, but that is also to be expected, from these two base technologies.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Karen,

SL3 and SL360 can be published for HTML5 only (or HTML5 first) so that you can playback the content and published courses in all the browsers supported here. Take a look at our reasons for why we're so excited about our HTML5 output. 

If you haven't started a trial of Articulate 360 you can do so here, and see how the HTML5 output plays for you. 

Laura Ford

Any recommendations on converting 50 SWF files to HTML5 swiftly?  I created eLearning Brothers interactions (flashcards) and inserted the SWF into Articulate Studio '13.  Would importing the files into Storyline work?  I am hoping to avoid manually creating the flashcards (terms and definitions).  Thanks. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Laura,

If you import the Studio '13 files into Storyline, we'll still keep your SWF files as is. You may want to search for an external site or tool that will convert SWF files into a format such as MP4s. The challenge will be that they lose their interactive elements. 

Have you also looked at reaching out to e-learning brothers for ideas or ways to upgrade these files for HTML5 playback? 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Derrick, 

You may be thinking about this set up with Engage '13 and how it needed to be brought into a Storyline project to use the  HTML5 output? Engage 360 and Storyline 360 both now include an HTML5 only/first option, so you shouldn't run into any issues with the support of HTML5 for Engage as per the chart here. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Michael,

Yes, Storyline will recognize that there isn't Flash and default to HTML5 - but with Storyline 2, IE wouldn't be a supported browser for HTML5 output. If ensuring that your users can access the HTML5 output across all browsers and devices is a primary focus for you, you may want to look at  the trial of Articulate 360 here. You can then see how easy it is to upgrade course into Storyline 360 and publish for HTML5 only. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Daniel,

Studio '13 also had limited support for HTML5, similar to Storyline 2. You can see the list of supported browsers here. If you've removed HTML5 or the Articulate Mobile player as a publishing option you're relying on the Flash output which is supported in all the browsers listed.

I'm not familiar with the AOL browser though, but since it doesn't appear on the list of supported browsers either I wouldn't expect it to work.

Flash is slowly being phased out of a lot of browsers and systems, so you may want to look at publishing with HTML5 to support those users who have Flash disabled. Also, the trial of Articulate 360 is a good way to test your content and upgrade to Studio 360 to see how you can publish with HTML5 only (or first with Flash fallback). 

Let us know if you need anything else! 

Ashley Terwilliger

It sounds like the same thing a number of other users have reported, where the latest versions of Chrome show a much blurrier/fuzzier output than IE11, Edge, Firefox, etc. Our team is taking a look at this and has pulled a variety of customer examples that help showcase the issue. If you'd like to add yours to the mix that always helps! Feel free to post it here - or send it along to our Support Engineers here.

Ian Connor

Hello Ashley, 

You have confirmed that the storyline 360 application continues to rely on Flash for authoring. 

Can you provide an update on the timeline for when reliance on flash will be addressed?

My understanding is many companies are concerned about ongoing vulnerability and looking at disabling Flash within their systems now rather than waiting until 2020.