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NOTE:  The discussion below is now outdated.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
Matthew Bibby

It depends on the environment that your courses are used in Daniel.

If it's only for people in your office and you know for sure that the courses will only ever be accessed on computers that have Flash installed... .then yes, you could. Your courses will have a limited lifespan (the Flash era is nearly over - Adobe is dropping support in 2020).

However, the landscape is changing quickly and more and more companies are not only getting rid of Flash, sometimes with little warning, but also changing their IT policies to allow people to bring their own devices to work, access the LMS from their iPad on the train etc.

Personally, I'd stick with HTML5. If possible (and it usually is), I'd switch to an HTML5 first approach where you develop and test for the more modern environment and use Flash as a fallback.

Kari Bogdan

This might be a silly question but are you planning on creating some way for us to simply import our courses into the version that does not use Flash and make adjustments, etc to republish them or is that too much to hope for?  We have started using the HTML5 option, but someone once told me that regardless of how you publish, the player and some features like hovers still need Flash to work.  Is this true?  

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Kari,

Not a silly question at all! 

With Storyline 3 or Storyline 360, you can easily open and upgrade content created in Storyline 1 or Storyline 2 and republish with HTML5 only.

If you choose to purchase the upgrade to either of the latest Storyline options you'll have all the other new features that have been released so you may want to make some changes or tweaks before publishing, but that's entirely up to you. 

Take a look here at the comparison of features across Storyline versions to determine which one is right for you. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Indrani,

I'm not familiar with GoAnimate and what publishing options they have - but regardless if you're using Storyline 2 the published output will be Flash first and you can include HTML5 as a fallback option. 

If you need content that doesn't have Flash at all, you may want to look at upgrading to Storyline 3 or Articulate 360. Both of those offer a publishing option of HTML5 Only. With any of the HTML5 output, if you've included a Flash, SWF, or similar file type - that content may not play in your published output depending on how it's included in Storyline and the browsers used if they have Flash disabled. 

Becky Lijewski

Hi, I am wondering if there is any updates to moving from Flash to HTML5. This article was posted 11 months ago. What I want to know is Articulate going to update Storyline 3, so you do not need flash to author or have Flash to install the software? Moving to Studio 360 is not an option for my company.



Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Becky,

Thanks for checking in on our progress! 

We've been actively working on this for some time, and have successfully removed our Flash dependency from 2 areas (Content Preview and Video Playback/Editing).

Storyline 360 continues to depend on Flash in 2 additional areas (Timeline Preview and Player Properties Preview), and we are targeting Q2 of 2019 to move away from Flash in these areas as well. 

Soon after that update is released for Storyline 360, we'll also provide an update for Storyline 3. 

Daniel  Feerst

Can Ashley comment on Studio 13. I only see posts discussing Storyline.
Right now, my business is working fine with generating html5. A certificate
I create appears at the end of courses. The courses work on every browser
except AOL. What will I be facing in the way of problems with Flash in the future
if anything.
Daniel A. Feerst, 

Becky Lijewski


Will the update to storyline 3 be free?

Becky Lijewski
Specialist, Learning Management
Training Operations
Global HR Services
1201 South 2nd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204 USA
Email: bllijewski@ra.rockwell.com

Office•: 1 (414) 382-2202 Mobile•: 1 (414) 412-6242

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Daniel, 

Studio 360 will also receive the same update as Storyline 360 to remove these Flash components. We don't have plans to remove Flash as an authoring requirement in the earlier versions of Articulate tools such as Studio '13. 


All updates to an existing version are always free. Currently, Storyline 3 is on Update 4, and if you need to install the latest update of that Storyline version, you can find it here. 

It looks like your email signature came through when you replied via email. You can remove that if needed by clicking ‘Edit’ beneath your response. Here’s a quick Peek video if you need help.

June Dunlap

So what that means to me is that when Flash is no longer supported, and Studio requires an unsupported software to open and run, my team will no longer be allowed to use Studio due to an internal policy for unsupported software, which will be Flash in the very near future. Once they remove Flash from our laptops, we will no longer be able to use Presenter.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Lisa,

Since Storyline relies on Flash for authoring, if you don't have Flash installed on the computer you're creating content on, Storyline may not open at all, or you'll see an error message. 

You can see the full system requirements of Articulate 360 outlined here, and you'll note that Storyline and Studio authoring apps are the only ones which rely on Flash: 

Let me know if you have any other questions! 

June Dunlap

So I am still not getting the answer to my question, and am left to assume that the big push here is to get everyone to move to 360. For those of us working in an environment that will not allow that, Articulate is going to leave us high and dry with using StoryLine 3 or Studio?  Sounds like you have no plans to make either desktop software not able to run without Flash dependency. Why can't I get a definite answer on this? It impacts over 200 courses we have created using Studio/SL3 that we will not be able to maintain. We just made the decision to use SL3 for all projects and now I need to evaluate another application solely because we cannot use your cloud version. I am saddened as we have been a huge supporter of Articulate since the 2009 version of Studio.

Matthew Bibby

Hi June,

Just to be clear, I don't work for Articulate or have any knowledge of their plans other than what they've shared publicly. But Articulate are definitely working towards getting away from Flash. They've posted about this previously. 

Keep in mind that SL360 is desktop software (even though it has some cloud features). I suspect that once Articulate have made SL360 no longer dependent on Flash, they will then focus on doing the same for SL3. In the past we have seen numerous changes/features start with SL360 and then show up in SL3 shortly afterwards.

So you may need to wait a little longer for it to come to SL3, but I wouldn't worry about Articulate leaving you high and dry. They are a good company who take care of their customers.