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

Aug 04, 2017

NOTE:  The discussion below is now outdated.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.

238 Replies
Altan Ahmet

HI Justine, I just read your "here's how" to publish SL2 in HTML5, I dont understand the instructions, where it says " Just link to the following file......story_html5.html" :

" If you're using Storyline 1, Storyline 2, or Studio '13 and you include HTML5 output when you publish, you can bypass the Flash output and launch the HTML5 course directly. Just link to the following file in your published output, depending on the app you used:


story_html5.html "


If I publish the course as a zip file and I upload the zip file to a LMS, at what point and how am I adding this link ?

Daniel  Feerst

Does this help me prevent having to dump Studio '13.......IF........I put on a web page a link for Internet Explorer users click here....and Mozilla, Edge, and Chrome users click here. (?)

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Reply to What we’re doing about Flash

Altan Ahmet replied:

HI Justine, I just read your "here's how" to publish SL2 in HTML5, I dont understand the instructions, where it says " Just link to the following file......story

Daniel  Feerst

Thanks. Got video but no response about questions related to telling some customers to click"here if using Internet Explorer" and other customers to "Click here if using Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Google Chrome" after generating a Web course that includes html5 and uploaiding it to a Web page.
Thanks. Would the above allow one to forestall the update to the online Articulate 360?

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks for the nudge, Daniel.

It looked as if you were replying to Altan above, but I seemed to have overlooked the question.

I wanted to share some documentation on how Storyline determines how to display your content (as well as Presenter '13 here). If you wish to share separate links to the .html file and the html5.html file, that's up to you.

Hi Altan,

I apologize for missing your question. The LMS typically uses the index_lms.html file once the zipped package is uploaded.  The ability or how to manually change this within your LMS should be explored with your LMS team. I've seen a similar conversation here where it seems users were successful at doing so.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Altan, 

Yes, but you can use that method if need to direct learners to the HTML5 first. I've heard of a few folks doing this because of issues with Flash trying to load first, and getting stuck within browsers that no longer support it or have it disabled by default. This way you're forcing the HTML5, vs. relying on the browser to recognize that it can't playback the Flash output. 

Altan Ahmet

Thanks Ashley

My problem now is how do I actually get it to default to HTML5  ? I can see a thread that says you should edit the imsmanifest.xml file to point directly to "index_lms_html5.html" instead of "index_lms.html"

I dont know how to do this, not being a coder , is there anyone that can help please ?

Cindy Shaver

We have some courses built in SL2 (by ourselves or by outside vendors). They were set as flash/html5 or html5/flash. The company uses IE or Firefox as browsers.

I saw some a note earlier that SL2 courses in HTML5 viewed in IE or Firefox can come out blurry and there are some issues with functionality.  Can you confirm if this is still the case and will be a continuing issue when flash decommissions? Or is the issue being fixed.

I also saw a comment that IE isn't a supported browser for HTML5.  Do you have info or a link on this where I can get some more information?

Thanks much.  We do have Storyline 360, but aren't able to update all the courses at this time.

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Sam. Is your SWF content interactive, or does it play like a movie? If your Flash media is a movie that requires no interaction from your learner, you'll want to consider converting it to another video format and inserting it as a video.

Because modern browsers will not be supporting Flash Player, interactive SWF content will need to take another form. Community folks: what are you doing to convert interactive SWF content that you want to include in your e-learning?

Sam Lincoln

Crystal, my question was whether Articulate plans to provide an alternative for flash interactions in Engage. Video is an obvious alternative for non-interactive content. But it'd be nice to have an HTML alternative or a Storyline block equivalent as in Rise. It's really a plea not to let Engage fall behind.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Sam,

We'll be removing Flash as a part of the Articulate 360 authoring experience and you currently can publish Engage 360 interactions as HTML5 only. So the interactive elements of Engage will remain intact. If you've created interactive pieces outside of Engage, I'd need to know more about those file formats to clarify what would be supported or not! 


Crystal Horn

Thanks for clarifying, Sam. We don't have an alternative for interactive Flash content planned for Engage 360 currently, but we're always taking feature requests.

Engage 360 won't be falling behind! It will still be the easiest way to add media-rich interactivity to existing PowerPoint presentations. And when you need even more robust authoring to customize your e-learning experiences, Storyline 360 will be the best tool for the job.

Ryan Brown

Greetings. I have been scouring this site and others to figure out our best approach to dealing with the '2020 Flash Sunset'. Our company standard is IE11 but, after conducting some testing, Articulate Storyline 360 files published to HTML only and HTML/Flash fallback settings do not run on our LMS in an IE11 browser (LMS=Cornerstone, published as SCORM 1.2). Our company standard setting is Flash/HTML fallback. I have read that Microsoft will disable the ability of IE11 to run flash post 2020 on this official Microsoft blog https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline/

All that to ask: Will Storyline no longer work on IE11 post 2020?


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