Flash 9 Doesn't Work on Mac OS X

One of Mac's slogans is "it just works". Well, this week I've found an exception to that. It was all running just fine, then I decided to upgrade to Macromedia/Adobe Flash 9 on my new(ish) MacBook. The installation appears to have worked just fine. but when I tun on my browser, it's obvious that it failed, as the 'missing plugin' notification appears – both in FireFox and in Safari.

I tried down-grading to Flash 8, that didn't work. I tried the fixes on various forums, they were no good. Finally I stumbled across a fix in VersionTracker. It turns out that the Flash installer is not using super user privileges, therefore it can't write to the /Library/Internet Plugins directory. I also found this hack to make it work (you should know a little about unix shell commands):

This is what i did:

1. Open

2. Type:

cd "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/"

3. Look at the owner of the Internet Plug-Ins directory by typing:

ls -la | grep "\ \.$"

4. In the command result is the owner name, remember it

drwxr-xr-x 31 OWNERNAME admin 1054 Feb 25 10:54 .

5. Change the owner temporarily to your user name:

sudo chown MYUSERNAME .

6. Remove old flash installation files:

rm -rf flashplayer.xpt
rm -rf "Flash Player.plugin"
rm -rf "Flash Player Enabler.plugin"

7. Launch the Macromedia installer (yet again)

8. Change back the owner of the directory:

sudo chown OWNERNAME .

Just as the original poster, I take NO RESPONSIBILITY if you made mistakes and something screws up.



  1. Thanks so much for posting this… this problem has been making me nuts! I've run into a different problem in that, I am logged in under the owner name… do you have any suggestions?

  2. Worked beautifully! Thank you very much!

  3. When I type the command drwxr-xr-x 31 OWNERNAME admin 1054 Feb 25 10:54 . to change the name, it says that the command drwxr-xr-x is not found. Isn't weird? I am confused as to why my shell tells me that. Thanks!

  4. Thanks Justin, this was driving me absolutely crazy. Worked perfectly.

  5. Light gray on white is really ugly. By the way, doing a chmod on the file isn't necessary, you can directly do a "sudo rm -rf directory"

  6. The suggestion listed didnt do the trick for me, but when I read that the basic issue was that the installer needed to run as superuser, I downloaded 'Pseudo' from and dragged the Flash installer onto it, which forces it to run as root; worked like a charm and scads easier.

  7. Thomas Locke Hobbs

    Adobe has a page up on this issue. It's here:

    The advice that worked for me was:

    Go to your Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities). Select your start up volume on the left and click the "first aid" tab. From there click the "repair disk permissions" button. Then re-install Flash Player.

    I'm glad this worked because I"m not comfortable going in and entering Unix commands. There mere thought frightens me.

  8. Thanks You So Much. I almost give up on the idea that Apple has saved my from all the MS Windows troubleshooting pains. I search a long time on the Internet to finally meet this great solution. Still don't understand why this is not on Adobe's website. Thanks again. You saved my day!

    Andre Buren, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  9. Pierre Christophorov

    Thanks a lot !
    This works great on my Intel based Mac Book


  10. Thanks so much for the tip. It worked just fine in a few minutes. I am amazed Adobe does not publish this… Just one thing why do you use white fonts on a white background and dark grey on black background ? Makes it very difficult to read.
    Thanks again.

  11. THANK YOU VAUGHN. (tried the commands in but it didn't work, but then, I'm inexperienced with typing code into the deep down insides of the computer, so that's no surprise.) But, Pseudo worked like a charm..I've needed flash player. and now i have it. THANK you.

  12. So glad I stumbled onto this site! Thanks for the Disk Aid suggestion…worked like a CHARM!

  13. Hey, thanks for the tip. Adobe should have taken care of this.

  14. Thanks "Thomas Locke Hobbs"!!

    The solution of going to my Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities). Works for my problem!
    For all over users like me with Firefox / OS X 10.3.9 PPC / Flash Player 9. If you are facing the same problem when you have your Flash Player 9 installed and it won't works on Firefox. (Like, youtube appears BLANK WHITE..) Try this! It works! Thanks again!!

    Go to your Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities). Select your start up volume on the left and click the "first aid" tab. From there click the "repair disk permissions" button. Then re-install Flash Player.

  15. Flash 9 works in Firefox for Mac without this hack. It's a Safari issue. I wish Safari would pull it's head out if it's ass and fix this problem because I'm a developer and I'm friggen holding back developing on the Flash 9 player because of this.

  16. hey…

    anyways… I followed the instructions up above… /sudo chown MY USERNAME/ etc. and now I cant change it back to the original… it wont let me… and then when i try to install the software onto my computer, it says that I dont have enough access privelages… AND I'M ADMIN!!!! how do i change this back to normal?

  17. I've had several mac problems related to installation of programs and plugins. I found that installing from the admin account is crucial for programs and plug-ins to run properly. I hope this helps, it's a simple solution to a lot of mac issues.

  18. Thank you so much for me. Ever since I upgraded to Flash 9, I was unable to load flash contents as if the plugin was not there. In Firefox (3), I typed about:plugins and the flash wasn't listed. Safari didn't show any flash contents as well.

    After trying your solution, the flash is now doing what it's supposed to do. The one step that was missing for me was I didn't even chown back to admin.

  19. Thank you very much Thomas Locke Hobbs for your excellent advice to use disk repair in disk utility so Flash 9 would load. It worked right away. Like you I found the other advice scarily invasive. I really appreciate your generosity in taking the time to post. I had to guess which of the 2 was my start up volume, but was first-time lucky.

  20. hello!!! if you don´t know hot to use terminal, you can download the new version of flash 10.0, it works for me!! download it here

  21. I have been having issues with some websites flash just showing as a blank white box while others the flash works fine. I tried tons of different flash versions from 8 – 9 with no luck. I also tried this fix with no luck. Come to figure out that I had "Banner Filter" on with my netbarrier firewall which seemed to block some flash especially on myspace. Just thought I'd post it. Should have thought of that sooner, but I figured that if it were a firewall it'd block it all the time not just some of the time. Anyway hope this helps somebody.

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