Turning Flash On and Off Richard had a great question - how come an animated Christmas Card (or video) that worked last year no longer plays or downloads as a file that i can't open?

Great questions and something that may have happened to you or might happen soon. The answer is probably Flash. Flash Player is a "plug-in" that allows certain videos and animations to play. But Flash can also be used to transfer viruses and other bad things to your computer if you open and play a bad Flash file.

It also can use a lot of processing energy. So now Firefox and Safari turn off, or disable, Flash Player. But you can easily turn it on when your computer detects some Flash content such as a Flash video or animated card. Here's how.

Learn more: Here is an article by Kim Komando explaining why we've used Flash and how to avoid it's pitfalls

Here's how to turn Flash on/off in Firefox

In the upper right corner of your Firefox window you see 3 horizontal gray lines. Click the three lines.

Click the Add-ons button

Then in the next window click "Plug-ins in the left panel.

Locate Shockwave Flash in the list of plug-ins. Click the flippy triangle to its right and choose "Ask to Activate". Close the window

Flash will be disabled except when a site or something like your card is loaded. You'll be asked if you want to activate it temporarily to view it and you click Yes.

In Safari,

Open the Safari Preferences from the Safari menu

Click the Security button. Then click the Plug-in Settings button.

In the list that opens click the checkbox next to Adobe Flash Player.

Choose "Ask" from the drop down menu to ask you whether its ok to open a page that has Flash on it (again, this is recommended so you can avoid accidentally opening a bad site with Flash on it but its up to you). Click "Done". That's it! It should open your page.

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