Adobe Flash: Fix Choppy Full Screen Video

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Before you proceed, make sure you have quit all of your browsers. On the Mac, even if you close all browser windows, the browser may still be running. You can confirm this by looking at the icon on the dock. If there is a dot under the icon, the browser is still running. Right-click on the icon and select Quit to exit the browser. If you are using a Magic Trackpad, click on the icon with two fingers and then click Quit with one finger.

Launch System Preferences from the OS X dock. Next, click on the Flash Player icon on the bottom of the System Preferences screen.

Flash Player Settings on System Preferences

A screen with Flash Player settings appears. Click on the Advanced tab and then click the “Delete All…” button under the “Browsing Data and Settings” section.

Flash Player Advanced Settings Screen

The “Delete All Site Data and Settings” option is checked by default. The data deleted in this operation won’t cause any problems. The “Delete All Audio and Video License Files” section is not checked by default. Don’t check this option if you have rented or purchased content that is played in Adobe Flash. Next, click on Delete Data to clear the cache.

Flash Player Delete All Site Data

This should free up some storage space, but it probably won’t be a lot. Deleting “Browsing Data and Settings” is a global operation. It will clear this data for all browsers on your computer.

A Future Without Flash

As you can see, Flash can cause a lot of problems. I found this choppy video issue to be quite irksome, and there weren’t any good solutions. After some research, people suggested a lot of things that just didn’t work. Some said to uninstall and re-install Flash. It works for a little while, but once the 10 MB of storage is full, the problem returns. This can happen in the course of watching a few Flash videos. Others suggested clearing the cache using the global Flash Player settings in System Preferences. This is only a temporary solution. After a lot of fiddling, I figured out that increasing the storage settings to unlimited works. This setting used to be embedded in every Flash plugin. It’s now relegated to a webpage on Adobe’s site. With every update, Flash seems to get more irritating!

Adobe Flash’s days are numbered. I’m not the only one who is frustrated with poor performance, strange settings and a lack of security. Apple rejected Flash for iOS because the versions Adobe presented were just too buggy. Flash used up too much battery power. It also just didn’t work well with touch screens.

Flash for computers seems to be on the way out. It’s virtually the only app that crashes on my Mac, and it can bring down the entire browser. This was one reason why Steve Jobs adamantly rejected Flash for iOS. He saw how poorly it worked on Mac OS X, even after years of effort from Adobe. With major websites like Netflix and YouTube moving to other technologies, Flash is gradually losing market share.

Flash will be around for some time, but its importance diminishes every day. It’s a problem of neglect. Adobe just didn’t improve the product at all. In fact, the Flash plugin I use today seems more defective and problematic than the one I used a decade ago. If Adobe wants to keep their hegemony in the rich Internet application (RIA) market, they need to embrace the new HTML standard for video and create authoring tools that work with this standard. Better yet, they should create a tool to convert Flash apps to HTML and JavaScript.

Flash will still be around for years to come, but it should be put out to pasture. I know people who refuse to use any site that employs Flash technology. They have completely uninstalled Flash from their systems. I’m not the only one who is frustrated by this out-dated, defective and malware-prone technology.

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