Advertisement:

How to install Flash on Galaxy S4 (and make it work!)?

Advertisement:

enable flash on galaxy s4

Update: After KitKat (4.4) update, you must use the unofficial APK file to make Flash player work on Galaxy S4 again. Please read Part 3 for details on the Flash Player APK file for KitKat.

Once you get your hands on your brand new Galaxy S4, you may encounter the Flash issue. Galaxy S4 does not support Flash!

Even after you side-load the Flash (see below on how to do this),  neither the stock browser (Internet app) nor  the bundled Chrome recognize Flash.

For Chrome for Android, we all know Flash has been never supported. Do not confuse this Chrome with the Chrome on your desktop.

But for the stock browser, it is quite strange, because the stock browser (with Jelly Bean 4.2) in Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 all work charmingly with Flash!.  For Jelly Bean 4.1, there are no issues even on Samsung’s own handsets, for example, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2. What’s wrong?

Apparently, the stock browser in Galaxy S4 was altered by Samsung to block Flash plugin and other plugins as well.

So, to make Flash work on your S4, we need both Flash player (which is not pre-installed) and a third-party browser.

Before jumping to how to do this, let’s get some background information on why Flash has been an issue for Jelly Bean.

Flash was banned by Apple on iOS! The official explanations include: 1) Flash is not open (same as iOS); 2). There are better alternatives; 3). Reliability, security and performance issues; 4).Battery life issues; 5).Flash is not for touch screen; 6). Flash is a cross platform development tool.  Actually, the last one is what Apple fears.

Of course, Flash is not as crappy as what Apple painted. A lot of websites are still using this “old” or “PC Era” technology. There are still sizable (although probably decling after it is banned by Apple)  developers So, Flash support has been part of feature list for most Android devices. However, Adobe decided to pull the plug. The Flash player app was withdrawn from Play Store. The official support for Android was stopped at Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich).

In fact, Adobe is still maintaining the apk on their website. And Flash still plays nicely with Jelly Bean 4.1 and 4.2. Some vendors (for example, HTC) actually pre-install Flash on their handsets.

So, the Flash problem in Galaxy S4 was simply created by Samsung. It has nothing to do with Flash or Jelly Bean.

As mentioned, the solution is to install Flash player AND install a third-party browser. Here are the steps.

Part 1. Get the Adobe Flash Player (based on this guide:  How do I manually install Flash Player on my Android device?)

  1. Make sure your Android device is connected to the Internet.
  2. Go to Settings–Security
  3. Check the “Unknown sources” check box. (under Device administration)
  4. Tap OK to confirm your selection.
  5. Close Settings.
  6. Launch the browser.
  7. Search for “flash player archive page” or navigate directly to http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html 
  8. On the Archive page, scroll down to “Flash Player for Android archives”
  9. Select Flash Player 11.1 for Android 4.0 (11.1.115.54)    Flash Player 11.1 for Android 4.0 (11.1.115.69)
  10. Tap the link to download the Flash Player installer. Download begins automatically.
  11. When download completes, close the browser.
  12. Open Notifications.
  13. Tap “install_flash_player.apk”
  14. When prompted, tap Install.
  15. When installation is finished, tap Done.

(you can also download the apk file on your PC, copy the file to S4, then install it)

Part 2. Get a browser that support Flash on Galaxy S4

As mentioned, neither Chrome nor the stock browser (aka internet app) does not work with Flash on your S4.

Not all third-part browsers work with Flash on Jelly Bean. Here are a few we tested. yYou do not need to have them all, but it is better to test different browsers for the Flash site you are going to visit. Some browsers work great for some sites, but not other sites.

  1.  Firefox. To be frank, Firefox for Android is not a great app. It is a bit buggy on Jelly Bean. But it is a reliable browser for most sites. Please note, after installing Flash, you need restart Firefox (in the Task Manager, stop it; then start it again).
  2. Boat Browser (free). It simply works. By default, the Flash plugin is disabled. You need tap the menu button, go to settings–Page content settings-Enable flash/plug-ins, and set it as always on.
  3. UC Browser. It should work without any additional settings. The Flash will not play automatically, and you need touch the play button on each Flash video.

Of course, there are many other browsers that support Flash.  You can test whether Flash is supported by visiting: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/find-version-flash-player.html 

Part 3.  After KitKat (4.4) update, you must use this unofficial APK file to make Flash player work on Galaxy S4 again

After updating your Galaxy S4 to KitKat, the official Flash APK file mentioned in part 1 will NOT work.

A xda-developers.com member, surviveland, slightly hacked the official APK file to make it work with KitKat 4.4. You may follow this link to download the Flash Player APK file for KitKat.   If that link does not work, you may try this link for the hacked Flash Player 11.1 for KitKat ( credit to surviveland.  We are NOT responsible for the APK file. Use at your own risk).

After installing  the unofficial Flash Player APK, Flash player should work on S4 now. The recommended browser for KitKat is Dolphin Browser. This one works best with Flash on S4.

Do you still have problems to use Flash on your S4? Do you have any suggestions? Post them in the comment box below.

More Galaxy S4 tips and tricks can be found in Galaxy S4 Tips page.

Samsung Galaxy S4 manual  in more than 20 languages can be read or downloaded (PDF) from Samsung Galaxy S4 manual page.

Get the most from your Galaxy S4: Galaxy S4 Tips and Tricks Digest (our monthly free Newsletter)


Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    could you please tell me how to go to page setting content in samsung s4?

    • Do you mean page content settings in Boat Browser?

      After installing Flash, open Boat Browser, tap the menu button (of your phone), then go to settings, go to Page content settings.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Boat browser still crashes when playing flash the best browser I’ve seen is Firefox beta and puffin

  3. Anonymous says:

    Surprisingly after doing exactly as mentioned, the adobe flash test page still doesn’t show the flash content. What could be the reason?

    • Did you try to re-start the browser, especially for Firefox? You can use task manager to clear memory, then start the browser again. Alternatively, you can reboot the phone to see whether it helps.

  4. Still can’t use hulu on my S4. It says it still not supported.

  5. did everything as above instructions, can’t play any flash based for movies (levidia) on boat or any browsers

  6. Anonymous says:

    I installed the flash player from adobe archives and it still doesn’t work on my s4 . do I guess we are s.o.l. Until next time .

  7. vanessa sproson says:

    how do u get it work for games? like farm hero saga as it is saying it wont work can some one plz help x

  8. I did everything still doesn’t work I restarted the phone I cleared the memory on the boat browser still nothing

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wont install.

  10. Followed instructions and tried various browsers. Most crash whilst trying to connect. Firefox Beta gets as far as an initial screen with the note “buffering” and then crashes…… No joy really.

  11. I did everything when I download things it say no application can be found to open this file

  12. everything worked fine but I cant play facebook games like Marvel Avengers Alliance on my S4..
    but my S3 can do the job though..

  13. Anonymous says:

    If flash does not respond in samsung s4 try using agent in content setting as desktop. It’s working.

  14. After I downloaded the Flash Player, I went to my notifications and clicked ”install”. Then I clicked ”done”, I set setting on boat browser, but something black and green came up, these steps did not help, is there any chance I can do it from my laptop and just put it inside the Samsung galaxy 4 by using a USB?

  15. The url is not available anymore on my S4. I get an error page on Adobe. I am not even able to get to the link to download the flash player. I am using Firefox as my browser.

  16. Will no u install flash player

  17. didn’t work on my rogers galaxy s4 I give up.

  18. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I was able to install with the Boat Browser!! Infinitely grateful for your help and post

  19. Kiel Lukaniuk says:

    Tried this on both my gs4 (4.2.2) and galaxy note 8.0 (4.1.2) — the file downloads but both devices say “cannot open file” thoughts?

  20. No sound when playing videos on Samsung Note II any suggestions?

  21. This steps may let me able to play games on my s4 such as Criminal Case and Farmville? In this case, wich browser should be better? Makes any difference Flash Player saved on SD card or on the telephone?

  22. sanjeev says:

    no need other browser just install firefox and flash (as mention above), close firefox (if running), restart firefox > go to setting > enable plugins > launch any website which has flash based content and enjoy…

  23. what about on default browser?

  24. Rebooted after following instructions to the letter, can’t see the test movie.

  25. I installed the photon browser and flash player is working at least my on S4

  26. I will not work! I hate this phone!!!!!!!!

  27. wildtiger33 says:

    I am trying to play My Vegas (facebook app) on my galaxy s4. I downloaded flash and boat browser. I changed settings to enable flash (always on) and user agent to Desktop. I am still being told that the latest version of flash player is required to play the game. I have seen other people saying they can play. What do I do?

  28. I tried boat browser was able to enable the flash plugins had sound but no picture. I switched to Firefox and got it to work. Thank you so much. I was about to give up but now it works. Thanks again
    .

  29. Everytime I attempt to use firefox it just freezes up

  30. I also notice after installing flash player and firefox, that my keyboard will no longer appear, nor can I access my settings anymore

  31. hi, since i got my phone i have been able to stream gorillavid through my video player but it stopped working a few days ago. should i download a flash player to see if that works or has my phone done some kind of auto update that has blocked it. its coming up format may not be supported etc.

  32. Works perfectly on my Galaxy S4 with Boat Browser. No bugs so far.

    Thanks

  33. doesnt work with opera mini…I want to play top eleven..any browser u guys can recommend to me.

  34. Thanks for a great article and very helpful for someone who is new to all this. Although Boat isn’t working out for me so far, I’m going to try Firefox or Puffin.

  35. I did it and I can use it on google chrome and the internet app

  36. Nope…not working at all,can’t even install. “Apps does not install”….

Leave a Reply here