I have an IMac, running Sierra 10.12.5 (8 g ram) and for 3 days in a row I have had to reinstall Flash player to see videos on Facebook and Youtube. Does anyone know how to fix this or know why this is happening? The exact message is: If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. So I close out my browser (Firefox) and try it again, with the same result. I get the same message. Thanks in advance.
Message was edited by: Marcie Ewasko
In general, Flash Player isn't used on Facebook or Youtube. My guess is that reinstalling Flash Player causes another process to exit or restart during the installation. You're benefitting from a side-effect, but you're only addressing a symptom and not the root-cause.
My guess is that simply restarting the computer would get you the same effect.
If you right-click on one of the affected videos, do you get "About Flash Player" at the bottom of the context menu? If not, it's HTML5 video.
I finally figured out that it was my router that was causing the problem. I had tried restarting my computer and numerous other things but nothing worked except to re-install Flash. Then my printer wouldn’t work so I restarted my router to take care of that problem, but it also fixed the Flash problem. I don’t know why that worked, but it did. Thanks!
Thank you for the update. Glad everything is working now.
There's a class of malware that attacks home routers. It stays persistent in the router's memory until you power cycle it. That will resolve the problem until the router becomes infected again. Given that power-cycling the router resolved this problem, it seems very likely to me that you were experiencing this.
Infecting the router isn't terribly useful, so one strategy from there is to insert fake prompts for common software upgrades into webpages served through the router. Flash Player is one of the most widely distributed pieces of software in existence, so it's a common target for impostors, and they'll frequently bundle a totally legitimate Flash Player installation with a secondary malware payload.
I'd recommend a couple more things before you move on from this problem:
1.) Get a reputable virus/malware scanner and run it on your machine. There are plenty of products that offer free trials. I'd go with one of the big name-brand products in this space. You're on a Mac, and Macs in general are only 5-6% of the total Internet population, so it's not necessarily worth it for attackers to write Mac exploits... but better safe than sorry.
2.) Make sure that you have working backups of your important documents. There are a number of hybrid online/offline services that are relatively inexpensive that make this process easy and reliable, including Apple's core offerings like TimeMachine. In the age of ransomware, you want an off-site backup, in case a bad guy decides to encrypt both your computer and attached backup drive.
3.) Once you have a reasonable degree of confidence in the computer, then upgrade the firmware on your router. These types of vulnerabilities in commodity routers were pretty hot topics a year ago, but have largely been patched. You should set up a regular schedule to keep the router patched, or in the event that your router supports automatic updates, definitely turn them on.
4.) Change your passwords for important things like email, banking, heathcare, etc. Consider using a password manager so that you can use strong, unique passwords for each site you use, and take advantage of two-factor authentication wherever possible. If your machine or router was compromised, it's possible that your credentials have leaked. It's worth an hour or two to protect yourself from identity theft down the road.