Do you remember Adobe Flash back in the day? Have you ever wondered what happened to it, or have you forgot about it altogether? Adobe Flash was a software on your web browser that enabled you to watch videos and hear audio. It used to reign supreme but in recent years has fallen out of the spotlight due to the new kid on the block: HTML5.

HTML5 is a software stack that allows a web page to play video and audio that doesn’t require any additional plug-ins.

This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both Adobe Flash and HTML5, why HTML5 is overthrowing Adobe Flash, and how it will affect eLearning moving forward.

What Happened To Adobe Flash? | Learn To Flourish

Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash has a few advantages to its name. The first is that it was familiar with most developers. Since Adobe Flash was the norm, most developers were using it already and used it for more than just video and audio on a web page. Adobe Flash was utilized to create an interactive experience a user would have on any given web page. It was also consistent across all platforms since a plugin is required on all web browsers to operate Adobe Flash.

Advantages of Adobe Flash:

  • It was familiar with most developers
  • Consistent across platforms

Unfortunately for Adobe Flash, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages here. As mentioned above, Adobe Flash requires a plugin to work on all browsers. This may deter some viewers from webpages since they have to have the plugin installed to interact with the webpage. Adobe Flash also has constant crashing problems. This is an inconvenience for viewers on webpages since they’ll have to restart their browser to continue interacting with the webpage. There are also some security concerns addressing Adobe Flash as it can be exploited and potentially leave Flash users in a vulnerable position for online attacks. These security risks are one of the reasons some browsers dropped Adobe Flash.

Another major disadvantage of Adobe Flash is its compatibility with mobile devices. When using Adobe Flash on a mobile device, it used a lot of processing power to function causing the battery life on the device to drop rapidly. Adobe Flash later dropped compatibility with mobile devices completely.

Disadvantages of Adobe Flash:

  • Requires Adobe Flash Player plugin to work
  • Crashes constantly
  • Security issues
  • New browsers don’t support flash
  • Drained mobile user’s battery
  • Dropped mobile compatibility



One of the main advantages HTML5 has over Adobe is that it is SEO friendly. This means that Google or other search engines are able to read what is on the webpage. The search engine can recognize what content HTML5 displays on the webpage making it easier to categorize. This will improve the webpage’s overall rank on search engine results pages. HTML5 is also open-source, meaning it is a type of computer software that anyone is able to edit, change and collaborate with. This won’t occur if it was owned by a company like Flash was with Adobe. HTML5 has mobile support that uses less processing power compared to Adobe Flash to display video or audio on a webpage.

Advantages of HTML5:

  • SEO friendly
  • Open-source
  • Compatible on mobile

The main disadvantage that HTML5 faces are that it isn’t supported in app stores. Any HTML5 apps can be made but app stores aren’t an option to be distributed to the public. Consumers will have to purchase or download HTML5 apps from websites to use.

Disadvantages of HTML5:

  • App stores don’t support HTML5

The Downfall of Flash

The bottom line is that Adobe Flash’s inability to support mobile devices was a major factor in its downfall. Mobile devices have become a mainstream method of surfing the web. Not having mobile support eliminates a large portion of people viewing your content if you are using Adobe Flash. The final nail in the coffin was YouTube switching over from Adobe Flash to HTML5. YouTube was the majority of people’s main use for Adobe Flash. If they didn’t need it anymore to watch YouTube they could uninstall it.

Alas, the end for Adobe Flash has finally come as Adobe has announced that it will end support of their Flash player on December 31, 2020.

How Will This Effect eLearning?

The main effect this has on eLearning is having to transition from Flash to HTML5. Moving forward, all courses must be published as HTML5 as well as all old courses created in Flash must be converted to HTML5 to remain functional.

This can be an inconvenience for organizations that currently have Flash eLearning courses because they all need to be converted to HTML5. However, there are positives in transitioning to HTML5.

The great news is that since HTML5 supports mobile devices, it makes your eLearning courses more accessible to different device users. And these days, mobile learning is key so that your learners can get the training that they need, when they need it and wherever they are. 

Aside from being accessible to more people, HTML5 has stronger security and less frequent crashes. This provides your learners with a better and safer experience when interacting with your course.


Need To Convert Your Courses?

Are you facing the need to convert your eLearning from Flash to HTML5? Contact Learn to Flourish for support with your eLearning conversion projects. Book a free discovery call today.

At Learn to Flourish we are all about creating relevant, engaging, and effective eLearning and videos. If you want to increase the quality of your educational videos, get our free training on how to make great demonstration videos for your audience.

For more tips on video and eLearning creation, check out our blog for more articles such as how marketers are using eLearning and how to create online education that people will love.

Wishing you inspiration, innovation, and continuous learning,

Lorena and the Learn to Flourish Team



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