Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

Fixing the “Cannot Find the File Flash.ocx” Error Message

May 11th, 2008 · 10 Comments · Printer Friendly Version


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Flash is a programming language that many publishers use to create animations, games, and interactive programs for the web. Flash is also used for programs run locally on a users computer. To use these Flash based programs and web applets, the end-user must have Flash Player installed. One component of Flash Player is a file called “flash.ocx.” If this file is missing or damaged, you may get an error message.

There seems to be two root causes of this error. A description and solution for each follows:

  • You receive the error message “Cannot find the file flash.ocx” every time you start your computer or each time you open your web browser (such as Internet Explorer). This is usually the result of a missing “flash.ocx” file caused by an incomplete installation of Flash. Here’s how to remedy the problem:
    1. Download the Flash Player uninstaller from Macromedia. Save it somewhere convenient.
    2. Run the downloaded program and allow it to finish.
    3. Once the uninstall completes, restart your computer.
    4. Visit the Flash Player website and download/install the latest Flash Player version.
    5. That’s it!
  • You receive the error message “Cannot find the file flash.ocx” at seemingly random intervals or when starting a specific program (other than your web browser). First, perform steps 1-4 of the previous solution. This will insure you have the latest version of Flash Player installed. If you still receive the error message, continue with the steps below:
    1. Navigate to the folder “C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\”. In this folder you will see a file named “Flash9f.ocx”.
    2. Make copy of the “Flash9f.ocx” file in the same folder as the original (copy the original, then paste the copied file into the same folder).
    3. Rename the newly made copy to “Flash.ocx”.
    4. If the previous steps don’t eradicate the error messages, change your screen saver to one of the defaults that are included with Windows (such as “3D Text”).

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Jun 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Excellent! Perfect solution. Thank you.

  • 2 tamer // Jan 29, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    thnx alot

  • 3 LISA // Feb 6, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Thank you so much for giving me a fix that didn’t cost me any money and actually worked! I had to do the copy of the file, but it did WORK! Thanks again for your help.

  • 4 ILSE // Feb 12, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    After installing KB923789 via Windows Update, I copied the file flash6.ocx in the same folder and changed it to flash.ocx, but now I receive an error that there is a problem with ScreenTime Screensaver Engine. What can you do?

  • 5 Ryan Adams // Feb 12, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    @ILSE: First, I would recommend updating Flash to the latest version (they are up to 10 now) by following the steps under the first bullet point. Then, either update the ScreenTime Screensaver you have installed, or uninstall any such screensavers.

  • 6 kalyan // Feb 24, 2009 at 2:00 AM

    Than Q Very Much

  • 7 Lisa // Feb 27, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Hey Ryank Thanks once again for your help! I had to fix the darn thing again and your solution for the copy and rename fixed it again! I did get the latest REV10, and once again the fix worked.Keep up the good work!

  • 8 Simona // May 22, 2009 at 7:57 AM

    For Vista, the file in the C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\ is named Flash10b.ocx this file should be changed

  • 9 Ryan Adams // May 22, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    @Simona: The file name (Flash9f.ocx/Flash10b.ocx) varies depending on the version of Flash installed. The error messages described in this post seem to occur most often with Flash 9. If you are using Flash 10, you’ll see the new Flash10b.ocx file instead.

  • 10 Ade // Sep 4, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Excellent fix thank you! works every time Flash decides to upgrade!

  • 11 Merv // Oct 12, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    For Vista Ultimate 64 the Macromed folder is in the SysWOW64 folder. The Flash folder contained both Flash10b.cox and Flash10c.com.

  • 12 Mi // Oct 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    Thanks! Worked like a charm!