Downgrading to Flash 9 for Mac OS X

I have a great G5 iMac.  It has been my main machine for years now.  I recently upgraded Flash to version 10 and performance began to suck.  The new, supposedly high performance version of Flash made whole sites unusable.  Last night I downgraded to Flash 9 and life is good.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Download the Flash Uninstaller from Adobe – here
  2. Fix Disk Permissions via the Disk Utility
  3. Download all whole slew of versions of Flash 9 – here. If you are just looking for the seemingly latest (as of November 2008) go here, but be warned I had problems with both the Universal and PowerPC installers.
  4. Fix Disk Permissions via the Disk Utility
Things seems to be working a heck of a lot better now.  Guess I’ll have to wait for a rev’ed iMac before I a) give this G5 up and b) upgrade to Flash 10.

31 thoughts on “Downgrading to Flash 9 for Mac OS X”

  1. Phew, thanks for posting this (ironically enough yesterday). I updated my iMac Intel to flash 10 and ever since facebook has been acting wonkey, and the “take a picture with your webcam” part hasn’t been working.
    Uninstalling and downgrading to flashplayer9r124_ub_mac seems to have solved my problem. That will teach me to upgrade for the heck of it.

  2. Same here, I’ve noticed that some sites work with the new flash but others don’t they don’t seem to recognize it and keep asking for it.

  3. Thanx for this howto. Removed Flash 10 and all it’s problems completely. I did not fix disk permissions, but it works anymway.

  4. Excellent. Just today I upgraded to Flash 10 and it broke my WordPress site. I simply Googled “mac os x downgrade flash 9” and got your page immediately. Thanks again.

  5. I’m relieved. I was trying to stick it out with Flash 10, but I couldn’t stand it any more. Too many things stopped working, and I saw no performance increase to justify the damage.

  6. Hey– Does this fix work for leopard as well as previous incarnations of osx? I wasn’t getting perfect HULU before on my new MBP–in fact not as good as my 2006 MBP I replaced. Lots of pauses for buffering, but not nearly as bad as w flash10. Anything else I can do to smooth out the video. Also using and All witgh some degree of buffer pausing. YOutube works flawlessly, however.

  7. Hey Smokey –

    Thanks for the tip! I have updated the post with both URLs. That being said I had a problem with both the Universal and PPC installers.

  8. I have a G4 and a G5. I foolishly upgraded to Flash 10. But HOW do I downgrade. The files that I get from the websites above just include a plugin with no installer. If I double click those, I get a message saying that there is no program to open it!


  9. @Jan 26 post
    Thanks for the most recent link to the download for FP9. I upgraded to 10 and it broke SlideshowPro director, sIFR and crashed Firefox multiple times. The link originally posted leads to a server that’s crashed which give you some indication that Flash Player 10 is having some big problems. My only problem now is getting the un-installer, which resides on the server that’s down. Any ideas? thanks.

  10. thanks for the tip. youtube and a bunch of other sites had become completely broken for me. downgrading to FP9r159 worked like a charm. thank you thank you thank you!!!

  11. The Adobe site now has the file “install_flash_player_9.dmg” on the page listed in the original post. You can easily install it by opening the .dmg file and dragging the two files inside to your /Library/Internet Plug-Ins folder. Restart Safari, etc. It works great on my iMac G5.

    Thanks for this valuable info!

  12. Sorry to spoil the party, but ive tried this and nothings working.

    I have a G4 533 digital audio with 1.5gb ram and ati radeon 9000 128mb.

    Im sure I remember You tube and BBC iplayer working fine sometime ago. I dont know when or how but nearly all flash video is unwatchably laggy now. Sound is fine, video awful.
    Ive done the uninstall and tried an couple of versions AND fixed permissions but its not working. Even tried lowering screen resolution.

    What happened to my mac? Maybe it was going from flash 8 to 9?

    Could there be any other workaround or plug in conflictions?

  13. I’m having the same trouble, Russ.

    iMac Power PC 800 mHz G4

    OSX 10.4.11

    1 G SDRAM

    No improvement dropping back to Flash 9.

    I stopped by the Apple Store a while back and the genius there said technology had simply passed me by. Was so excited when I found this site because I wanted to prove him wrong.

    I can NOT afford a new computer just to be able to watch YouTube again.


  14. Thanks very much for your tip! I thought that I’d have to pay for RealPlayer Plus in order to see my videoclips again. I had no problem at all, uninstalled FlashPlayer, restarted then installed Flash Player 9 via your link. Must remember NOT to upgrade FlashPlayer to version 10 (duuuuhh) !!!

    Am now watching my music and cricket vids once more.

    Thanks again ;-D

  15. For people who are finding that downgrading to flash 9 doesn’t make their video any smoother on old hardware, remember that all internet video is being encoded by the “broadcasters” with specific quality settings. It is likely that more and more video is being encoded in higher quality, with the assumption that the average viewer now has a faster machine than they used to. Flash video was never very efficient to begin with, and it’s likely that the PPC Mac version of Flash Player is even less efficient than its Intel (Windows or Mac) counterpart.

  16. ahhhhh, thank you thank you, my MacBook Pro died a few weeks ago so i’ve been relying on my 1.33GHz iBook G4 with 1.5 GB of RAM to pull the slack, and ever since upgrading to Flash 10 it’s been CHUGGING. internet video playback has been TERRIBLE, and fullscreen even crashed the computer. i downgraded back to flash 9 and tadaa! flash runs like it should!

  17. This is similar to many things. A new version comes, and turns out to be worse than the previous. Something tells me they got some work to do:-) – Ray J.

  18. Hi
    I have the same set up and problems as aklmfreak December 12th, 2009 at 1:28 pm above 1.33GHz iBook G4 with 1.5 GB of RAM and am really struggling to get the BBC iPlayer to stream programmes.

    I have tried Ian’s advice and downloaded the slew of version 9’s and used flashplayer9r260_ub_mac.dmg from the 9r260 in the fp9_archive after un-installing, repairing permissions e.t.c but have had no improvement.

    Has anyone using Power PC had any luck getting iPlayer to work or is there a particular version of 9 I should be using ?

    I would really appreciate any pointers,

  19. Mr. Glazer, you rock my world. Float my boat. Saved my whales. What a nightmare was that Flash 10 on OSX.4.8… Thank you for saving my Classic Melrose Place Marathon on 😉 LV

  20. Hi, I tried to do this on a powerbook OS X 10.4.8. I am not very mac savvy and could not install Version 9 from the zip. Also hulu states that flash 10* is required. My video (and audio after awhile) stutters and drops frames with the latest flash version. Is my 1.5 PPC G4 1.25G Ram just too old to stream these videos? any help is appreciated. thanks, Alice

  21. No problem with the November 2008 plug-in, which works just great on my INTEL Macbook.
    Thanks a lot for the tips !

  22. It seems that most of the video players using flash just don’t seem to work very well on my 12 inch G4 powerbook 867Mhz running 640K RAM. I tried downgrading but a sampling of some of these sites required Flashplayer 10 or they would not run at all. I was wondering if adding more Ram 1G would make a difference. I can’t imagine how the internet experience would be with the new IPAD without flash. So many video sites run on Flash. I see that youtube is running an experimental html5 site you can try.

    For me it did not make a difference. Video was still very choppy.

    I have had my powerbook broken and in the closet for some time and recently decided to resurrect it by replacing the burnt out hard drive. I cannot remember how the video was on it as I have not used it in about 2 years. Clearly video quality online has improved significantly and I am guessing this hardware just isn’t up to snuff anymore. I am currently running with a dead battery, plugged in to the power adapter, would that make any performance difference?

    Anyone have a similar powerbook. How is your video experience. Any suggested video sources. I am not sure if adding Ram will even make a noticeable difference. Still good for non video usage. Any thoughts would be appreciated. (good or bad news is fine) THANKS

  23. Hello everyone

    I too have an older mac and found a wonderful program called minitube that allows you to watch youtube to your hearts content with no lag or excessive heat. Highly recommended.

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