Recently I have experienced problems with Flash Player. For example most, but not all, video clips on the BBC web site refuse to play and display a message that the video couldn't be played and to either enable or install Flash Player in my browser. Flash Player is both installed and enabled in my Browser and works perfectly well playing YouTube clips. Some web pages are slow to load and a message appears saying something like Flash Player is taking a long time and might not be working and asks if I want to continue or stop. It turns out these problems have been caused by a recent Windows Feature update to Version 1809, effectively a new version of Windows.
Some time ago the EU stopped Microsoft bundling certain products with Windows because they ruled it was anti-competitive to other companies who market similar products. One of those products was Windows Media Player. You are free to download and install Windows Media Player yourself but it doesn't happen automatically. As far as I can tell when you install a Windows security update it does not affect any installed products, like Media Player, but when you install a Feature Update it is like installing a new version of Windows so Media Player is lost. For some reason this affects how Flash Player behaves on some web sites.
Every time you install a Features Update you need to also install the Media Feature Pack
. As you cans see from the article there are a lot of features that need Media Feature Pack installed to work properly. I suspect the BBC web site is using one of those features, experiencing an error because it doesn't work and misreporting that error as a problem with Flash Player itself. I experienced this problem before with the update to version 1803 but had completely forgotten and so experienced several days of frustration.
Be aware that the Media Feature Pack takes quite a long time to install and does so in fits and starts, i.e. the progress bar seems to sit in one position for a lifetime and then rapidly jump forward. It does this several times so be patient.