Flash.ocx download and how to fix the ‘Cannot find the file flash.ocx’ error


Fix the Flash error message ‘Cannot find the file flash.ocx’.

  1. The Flash.ocx file is an important part of Flash Player. There are four main reasons that you are seeing the error ‘Cannot find the file flash.ocx’
  2. The Flash.Ocx has been deleted off your system (or was never installed)
  3. The Flash.Ocx currently on your system is a different version to the Flash Player on your system (often a result of a incomplete or faulty installation of Flash Player)
  4. The Flash.Ocx file has become corrupted
Windows has not properly registered the file into the operating system (the error source is most likely within the Windows Registry) The solution to all the above is a simple process. Re-install the Flash Player. If this doesn't work, run the special Adobe Flash uninstall tool, restart your computer, then reinstall Flash. In most cases this will fix all of the problems above and ensure that you have the latest and most secure version of Flash on your system.

There are other solutions on the Web, but it's important to understand the risks of the alternative approaches.

Suggested solutions that are not likely to fix the issue, and why
  • Downloading the Flash.ocx by itself
    Firstly, you should never download an ocx file (or any dll file for that matter) and try to copy it to a system directory. The reasons are simple. Despite the error message, the file name in question may be different. For example the file may be be flash10h.ocx or flash9a.ocx. So Flash Player 10 has a slightly different flash.ocx filename compared to Flash Player 9. If you copy the wrong one over or change the file names, it may introduce new complications. If your initial problem was a result of a wrong registry entry, then copying an incorrect flash.ocx file now means you have two problems.
  • Manually repairing the registry entries
    The Windows registry is an extraordinary complicated beast, with many cryptic processes and entries. Software developers follow protocols for registering files and there can many different entries scattered throughout the 100,000+ locations. Removing Flash Player with the uninstall tool removes all the entries. Reinstalling Flash, restores them correctly. Trying to do this by yourself is a time-consuming process and ultimately won't even be successful if the issue is due to a corrupt or missing copy of flash.ocx.
  • Old file name
    With some poorly designed software, the program is looking for a file called flash.ocx. As mentioned above, the name of flash.ocx varies with each version of Flash. Since the program is looking for flash.ocx and you have, for example, flash10h.ocx, then the software will display an error message. Some sites suggest renaming the flash*.ocx file (eg flash10h.ocx) to flash.ocx. This is likely to create problems for other programs and Windows itself, so it is not advisable to change the name. In all likelihood, there is a good chance the file is locked and Windows won't let you change the filename.
  • From the above, it is clear there is more Flash.ocx error than simply downloading the file or changing a registry value.
Solution to all of the issues: download the standalone Flash Player installer which includes the flash.ocx file (links are at the top of this page). There are two types: one for Internet Explorer, the other is for Mozilla/Firefox/Netscape. Next, download and install Flash Player and see if this fixes the missing flash.ocx issue. If so, you are done. If not, follow Adobe's advice: run the Flash Player uninstall tool (see the top of this page). Restart your computer (do not skip this step) and try running the standalone installation file again.