I have the mid-2009 Macbook Pro (Core 2 Duo, 2.53 Ghz, 4GB RAM, OSX 10.7.2), and use the most recent version of Chrome. However, it seems every time I visit a website with Flash, whether it be Youtube, or a site with a simple Flash advert, Chrome and sometimes all of OSX lock up for up to two minutes with the SBBOD, and then spontaneously returns to a normal state.

I've tried Safari, with the same problem occuring. I don't think it's a Lion problem since I've been plagued with this since Snow Leopard. I've mitigated the problem a little bit with Flashblock for Chrome, but still - when I actually need to load something in Flash, the computer locks up again.

Additionally, the computer gets very, very hot when playing Flash video, it gets even hotter than some really CPU intensive tasks -- like After Effects rendering. I probably can resolve this with a complete re-install, but will wait to do that as a last resort. That's without knowing if the problem will come back.

Has anyone had similar experiences, and can you offer a fix without reinstalling everything? Is it not an isolated problem, and OSX simply hates Flash?

  • Are you fans revving up? Is the CPU hitting 100% with flash? Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 4:59
  • Can't say I hear the fans going. But I do know the fans work -- it kicks in when the CPU's under stress from any other app... just not Flash oddly. For cpu, Flash alone is eating up 35% of the CPU, and that's just when some Flash advert is playing on a webpage. Is that amount of cpu usage for Flash normal?
    – jpan
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 5:18

4 Answers 4


I've been trying to figure this out for a while. Here's the answer:

Chrome has a flash player built into it, and it updates automatically. Other browsers use an external flash player. If you're like me, you have flash player installed outside of chrome for other browsers. Chrome doesn't seem to handle this very on it's own, but you can disable one or the other by going "about://plugins" in chrome, expanding the details (+ details at the top right), and finding the flash section and clicking disable on one or the other.

It doesn't seem to matter too much which one you use, but turning one off dramatically improves flash performance and overall memory usage for me.


I would try to reinstall Flash here. Should fix your problem.

  • It helped a little bit, but still sluggish. But the MBP still gets unusually hot. You think there's some hardware involvement at this point?
    – jpan
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 4:31
  • My MBP gets unusually hot all the time. Just the nature of the aluminum, unibodied beast. Flash takes a lot of processing power and generates a lot of heat, which is why they dropped Flash mobile. Try to restart your system after the install to try and free up some RAM. See how it performs after that.
    – user14395
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 5:29

I also head this problem before on my MBP late 2007. This problem is gone now. However, it was only with Flash in Chrome.

  1. Fully uninstall Adobe Flash using Adobe Flash uninstaller.
  2. Fully uninstall Chrome using AppCleaner.
  3. Repair Permissions using Disk Utility.
  4. Reinstall Chrome. Disable all extensions. Try surfing websites with Flash. Chrome has flash support build-in.
  5. Reinstall flash. Check for updates in the preferences.

This question is old but the problem persists. on my late 12 core i7 Mac Mini (SSD, 16GB) Chrome would become extremely slow. Menu meters indicated close to 100% CPU utilization. I traced it down to the Flash plugin in Chrome. Unfortunately the only solution I found was to completely disable the plugin. After doing this I noted that CPU utilization, even idle utilization is lower and I don't encounter computer slowing spikes. I suspect that even the Chrome Helper app is made more efficient by disabling flash.

If I encounter a site that needs Flash, I use Safari. This is a pain, but I was unable to find another solution. As a bonus a lot of web sites now load ad free...

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