After the Mountain Lion install I'm trying to now go Flash free. Really, really 100% Flash free. This is fine for 99% of content out that I access, but sadly there are some videos that I still cannot get to without Flash.

I do know about the popular post by Gruber, however I'm not interested in installing Chrome because (1) I hate the heavy handed way Google forces itself into your system with its hidden daemons etc. and (2) you're still installing a Flash client on your system. I don't want a Flash client, period.

I see that such solutions do exist for iOS. To name a few:

But sadly no such options appear to exist on the Mac :( In fact iSwifter was promised to the Mac earlier but there hasn't been a peep about this since.

What I'm looking for is some kind of web-based service either with a native Mac client app or simply a webapp that would:

  1. Allow me to render the entire site server-side in Flash and send me the video feed in some decent app or webapp (ala iSwifter), or
  2. Have some server side scraper of the swf file that finds the reference to the actual .mp4 and passes that along to you (ala Skyfire).

So far the closest thing I've found to this is ClipConverter, but sadly its supported list of services, though decent, is nowhere near extensive enough to cover all the obscure websites that I use which all roll their own crappy swf wrapper around the mp4/flv content.


Some people are suggesting client-side-only approaches like ClickToFlash. These are good but the problem is that any particular Flash based video service / wrapper needs to be explicitly supported by it so by definition cannot catch 100% of all content, only a dedicated server-based Flash renderer like iSwifter can do that. Here are some concrete example videos that require Flash which most solutions don't handle:

Before answering, you can test your solution with the above links. Thanks!

  • What websites do you need to go on that uses flash AND doesn't support html5? Jul 30, 2012 at 11:18
  • 2
    Tons. You'd be surprised how many websites roll their own flash video wrapper. Some example URLs to videos that show up as either plugin missing or please download Flash: here, here, and here
    – kLy
    Jul 30, 2012 at 13:24
  • 2
    I don't see Gruber's way as an issue. In fact, that's really Flash free. The only daemon I see Chrome install is their autoupdate program, but that can be easily disabled.
    – XCool
    Jul 31, 2012 at 2:22
  • A good comment from @XCool (voted up), but this is a great purist question – no local Flash client, full stop. Jul 31, 2012 at 6:04
  • Just out of curiousity, why don't you want flash?
    – Matt
    Jul 31, 2012 at 8:11

3 Answers 3


I use ClickToPlugin, which converts some Flash videos to HTML5 (this has the added benefit of letting you download them by right-clicking and choosing Download Video). It works for YouTube, at least, and for the videos on the second and third webpages you linked (though not the first).

  • Reading Media data objects alongside killer Flash.js I see that a URL for Flash content may be redirected to a URL for existing HTML5 content, but I can't see whether/how the killer converts to new HTML5 video. Please, am I missing something? I have very little knowledge of capabilities of JavaScript.) Jul 31, 2012 at 5:59
  • I have not re-visited ClickToPlugin in a while and it seems like they have a community maintained list of converters which is awesome! This kind of client-side implementation gets around most content but not 100%. For that we still need some server side Flash rendering to happen.
    – kLy
    Aug 1, 2012 at 7:49

Have you tried ClickToFlash and HUDTube? HUDTube works with 99% of the videos on YouTube, even the ones C2F misses.

  • Can HUDTube convert all Flash content? – there's that one percent in the question. Jul 31, 2012 at 6:12
  • Yes it runs even if there is only an FLV option available in C2F (when H.264 isn't available).
    – Alexander
    Jul 31, 2012 at 6:38
  • HUDTube does Youtube and Vimeo. I have those covered already. What I need is something that works for everything else.
    – kLy
    Aug 1, 2012 at 7:25

If you truly want to go flash free, then use Safari, possibly in conjunction with an extension like Youtube5, which should handle some embeds that don't do html5 properly. However you're never going to get 100% of videos working. For one thing, while a majority of "flash video" is indeed a flash app playing h264 video, some of it is in other formats that Safari can't handle, including some wrapped in DRM.

You have to make a choice - do you want zero flash, or do you want a way to watch all videos? At the moment you can't have both, sorry.

  • Not true. As listed in my question above, it IS possible to have both. Many examples exist for iOS.
    – kLy
    Aug 1, 2012 at 7:14

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