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Flash Player Does Not Work from Outlook Express Links in Windows XP 64 Bit

Updated on November 25, 2009

Flash Works When You Open Internet Explorer, But Not When Internet Explorer Opens From A Link In Outlook Express

It is very frustrating. Normally, your flash player seems to work fine, but whenever friends or family send you a link in an email that leads to a web page with flash on it, the flash player does not work, and when (or if) you try to install it, you get some kind of "64 Bit" error message.

The cause is as simple as the facts are frustrating: In Windows XP 64 Bit edition, Outlook Express is also 64 Bit, and will ONLY call the 64 Bit version of Internet Explorer when you click on a link in an email ... and there is NO Flash Player support for 64 Bit Internet Explorer!

The reason Flash Player seems to work well otherwise, is that the 32 Bit version, which is also on your Windows XP 64 Bit system, is the default browser that comes up when you click on the Internet Explorer icon on your desktop.

Insofar as I can find, there is no direct solution for this problem, meaning there is no way I know to force 64 Bit Outlook Express to open 32 Bit Internet Explorer when you click on a link.

But there IS an indirect solution!

Change Your Default Browser to a Third Party 32 Bit Offering

So, if you want to view those Flash Player web pages from links in your 64 Bit Outlook Express, install one of the following, and say YES when it asks if you want it to be your default browser:

... or any other 32 Bit free Internet Browser ...

Keep in mind that you will almost certainly ALSO have to install the Flash Player in the browser that you choose ... but that should not be an issue, as the Flash Player is designed to work with them.

You will not have lost access to your old 32 Bit Internet Explorer ... run it as usual from your desktop icon. After making another browser the default, Internet Explorer will probably ask if you want to make it the default browser again ... check the box that says "Do not ask me again" and say: NO.

The Release Date for 64 Bit Flash Player

Adobe is committed to creating stable releases of the Flash Player for 64 Bit web browsers, but has not suggested or committed to a final release date.

On November 17th, 2009, however, this encouraging news arrived:

AT THE REQUEST of open-sorcerers, Adobe is releasing an alpha version of its Flash Player 10 technology for 64-bit Linux users at its Max Conference in San Francisco today.

Because Linux is well ahead of Windows and Mac OS X in 64-bit processor support, Adobe has decided to re-affirm its “commitment to the Linux community”, ensuring they no longer have to use a 32-bit Flash plug-in on the 32-bit version of Firefox. [More]

So the first glimmer of hope is on the horizon for the rest of us. Linux has been hard core 64 bit far longer than windows, so they get the first piece of the pie. Someday, our turn will come!


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      David Wilburn 6 years ago

      There is a better way. If you are comfortable editing your registry find ever entry that states ...\program files\....\iexplore.exe and change "program files" to "program files (x86)". This will cause all windows functions to call the 32 bit iexplore.