How To View Flash Content On an Adobe-Free Mac

Apple's Automator

Mac Geek Gab listener James wrote in with an awesome tip for users who wish to remove Adobe Flash from their Macs but still be able to occasionally access Flash content. His step-by-step instructions for this ingenious solution are below:

I, like many, have found that Flash causes stability problems on my Mac and have removed it. Since I no longer had Flash on my Mac when I encountered a site with Flash content I would copy the site’s URL, paste it into Google Chrome (which has Flash built into the application) and then open the site in Chrome.

To streamline this process I cobbled together some AppleScript, created a Service using Automator, and assigned a Function Key to run the Service. Now when I encounter a site with Flash content, I simply press F16 and the content is opened in Chrome. I chose to use the F16 Function Key but a Keyboard Shortcut (i.e., Control-Alt-C) could be used to do the same thing.

Below are the steps I used to create the Service and assign the Function Key.

Open Automator

Create a New Service

Select “Service” as the document type and click “Choose.”

Set No Input

At the Service Input Screen, change the “Service receives selected” input box to “no input.”

Set Application to Safari

Change the application field from “any application” to “Safari.”

Select Run AppleScript

Select “Utilities” from the Library and then double-click the “Run AppleScript” action.

Remove the Default Code

Select and delete the default placeholder AppleScript.

Paste the Code

Paste the following AppleScript, which is designed to copy the current Safari URL and open that URL in Chrome.

property theURL : " "

tell application "Safari"

set theURL to URL of current tab of window 1

end tell

tell application “Google Chrome”
if (count of windows) is 0 or front window is not visible then
make new window
make new tab at end of tabs of front window
end if

set URL of active tab of window 1 to theURL


end tell

The AppleScript is designed to open Chrome if it isn’t already open. If Chrome is open, it will open the desired URL in a new tab.

Save the Service

Save the Service, giving it an appropriate name such as “Open Safari URL in Chrome.” Whatever you choose, note the exact name of the Service; we’ll need it in a moment to create the keyboard shortcut.

The Keyboard System Preference Pane

Open System Preferences and go to the “Keyboard” preference pane.

Set the Keyboard Shortcut

In the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, select “Services” and locate your newly created Service in the “General” category.

Double-click the space to the right of the Service name to open the Keyboard Shortcut input box.

Enable the Keyboard Shortcut

Enter the key or key combination that you wish to assign to the Service. Once complete, make sure to check the box to the left of the Service name to enable the keyboard shortcut.

That’s it! You should now be able to use your keyboard shortcut to open websites with flash content automatically in Chrome. To test, simply open any website in Safari and then press your designated shortcut. The site should immediately open inside Chrome.

Thanks, James, for this awesome tip and walkthrough!