How to Fix the "Couldn't load plugin" Error on Chrome?

How to Fix the "Couldn't load plugin" Google Chrome Error on Windows 10?

Many users often get the "Couldn't load plugin" in Google Chrome, preventing them from using the plug-in. If you're getting this error, see the troubleshooting steps below to fix it.

couldnt load plugin error chrome

Google Chrome is used by millions of people every day. Its features include tabbed browsing, in-browser translator, spelling checker, integrated address bar/search bar, and plug-in support.

Plug-ins add new specific features to a web browser. Plug-ins can add features such as search engines, virus scanners, or the ability to use a new file type such as a new video format. Needless to say, plug-ins are widely used in Google Chrome.

If you are reading this, you probably got the "Couldn't load plugin" error. When you get this error, it means that some of your browser's features are not working correctly. In most cases, this error appears because of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in or PepperFlash.

This guide will show you some solutions for the "Couldn't load plugin" error. Read the guide below and try each method. See which solution works for you.

NOTE: In this guide, we are using Google Chrome version 64.0.3282.140. If you are using a different version, some things may differ.

Video Showing How to Fix "Couldn't load plugin" Error:

Table of Contents:

Check if Your Google Chrome Is Updated

Make sure that you have the latest and updated Google Chrome on your computer and that all the installed plug-ins are up-to-date as well. To check if you have the latest Google Chrome, you need to open it first and click on the three dots on the top-right corner. Select "Help" from the dropdown menu and then click "About Google Chrome".

check if your google chrome is updated step 1

Google Chrome will start checking for updates. If there are any updates to install, then install them. If not, Google Chrome will show you the "Google Chrome is up to date" message.

check if your google chrome is updated step 2

To check if all installed plug-ins are up-to-date, type "chrome://components" in Google Chrome's address bar and press Enter on your keyboard. You will see a list of components installed in Chrome. Make sure that all of the components are up-to-date.

check if your google chrome is updated step 3

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Delete PepperFlash Folder

Pepper Flash Player is maintained by Google, and it is newer than Adobe Flash Player. Sometimes it helps to delete the PepperFlash folder from your computer so you would not get the "Couldn't load plugin" error while browsing the Internet. To delete the PepperFlash folder, type "run" in Search and click the "Run" result.

delete pepperflash folder step 1

In the Run dialog box, you need to type the name of a program, folder, document, or Internet resource, and Windows will open it for you. Type "%localappdata%" and press Enter on your keyboard.

delete pepperflash folder step 2

It will open the "Local" folder for you. Follow this path to find the PepperFlash folder: "Google > Chrome > User Data". In the User Data folder, locate the "PepperFlash" folder and simply right-click on it, and select "Delete" from the context menu to delete this folder. See if the "Couldn't load plugin" error persists.

delete pepperflash folder step 3

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Rename the pepflashplayer.dll File

Sometimes you can solve this "Couldn't load plugin" error in Google Chrome by renaming the peppflashplayer.dll file. To do so, you need to navigate to your Google Chrome installation directory.

Follow this path to find the pepflashplayer.dll file: "Local Disk (C:) > Program Files (or Program Files (x86) > Google > Chrome > Application > 64.0.3282.140 (that is the version of your Google Chrome, it may be different on your computer) > PepperFlash".

Find the pepflashplayer.dll in the PepperFlash folder and right-click on it. Select "Rename" from the dropdown menu and change the file name to "pepflashplayerX.dll". Close the window and restart your Google Chrome browser to see if the "Couldn't load plugin" error persists.

rename pepflashplayer.dll file

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Stop Adobe Shockwave Flash

Adobe Shockwave (formerly Macromedia Shockwave) is a multimedia platform for building interactive multimedia applications and video games. Developers originate content using Adobe Director and publish it on the Internet.

Such content can be viewed in a web browser on any computer with the Shockwave Player plug-in installed. Sometimes you can fix the "Couldn't load plugin" error by stopping and restarting the Shockwave Flash.

To stop this plug-in, you will need to use Chrome's Task Manager. Chrome Task Manager not only gives you the ability to view the memory, CPU, and network usage of each tab and plug-in, but it also allows you to stop (or "kill") individual processes with a simple click, very much like on the Windows Task Manager.

To access Google Chrome's Task Manager, click the three dots in the top-right corner, select "More tools" on the dropdown menu, and click "Task Manager". Or you can use the Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to access this Google Chrome's Task Manager.

stop adobe shockwave flash step 1

Now that you opened the Google Chrome Task Manager, find Shockwave Flash (it can be named Plugin Broker: Shockwave Flash or Plugin: Shockwave Flash as well), select it and click "End process". Restart your Google Chrome and see if the "Couldn't load plugin" error still persists.

stop adobe shockwave flash step 2

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Check if Chrome Allows to Use Flash

To check if your Google Chrome browser is not blocking sites from using Flash, type in "chrome://settings/content" into Chrome's address bar and press Enter on your keyboard. In the Content settings menu, find "Flash" and click on it.

check if chrome allows to use flash step 1

There will be two options available: "Ask first (recommended)" and "Block sites from running Flash". Make sure that "Ask first (recommended)" is turned on. If not, then toggle the switch to turn it on. Restart your Google Chrome and check if the "Couldn't load plugin" error still persists.

check if chrome allows to use flash step 2

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Run SFC and DISM Scans

Sometimes this "Couldn't load plugin" error can appear because of the corrupted system files, and to fix this issue, you need to run SFC and DISM scans. This guide describes how to run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to scan your system files and repair missing or corrupted system files.

To run it, you need to open Command Prompt first. Type "command prompt" in Search and then right-click on the "Command Prompt", select "Run as administrator" from the dropdown menu to run Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

You must run an elevated Command Prompt to be able to perform an SFC scan.

run sfc and dism scan step 1

In opened Command Prompt window, type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter on your keyboard to execute this command. System File Checker will start, and it should take some time to complete the scan. It should take about 15 minutes.

Wait for the scanning process to complete, and then restart your computer to see if the "Couldn't load plugin" error persists.

run sfc and dism scan step 2

You might need to perform a DISM scan to fix the "Couldn't load plugin" error. DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, and it can be used to repair and prepare Windows images, including the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE.

To run DISM scan, you need to open Command Prompt as administrator again and type in this command: "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth". Press Enter on your keyboard to execute it.

run sfc and dism scan step 3

Try restarting your computer after both tests and check if the "Couldn't load plugin" error is fixed. If you could not perform the SFC scan the first time, then try to run it again right after you completed the DISM scan.

The "Couldn't load plugin" error may limit your web browsing experience by not being able to see some content while browsing. We hope that one of our provided solutions in this article helped you to fix this error, and now you can browse the web with your Google Chrome browser without any problems.

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About the author:

Rimvydas Iliavicius

Rimvydas is a researcher with over four years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. He attended Kaunas University of Technology and graduated with a Master's degree in Translation and Localization of Technical texts. His interests in computers and technology led him to become a versatile author in the IT industry. At PCrisk, he's responsible for writing in-depth how-to articles for Microsoft Windows. Contact Rimvydas Iliavicius.

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