Is It Necessary for Mac Users to Install an Adobe’s PPAPI Flash Plug-in?

What Is the Difference Between NPAPI and PPAPI Flash Plug-ins?

PPAPI Flash Plug-in

Adobe Flash Player is a browser plug-in used for displaying and streaming multimedia content and running complex web applications. Depending on a browser, either an NPAPI or PPAPI version of Adobe Flash Player is required.

What is the difference between them? NPAPI is a plug-in application programming interface created in 1995. The first letter stands for Netscape since this API was initially developed for Netscape browsers. The latter are not in use anymore, but NPAPI has been adopted by other browsers. For instance, Safari and Firefox (and any other browser based on Mozilla Firefox code) use it for Adobe Flash Player.

In 2009, Google developed PPAPI (Pepper Plug-in API) for the Chrome web browser with an intention to make plug-ins more secure and portable. Consequently, Chromium-based browsers (like Opera and Vivaldi) also use PPAPI, although initially it was supported only by Google Chrome and Chromium.

That is the reason why you see two Flash plug-in versions, NPAPI and PPAPI, on the Adobe website. So, if you run only Safari or Firefox, PPAPI is not necessary for you.

In case you surf the Internet with other browsers as well, you need both versions of Adobe Flash Player. If you use Google Chrome, you do not have to download a PPAPI Flash Player, as it is already integrated with the browser.

If you use Chromium-based apps, you have to enable support for the PPAPI plug-in in each of them separately. It is not like with NPAPI-based browsers when one installation is enough for enabling the Flash Player in all of them.

Even if you are not sure what it is at the core of your browser, the Adobe website automatically detects it when you open Player Download Center on Then it offers you an installer for an appropriate plug-in version.

What Other Browsers Require a PPAPI Flash Plug-in?

As mentioned above, a PPAPI Flash Plug-in is used by Chrome and Chromium-based browsers like Opera, Opera Neon, Vivaldi, Yandex Browser, Brave, SRWare Iron, Iridium and several others. You can consider using them if you are not satisfied with the speed and stability of your default browser.  Less known apps are usually lightweight and also have interesting additional features like a built-in ad blocker, tracking and security & privacy protection.

Regardless of what Flash plug-in you use, you should keep it up to date, mainly due to security reasons. You can check if you have the latest version on or in the System Preferences.

  1. Open System Preferences via Spotlight or Finder.
  2. Choose Flash Player and click Updates. There you will see NPAPI and/or PPAPI versions of the Flash Player you have installed on your computer.
  3. Click the Check Now button to make the Flash Player check for an update. Install it, if it is available.

You can also allow a Flash Player to update automatically without sending notifications about it in case of urgent updates. However, you will be informed about scheduled updates.

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