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Remove Old Versions of Adobe Flash Player

A few weeks ago an article I wrote covered how to recover from a BSOD by restoring your computer to an earlier recovery point. Last week I had a Blue Screen problem on my son’s computer that restoring to an earlier recovery point could not cure.

To make a very long story short, the problem turned out to be an old version of Adobe Flash player that was conflicting with the most recent version. If you are a subscriber to WorldStart Computer Tips, I know you have read about the importance of installing software patches and using the latest versions of all of your programs to stay as safe as possible from security exploits.

Many programs remove the older version of it’s self when an update or a newer release is installed. This not true of the Adobe Flash Player.


The good news is that Adobe provides two tools you can use to clean out the old programs and to be sure you have the newest version of the Flash player installed.

The Flash player “Test” page at http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/
And the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

1.Here are the procedures for checking the version number of the Adobe Flash player currently installed on your computer.
2.Removing old versions that may cause a conflict.
3.Reinstalling the most recent versions.

First go to the “Test” page at http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/

As soon as the Test Web page opens the version number installed on your computer is displayed in the “Version Information” box. The most recent and most secure version of Adobe Flash player for each type of browser supported will be displayed in the table in the middle of the page.


Please Note: If you have more than one browser installed on your computer you will need to visit the “Test” page with each program. For example there may be a different version installed on Firefox than there is in Internet Explorer.

If the version number in the “Version Information” box matches the version number for each type of browser on your computer as in Figure 2, congratulations, you are up to date! If you are not experiencing any problems and the Flash player seems to be working you could stop here.

However, to avoid possible future conflicts and to patch the security flaws present in the older versions Adobe recommends removing the older players and reinstalling the newest version available.

Before running the Flash Player uninstaller I recommend using a program to identify the older versions that are installed on your system, before and after the uninstall procedure.
This step is optional. However if I trusted Adobe to get things right the first time I would not be writing this article.

Here is a link to an article on WorldStart that covers the installation and use of the Secunia Software Inspector program. http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/4968
The program will help you keep all of the programs on your computer up to date.

To uninstall all of the Flash players on your system download the uninstall program with this link, http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html and follow the directions.

Directions from the Adobe web site:

1.Download the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller:

Windows: uninstall_flash_player.exe (205 KB) (updated 2/24/08)
Mac OS X, version 10.3 and above: uninstall_flash_player_osx.dmg (243 KB)
Mac OS X, version 10.2 and below: uninstall_flash_player_osx.dmg (1.3 MB)
Mac OS 8.x, 9.x: uninstall_flash_player.hqx (33 KB)

2.Save the file to your system, choosing a location where you can find it (for example, your desktop). Macintosh users may need to open or unstuff the .hqx file.

3.Quit ALL running applications, including all Internet Explorer or other browser windows, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, or other Messengers. Check the Windows system tray carefully to make certain no applications are still in memory which might possibly use Flash Player.

4.Run the uninstaller. This will remove Adobe Flash Player from all browsers on the system.

Note: The uninstaller cannot remove files currently in use.

At this point all of the versions of Flash player should be removed.
To install the latest version on Microsoft Internet Explorer:
Close all programs and open only Internet Explorer.
Go to the Adobe Flash download page http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
Click on “Agree and Install now”


To start the download to your PC Left click on the Save file button.


Locate and double left click on the “install_flash_player.exe” file. If you have not changed the default download location, the file will be on your desktop.

In the “Open File – Security Warning” box that opens, Left In the click the “Run” Button and follow the prompts. In Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Adobe’s Flash player installs as an Active X control.


Additional installation instructions can be found here:
For other browsers like Firefox, Opera, and Chrome use the same steps
as above. In Firefox the new flash player installs as a Plugin.

To install the Adobe Flash player on a different operating system such as Linux or Macintosh, click on the link below, select an operating system and follow the prompts.



After completing the reinstallation(s) go back to the Flash player “Test” page at http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ using each browser you have on your system to be sure everything is working correctly.

~Boyd Lutz