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Why Does Adobe Need to Store Info on My Computer?

John from Rock Hill, SC writes “I keep getting a pop-up from Adobe Flash Player on all my webpages that says “Adobe wants to store info on your computer”.  When I click on “deny” it just keeps popping back up. When I click on setting and then on “do not show this again” it goes away till I change webpages, and then shows back up. How do I get rid of this pop-up?  It’s driving me nuts.

Hi, John.  Thanks for the great question.

Well, the good news is that this is really an answer with no bad news.

To begin with, I can only think of two reasons that you’d deny this: you think that it may be malicious (and, with the recent security glitch with Java, who could blame you) or you’re afraid that it’s going to take up permanent room on your computer drive.   Neither of these are true.  It IS  a feature of Adobe that allows the webpage to take up more space on your hard drive temporarily in order to run an Adobe script on the page, or allow the webpage to display correctly.

The reason that it only goes away temporarily is because you are not changing the setting in your computer, you are changing the settings for that webpage for that session only.  There is a way to change this by default in your computer’s settings. 

As usual, start with START.  After that, though, I’m going to go in a different direction than I usually do.  I usually just have you enter part of the program name in the search box, but in this case I simply couldn’t pull my flash player settings up by using the search box.  So this time after START, I will direct you to CONTROL PANEL.

After that, click on SYSTEM AND SECURITY and then FLASH PLAYER.  This will open up the Flash player control panel, which looks like this:

The very first tab that you have here, the default tab, is STORAGE and the first section of that is LOCAL STORAGE SETTINGS.  Here you’ll be able to choose if you want flash to always store data on your hard drive, never store data on your hard drive, or always ask (which will give you the question that you asked about).  On mine, the default is to always allow and frankly that is the setting that I recommend.  The reason is that, as I stated before, there’s no harm in it, and whatever space it DOES need to take up will be immediately marked to be overwritten as soon as Flash is done with it.

I hope that this helps!

Randal Schaffer