Latest Flash Player streamlines update process

Latest Flash Player streamlines update process

Summary: Automatic, silent updates come to Flash Player.


Adobe has added a new feature to the latest Flash Player update that will be sweet music to the ears of system admins the world over.

Flash Player version 11.2 for Windows, OS X and Linux,  introduces an automatic, silent update mechanism to help users stay up-to-date with the latest releases. Given the number and severity of vulnerabilities affecting Flash Player, this is a very good thing indeed and will make PCs a lot harder to the bad guys to get into.

The latest Flash Player can be downloaded from Adobe's website. During installation Windows users will see a new dialog box prompting them to enable automatic updating.

If you are a Google Chrome user then the browser has been automatically updating the Flash Player plugin for you.

I highly recommend choosing the option "Install updates automatically when available (recommended)" because there is nothing more detrimental to the security of a system than to be running an old and vulnerable version of the Flash Player. I can think of no good reason why you wouldn't want Flash Player to update automatically.

For anyone having to administer machines with Flash Player installed on them, this is going to make their lives a lot easier. It's also going to keep home users a lot safer since after installing this one update, they can stop thinking about Flash Player updates then forever.

Image credit: Adobe/ZDNet.


Topics: Browser, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • This is not new news

    I've seen this choice for the last few weeks now. What will be a surprise is seeing Flash end and we go to HTML5 standard. Tell us when that happens, Adrian.

    I support a Flash-free web.
  • I wish more plugins and addons did this

    Does this silent update work under standard user accounts too. That seems to be one of the biggest hurdles in keeping a modern computer up to date with such things. You want to keep the number of admin accounts to a minimum but if the computer is used primarily by a user with a standard user account 3rd party software and plugins do not get updated.

    I am actually looking forward to when Secunia PSI 3.0 is released to see if maybe that can address some of those issues where Secunia can hopefully give the admin permission a computer needs to apply these updates silently as possible.
    • +1

      I run most of my xp users in the power users group and they cannot update flash by themselves. I run my winblows7 users as standard users because MS was too lame and lazy to make groups for winblows7. I doubt the automatic choice will work for anyone but those logged in as admins on either OS (which is insanely stupid). Way to go Adobe!!! (yeah, that was sarcasm)
    • Bingo

      Yep--this is my question. Updating Flash has never been difficult if you have admin rights; it's standard uses who have trouble.
      • Not always about difficulty

        I find that very many people ignore update notifications. When I take computers in on my side work almost every one has a little Java update notification in the tray and other notifications for updates to Adobe Reader/Flash, Quicktime/iTunes, and many other 3rd party applications are ignored and way out of date. If the computer is infected it is very often that the infection came in because it exploited the out of date 3rd party application. I see this a lot with Java.

        Unfortunately this is a catch 22 because while the vast majority of people should let the updates happen there will always be some that may want and/or need to have more of a manual process.

        I do not have this problem at work too much as I have systems in place where I can update most 3rd party software automatically and remotely. I just download the latest admin installer and put it in the repository and some even have automatic download ability. Then I have systems that need a certain level of java to run which I cannot always update.
      • Happens by its self...

        It isnt difficult to update Flash at all. Rather there are two issues that I have with Adobe.

        1. It is a resource hog: I have an older machine (P4-530e with 2GB Ram, and a 6600GT video card), as soon as flash player 10 came out, I could no longer watch videos full screen without the CPU hitting such a high load that my fans began whailing, my kids play games on it all the time, the system is otherwise healthy. I have other computers that run it fine, but I rolled this one back to 9 and have left it there since. It is my kids computer, so if they get an infection, I just re-image it.

        2. The darned player installs without permission: I build closed systems for specific tasks which also require internet connectivity. Our homepage has flash. I build an XP based system, open IE, click "Don't install" then notice a couple of sessions later that flash player is working (Usually after visiting a site that opens many flash ads at once). Open Control Panel, no flash player software is listed, so I have to download and run the flash player uninstaller (Of course, Adobe just took this useful utility down, so now its even more difficult) to remove it. This isn't happening with Windows 7, but we have some XP machines that come in for repair, and I still have to use the crash box from time to time. I assume it has to do with IE8s handling of ActiveX objects. Im always sure to use TPLs and ActiveX filtering in IE9 because of this.

        Given how poorly Adobe software has performed since the purchase from Macromedia (I used to like flash back then), and how many system resources it gobbles, I can't wait until it's gone for good.

        I know it would be easier to install Firefox and block flash all together, but we have one obnoxious vendor who refuses to write anything outside of ActiveX.
  • NoScript & Flashblock

    I use NoScript and Flashblock. No software runs "automatically" until I have reason to actually trust it.

    If a site really needs flash, I question if I really need to use that site.
  • automatic? Not here.

    Seems that this is an improvement over only checking for updates on reboot, as I only reboot for MS updates monthly, unless I am installing/uninstalling some software that requires a reboot. More timely updates are a good thing, but automatic updates don't sit well with some people. The first time one of these automatic updates puts in a severely flawed version, there will be a lot of complaints.
    • That is a risk

      but it is almost a better risk than having your computer compromised by an out of date plug in or 3rd party software. In today's computer world nearly 80% of computers are compromised by some 3rd party software like Flash or Java being out of date and not the operating system itself. Simply having them up to date can prevent a lot of Malware.
  • Google toolbar?

    when I install Flash I always untick Google Toolbar. The last thing I want is more crapware. That's not a reflection on Google Toolbar, I don't know it, but anything I don't need is crapware. Now that I have selected auto update I'm wondering if that means auto Google Toolbar. Soon find out since Flash seems to have an update every week. We need a tickbox that selects "No Google Toolbar ever".
    • Flash Autoupdate = No toolbar

      At least currently. It is only when you first install it or go to the web to install an upgrade. I wish they would do away with having those toolbars and other crap like McAfee security checker pre-checked. It drives me nuts to get complaints about computers running slow or internet not working to see that their browser has loads of toolbars launching and simply uninstalling them makes the computer work again.
  • Another background update service...

    Let me guess, they want to install another program that runs all the time on my PC?

    I have no problem with the concept of automatic updates, but every vendor wants to install an auto-update service on my PC. If you use a variety of programs, that starts to add up to a LOT of background programs/services running just to keep things up to date.

    Maybe that's something Microsoft should have included in Windows 8. A protocol/repository service that a program can register the update address and title of a program and windows can check for the program. That way, you only need one running service for all programs.
    • Microsoft Store on Win8 does that

      But I don't know if it is limited to Metro apps or can it be used for other apps as well.
    • RE: only need one running service for all programs.

      Wouldn't that be great. The OS detects what is installed and opens up an update channel to that application. The problem is even if Microsoft did that they would be hit hard with anti-trust claims and the crybabies would come out saying Microsoft is forcing stuff upon them. Heck they cannot even put optional updates for their own products in Microsoft Update without people whining.
      • It doesn't have to be hosted by Microsoft.

        It simply needs to be a service that runs on your local PC. Whenever a program installs, it provides the service with an address of where to get the update and the program associated. It can go through the list once a day and check for updates and notify the user, or install the updates for them.
        There of course would need to be safeguards so viruses don't register themselves there and such, but it should be able to be done. Maybe even check the file hash against virustotal before install or something like that.
    • That's why I turn a lot of these update services off

      Let's see, Adobe Flash update, Adobe Acrobat update, Foxit update, iTunes update, Java update, DivX update, blah...blah...blah...all kinds of useless services running in the background (that get restarted on reboot) that don't need to be on all the time.

      There just comes a point where ya gotta say no. Enough is enough, fanboys.
  • Let Me See If I've Got This Straight

    Adobe has decided to make their aggravating, resource hogging, security challenged "dead man walking" be just a tad bit less annoying?

    Die, Flash Die! Go away. Leave this world and become a part of computing history.
  • It Might Be Nice If I Could Download It

    I've tried downloading the update or rather, the process which downloads and installs the file/s. So far, all I get is 7% and then a timeout. 'Course I'm using cable internet and speed disappears when the kids get home from school or on weekends. Changing providers ain't easy when you have to install a completely new system. And now they want a yearly contract to provide service whatever that might be as well as an admin charge. Only keep sane by remembering 33k modem downloads. At least the writers kept them small instead of today's DVD size files.