It's time to uninstall Adobe's Flash from your Mac - here's how

Posted:
in macOS edited October 2015
The recent tidal wave of critical vulnerabilities in Adobe's Flash Player has prompted many security professionals to call for the much-maligned software's demise, and we agree. AppleInsider shows you how to uninstall Flash from your Mac, and what to do if you can't live without it.




TL;DR -- If you're running OS X 10.6 or later, download and run this Flash uninstaller. If you have OS X 10.4 or 10.5, use this uninstaller instead.

Adobe has patched more than twenty Flash vulnerabilities in the last week --?some of them days after active exploits were discovered in the wild --?and issued over a dozen Flash Player security advisories since the beginning of this year. Flash has become such an information security nightmare that Facebook's Chief Security Officer called on Adobe to sunset the platform as soon as possible and ask browser vendors to forcibly kill it off.

Though most exploits are targeted at Windows, Mac users are not invincible. Thankfully, Flash is easy to remove and most of your favorite sites and Web services will continue to work fine without Flash installed. YouTube, Netflix, and a host of others have either made the shift to HTML5 video or use alternative technologies, like Microsoft's Silverlight.

How to uninstall Flash from your Mac

  1. Verify your OS X version by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left and selecting About This Mac.
  2. For OS X 10.5 and later --?Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, or Yosemite --?download and run this uninstaller.
  3. For OS X 10.4 and 10.5 --?Tiger or Leopard --?download and run this uninstaller

What to do if you need Flash

If you find yourself with absolutely no choice but to use Flash --?maybe you have a Flash-based business application --?the safest course of action is to install Google Chrome. Chrome includes a special version of Flash that runs inside a sandbox, with updates handled by Google.

If you can't or won't install Chrome, a good fallback is Marc Hoyois's ClickToFlash plugin for Safari. It will prevent any Flash content from running until you explicitly authorize it by clicking a placeholder in the page.

If you insist on keeping Flash installed and won't use ClickToFlash, at the very least make sure Flash can update itself automatically by enabling automatic updates in System PreferencesFlash Player. Then perhaps you should take a long, hard look at your life choices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 117
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,748member
    Haha! ????
  • Reply 2 of 117

    Chrome isn't a solution either, as this most recent big exploit also proved it is vulnerable.

     

    I've been Flash free since February. Best thing ever.

  • Reply 3 of 117
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,512member
    I've been using Click to Flash since it came out. Wonderful solution. I'd go FF except the BBC refuse to get with the program.
  • Reply 4 of 117

    You can easily play content in Safari by going to the Develop menu > User Agent > Safari iOS x.x - iPad. Since iOS devices don't use Flash many websites fall back to HTML5 content for mobile devices, so tricking a website into thinking it's running on an iPad should load the HTML5 content. Works fine for me for playing Flash video on many sites.

  • Reply 5 of 117
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 585editor
    Silverlight was deprecated by Microsoft. Developers should move away from it to HTML5.
  • Reply 6 of 117
    aishaneaishane Posts: 6member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Chrome isn't a solution either, as this most recent big exploit also proved it is vulnerable.

     

    I've been Flash free since February. Best thing ever.


     

    As far as I'm aware, they busted the Chrome sandbox by piggybacking on a Windows 0day; Google mitigated within hours. Chrome is still the best option by far if you must use Flash.

  • Reply 7 of 117
    Been doing this, with the once-in-a-while Chrome solution, for over a year at least. My laptop battery loves me now.
  • Reply 8 of 117
    I get that these vulnerabilities are newly reported, but the idea that Flash is a stone around its users' necks is not new. I've been Flash free since Gruber gave detailed instructions back in 2010: http://daringfireball.net/2010/11/flash_free_and_cheating_with_google_chrome
  • Reply 9 of 117
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Flash should have been dead five years ago.
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 10 of 117
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 723member
    aishane wrote: »
    As far as I'm aware, they busted the Chrome sandbox by piggybacking on a Windows 0day; Google mitigated within hours. Chrome is still the best option by far if you must use Flash.
    Except for the server Chrome has running in the background on your computer communicating data back to google. I'm good. I will just ignore any sites that still use flash. If it's required for a work site, I'll open it in windows via Parallels. I always just close windows so it reverts to the original file.
  • Reply 11 of 117
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,512member
    aishane wrote: »
    As far as I'm aware, they busted the Chrome sandbox by piggybacking on a Windows 0day; Google mitigated within hours. Chrome is still the best option by far if you must use Flash.

    Why is that better than the Click to Flash option in Safari ? ... I'm genuinely curious not disagreeing. I tried Chrome for ten minutes but Little Snitch lit up like a Christmas tree with all the out going data connections to Google and others. I removed it immediately.
  • Reply 12 of 117
    aishaneaishane Posts: 6member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Why is that better than the Click to Flash option in Safari ... genuinely curious not disagreeing.

     

    For the same reason that it's safer for police officers to handcuff someone and place them in the squad car, rather than let them stand around outside: even if they slip the cuffs, they're still contained.

  • Reply 13 of 117
    Well, I went to uninstall Flash, and now I can't use Google Music. When I go to load the website, it says that I need to have Flash to listen to music. I thought Google would have been better than rely on Flash!
  • Reply 14 of 117
    john673john673 Posts: 40member

    Thank you for reminding me to update my Flash. After reading it I just went straight and installed it. 

  • Reply 15 of 117
    davendaven Posts: 466member
    Timely editorial. I actually removed Flash last night. Then is went to a critical web site I use and one key part used Flash. Big sigh. I reluctantly reinstalled Flash. Now I'm going to install Click to Flash.
  • Reply 16 of 117
    you can also cleanly uninstall 'Adobe Flash' and everything else that has been installed using a 'Package' (.PKG) using 'UninstallPKG'
  • Reply 17 of 117
    ecsecs Posts: 307member
    Flash and Java will never die. There're a lot of guys who studied this stuff at university and will use it forever no matter their employer. There're even national government sites developed in Java. It's epidemic. No cure. I wish someday Flash and Java cease to exist, but don't hold your breath.
  • Reply 18 of 117
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,081member
    tokyotony wrote: »
    Well, I went to uninstall Flash, and now I can't use Google Music. When I go to load the website, it says that I need to have Flash to listen to music. I thought Google would have been better than rely on Flash!

    I was just going to say, the real question is why the hell is Google towing this junk truck along behind them… looks like I now have the answer…
  • Reply 19 of 117
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,081member
    ecs wrote: »
    Flash and Java will never die. There're a lot of guys who studied this stuff at university and will use it forever no matter their employer. There're even national government sites developed in Java. It's epidemic. No cure. I wish someday Flash and Java cease to exist, but don't hold your breath.

    The sad thing is, you're probably right. It's the same reason I had to learn Rhino instead of SolidWorks in school. It's because that's what the professor knew, and so that's what got taught. I could have taken the SolidWorks elective, but it never came around at the right time. Oh well, my company just bought a few seats of SolidWorks so it's all good I guess
  • Reply 20 of 117

    Got rid of it a long time ago. If I go to a website that requires Flash then I simply stop visiting them.

    anton zuykov
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