Back in 2017, Adobe announced plans to end support for Adobe Flash across all platforms. At the beginning of the year, support finally ended for Windows and Mac. Once baked into early websites, the tool lost favor long ago as security issues kept popping up and better technology arrived for web developers. Open standards like HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly are now commonplace. If you’re a Mac user, it’s time to remove Adobe Flash once and for all. Here’s how to do it.
A Long Good-Bye
It was in February 2017 when Adobe announced plans to retire Flash. At the time, the company noted:
… In collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.
Gearing up for the transition, companies spent much of 2020 removing Flash compatibilities from web browsers, including Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari. Despite this, a separate copy of Adobe Flash maybe still living on your computer.
Remove Adobe Flash on Mac
To get started, it’s important to note which version of macOS is installed on your computer. You can find this information by clicking on the Apple logo at the top left of your device. From there, click About This Mac. You’ll find the version number under the macOS name.
These directions are for all browsers except Google Chrome. Visit the Adobe website for the latest information for uninstalling Adobe Flash for this browser.
There are different ways to delete Adobe Flash depending on the macOS version. Each requires installing a file from Adobe. Choose the solution for the macOS version that’s installed on your computer. These files come directly from the Adobe website.
For Mac OS X 10.4 and Later, Including macOS Versions
- Mac OS X, version 10.6 and later: uninstall_flash_player_osx.dmg
- Mac OS X, version 10.4 and 10.5: uninstall_flash_player_osx.dmg
Once you download the installer:
- Go to the Downloads folder for your default browser. In Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge, choose Window > Downloads. In Mozilla, choose Tools > Downloads. If your Mac uses Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), click the Downloads icon displayed on the browser. If the Flash Player installer window does not appear, choose Go > Desktop in the Finder. Scroll down to the Devices section and click Uninstall Flash Player.
- Double-click on the uninstaller in the Downloads window.
- Click Open if prompted to whether to open the uninstaller file.
- Choose Uninstall when the uninstaller starts.
You should now close your web browser. Before doing so, you should print out these instructions to finish the uninstall process. As Adobe explains, “Do not click Quit in the Uninstaller window. It stops the uninstallation process. After you close the browsers, the uninstaller continues automatically until the uninstallation is complete. When you see the message notifying you that the uninstallation succeeded, click Done.
For two final steps, you need to go into your computer’s Library two directories:
- <home directory>/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\ Player
- <home directory>/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash\ Player
For Mac OS X 10.1 to 10.3
- Mac OS X, version 10.3 and earlier: uninstall_flash_player_osx_10.2.dmg
Once you download the installer:
- Choose Window > Downloads to view the downloaded uninstaller.
- Place the uninstaller file in the Downloads window.
- Double-click on the uninstall file in the Downloads window. If requested, enter your computer user name and password and click OK.
- Click Continue.
Close your web browser. Before doing so, you should print out these instructions to finish the uninstall process. Once the uninstaller finishes, the window closes automatically. Finally, reboot your computer.
Remove Adobe Flash: Confirmation
You should now make sure Adobe Flash is no longer installed on your Mac. To do so, visit this Adobe webpage. Next, click on the link under the heading, “Check if Flash Player is installed on your computer.”
That’s it! You no longer have Adobe Flash installed on your Mac. Happy surfing.