3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2012 4:07 PM by keithbuck

    Updating Flash Player takes too many steps


      So, you've gotten an Adobe Flash Player update.  Here's what happens:

      1) The updater notifies you next time you log in to your computer.  Do you leave your computer logged in all the time?  Tough luck for you, hopefully there aren't any vulnerabilities in your old version of flash.

      2) You notice the update and click "download".  Instead of downloading it, the updater opens your default browser and takes you to the Flash Update page.

      3) On the landing page in your browser, you confirm that you do, in fact, want to update Flash.  BUT WAIT! you also must remember to uncheck the McAfee bundled junk checkbox.

      4) You download an update executable.

      5) It turns out that the update executable just... downloads the actual update itself!  You wait for it to download and install.

      6) The updater is finished.  It launches a page in your default browser to tell you Flash is updated.

      7) Somehow, swapping out the old version of Flash freezes your browser for a couple minutes.

      8) Finally, the "you have successfully updated Flash" page displays.


      This is utterly terrible.  Do you have me go through this workflow only for the off-chance I might accidentally install McAfee?  I don't get it.  I would have actually preferred the old, slightly-buggy updater that would do the update downloading itself to this, even though I got bit a few times by accidentally pressing "download" before being connected to the network.


      Operating system: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, service pack 1.

      Web browser: Firefox 17.0 Beta.

      Flash player version: 11.5.502.110 (this is the one that was just installed, not the version prior to updating)

        • 1. Re: Updating Flash Player takes too many steps
          keithbuck Level 1

          Here's my wishlist for improvement on this frontier:


          • When Flash knows there's an update, have it download it in the background automatically.  I assume it's already checking for updates in the background since it always mysteriously knows whether one exists next time I log in, even if I'm not yet connected to the network.
          • If the update is urgent (e.g. it contains a security patch for an exploit already being exploited in the wild), notify the user immediately.  It's worth the interruption to avoid being infected by malware.
          • If the update isn't urgent, it can wait until they next log in to be applied.
          • An option to allow updates to be installed on login without prompting would be pretty cool (and it should be fairly easy if the "download the update in the background" suggestion is taken).
          • Don't have any landing page.
          • Don't bundle McAfee with Flash updates.  It's somewhat reasonable to try to bundle it with the initial Flash download, but prompting to install it every time someone updates Flash is very annoying.  If I didn't want it when I originally installed, it's unlikely I want it now.
          • Consider putting some time into investigating why swapping out the version of Flash currently installed freezes Firefox for a couple minutes.  Swapping it out is cool, but to be honest, it would be quicker for me to restart Firefox than wait a couple minutes for it to un-freeze.
          • 2. Re: Updating Flash Player takes too many steps
            pwillener Level 8

            For me, most of the time I do not want to wait for the automatic update.  When I know that an update is available I...

            1. go to http://helpx.adobe.com/content/help/en/flash-player/kb/installation-problems-flash-player- windows.html#main-pars_header and download the installers
            2. open Windows Explorer and run the downloaded installers


            Two steps, and no bundled software.

            • 3. Re: Updating Flash Player takes too many steps
              keithbuck Level 1

              Thanks for this suggestion - you're right, this is a much better installation/update experience.