6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2015 2:05 AM by piyush2508

    How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player


      Hello All

      Since Flash Players most recent vulnerability has been posted, the security team at my company has asked me (the System Center Admin) to uninstall all previous versions of Flash player (<= that might be installed through out the company (roughly 2200 + computers) and re-install the latest package (>=  <rant> Going from having no Flash Player management  to some management has been a gigantic PIA!  This page Uninstall Flash Player | Windows says to run the uninstaller and then go manually remove the files, they don't mention that there are registry keys that also need to be removed and that you cant manually remove anything without taking over ownership from "Trusted Installer" and assigning "full control" to another user or group in the security GUI.  REALLY Frustrating and I cant do that for over 2000 computers. </rant>


      Ok Enough griping.  I need help removing the previous versions first.  The common thread on the internet and Adobe Support seems to be to download the most recent Uninstall_Flash_Player.exe and use the -uninstall switch to run silently.  This seems to have inconsistent results at best.


      I have a Win 8.1 test machine with Flash on it and when I run the uninstaller, it completes just fine (no errors), but nothing has changed.  Registry entries are still there, files are still in C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash.  Only running user processes were regedit, file explorer and powershell, so no flash dependent applications.


      On my Win 7 box, the uninstaller removed the registry values tied to the keys, but not the keys them selves and also remove most but not all the files under C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash, but not the directory its self.


      Can anyone help me put together a solid, consistent way to uninstall various old version of flash that I can automate with PowerShell?


      Thanks in advance for the help.

        • 1. Re: How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player
          Carm01 Level 4

          please check your messages


          • 2. Re: How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player
            piyush2508 Adobe Employee



            I see you wish to uninstall Flash Player using silent uninstallation process, and then upgrade to the Latest version of Flash Player which is,


            For silent uninstallation please refer the page - Silent install command line argument doesn't work | Flash Player 10.1, <path to uninstaller> -uninstall {flash player type(optional)} will uninstall specified Flash Player types installed on your system, remove the {flash player type(optional)} and run the command again will uninstall all Flash Player types on your system excluding Chrome(Flash Player update part of Chrome updater/installer) and Windows 8.x (Flash Player update part of Windows 8.x update)


            Also, I am curious as to why do you wish to clean all the registries as the update itself will manage all the data clean up and addition of new registries, which is part of the installation process.




            • 3. Re: How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player
              piyush2508 Adobe Employee

              Also, files inside - C:\Windows\(System32 or syswow64 )\Macromed\Flash which will remain like this are the Flash Player Install log file used to log all installation related data and the update configuration file (mms.cfg) containing the update procedure information to be followed during update workflow. Feel free to delete these files are they are only for reference purposes and are re-written during every clean installation.




              • 4. Re: How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player
                J33P Level 1

                Hi Piyush


                The problem with your recommendation of Silent install command line argument doesn't work | Flash Player 10.1, is that it is designed for single computer use.  I need to detect if Flash is installed, what version is installed and uninstall if necessary on over 2000 computers.  As I indicated in my first post, the Uninstall_Flash_Player.exe is not working reliably.


                Using the FlashUtil.exe with -uninstall switch is problematic across so many machines because Adobe has changed the FlashUtil name with almost every version that has come out (IE FlashUtil64_17_0_0_190_ActiveX.exe, FlashUtil64_18_0_0_194_ActiveX, FlashUtil_ActiveX).  Would you want to manually check over 2000 machines to find out which one it has to run the -uninstall switch?  And what if that user used the .MSI to install?  The -uninstall command does not work with .msi installed flash per the web site you suggested.


                Per your question about the registry entries, that is the only reliable way I have found so far to determine if flash player is installed and what version of flash player is installed.  Trying to check the file system is impractical due to the shear amount of different names Adobe used for the same file across so many versions and number of computers.


                The work flow to automate the process of making sure everyone is up to the current flash patch level

                1. Is Flash installed?

                      No - quit and move on to next computer.  No need to install flash if it was not needed before

                      Yes goto Step 2

                2. What version of Flash is installed?

                     >= - quit and move on to next computer.

                     < goto Step 3

                3. Uninstall all old versions of Flash to remove security vulnerability and prevent a side by side version install.

                4. Install new version of Flash


                I am stuck on Step 3

                Per your questions to "why remove the registry entries and files during uninstall", from a System Admin's point of view it is sloppy and rude of a software company to leave extraneous files on the hard drive and unused registry entries to clog up a computer after the application has been "uninstalled".  Sadly even Adobe recommends a manual removal of files left over after the uninstaller fails to do so in Uninstall Flash Player | Windows but it sure isn't easy to do.

                • 5. Re: How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player
                  J33P Level 1

                  Thanks for the PM Carm!  Reading through it now. 

                  • 6. Re: How to uninstall all the various version of Flash Player
                    piyush2508 Adobe Employee

                    Hi J33P,


                    Ok, Please find the suggestions :

                    • Try using the offline uninstaller instead of the Flash_Util for uninstalling flash player ( Uninstall Flash Player | Windows). Your individual dependency on a util file is removed. And even if Flash Player is not installed no change to the system(added advantage System gets cleaned if any flash player was installed earlier), use  <Path_To_Offline_Uninstaller> -uninstall , this silently uninstalls all flash player on your system.
                    • Installing new Flash Player directly too addresses all the previous security vulnerabilities.
                    • The Flash Player Update itself manages removing and updating all previous registries and files on a system, only user specific files are retained. So you can go ahead and use Flash automatic Update as well. The security vulnerability is addressed automatically when you update your flash player to the latest version.