What do Adobe Flash updates look like on your Mac?

It appears every time Flash updates on our iMac I’m left with residual icons on the desktop. To delete them (usually two of them), I have to enter the admin username/password.

Flash is set to autoupdate.



I removed Adobe Flash from my Mac maybe five years ago. If I ever need it (don’t think that’s happened this year) I’ll launch a Chromium-based browser like Brave or Chrome, which embeds sandboxed Flash players into tabs when needed, and is regularly updated when the browser itself updates.

Note: Adobe will stop supporting Flash at the end of 2020. So try removing it unless you depend on some app that demands it.


Like bowline, I simply stopped with Flash many years ago. At some computer change over I just didn’t reinstall it. Perhaps one or two websites were no longer usable, but on the whole I don’t miss at all its constant drain on resources and always-needs-to-be-patched design. Finally, I don’t think its persistent security risks are worth it; I’d rather miss the flash content.

Jus delete it, and in the are occasion that you “need” it use Chrome.

I don’t remember the last time I needed Flash for a website. Yes, try to remove it.


1 Like

I have to have it for teaching. Gotta love education platforms :frowning:

1 Like

Just remove flash altogether. If needed you can use chrome, but I’ve found over the past year it’s not happened once that I needed chrome because of this.

As nice as it is for those of us who don’t want to use Flash to not have to use it… for those who do, it remains a necessary evil, which may be evil but is still necessary (at least for them).

N.B. If you use brew I think you can install Flash with brew cask install flash-player and it will then be updated whenever you update brew, which might be easier than dealing with these instructions.

I have a script which will check your installed version of Flash against the latest version, and download/install the update. You can find it here:


Save that somewhere, such as /usr/local/bin/di-flash.sh (or ~/bin/di-flash.sh or anywhere else - use your chosen /path/to/di-flash.sh in the instructions below)

Make it executable:

chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/di-flash.sh

Now, the annoying thing about Flash (well, one of them…) is that you have to run the installer/updater as root. I never found its self-updater to update often enough for my tastes, so if I was doing this, I would use launchd to check for new versions once each day, say 5:00 a.m.

To do that, I would copy this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

(You can also control-/right-click on this link to download a copy of that file.)

And save it as ~/Downloads/com.tjluoma.di-flash.plist (that’s just a temporary location).

Then I would run these 4 commands in Terminal:

chmod 644 ~/Downloads/com.tjluoma.di-flash.plist

sudo chown root ~/Downloads/com.tjluoma.di-flash.plist

sudo mv -vn ~/Downloads/com.tjluoma.di-flash.plist /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.tjluoma.di-flash.plist

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.tjluoma.di-flash.plist

The first line (chmod) sets the correct permissions.

The second line (chown) makes the file owned by root.

The third line (mv) moves the file to /Library/LaunchDaemons/ which is where launchd looks for files like these.

The fourth line (launchctl) tells launchd to load the plist, which will cause it to run at 5:00 a.m. the next day.

One of the nice things about launchd is that if your Mac is asleep at 5:00 a.m., it should run the next time your Mac is awake, but you can change the time by editing the plist:


As you probably guessed, the ‘5’ means and the ‘0’ means '0 minutes after ‘5am’. If you wanted 5pm you’d use 17 instead of 5.

If it runs and finds that you are up-to-date, it will simply exit, having taken almost no resources, so no worries about this slowing down your Mac :slight_smile:

If you have any questions or problems, let me know.

p.s. - you can find lots of other command-line installer/updaters at https://github.com/tjluoma/di/ for those who like the shell.