Update Adobe Flash Player On Your Mac

Adobe Flash Player lets web browsers like Safari and Firefox play Flash video files that appear on many web sites. Flash Player needs to be frequently updated. Flash version 11.3 and higher have an automated process, but this doesn’t always work or you might have disabled this feature. Updating Flash Player manually is more difficult than it should be. There are a number of contributing factors, but one reason is that people successfully download the Flash Player update, but they don’t know that they need to locate this update on their Mac and install it.

Have you seen a Blocked Plug-In message in Safari? If so, it’s time to manually update Flash Player. Occasionally, Flash gets blocked by Apple because a security hole has been discovered in Flash. Safari blocked plug-in

Tip: If you use the Google Chrome web browser it relies on it’s own version of the Flash Player so if Adobe Flash Player isn’t working in Safari or Firefox, you could use Google Chrome instead, at least temporarily.

Here are instructions for updating the copy of Flash Player on your Mac. These instructions should work with Flash version 10.3 or higher and OS X 10.6 or higher.

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences
  2. On the bottom row of icons, click on Flash Player.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, which is highlighted with a red oval in the picture.Flash Player Advanced Section
  4. Click the Check Now button to see if an update is available.
  5. If an update is available, you’ll be asked if you want to download and install it. Click the Yes button.
  6. A web page will appear. Click the Update Now button to initiate the download.
  7. You are downloading an installer which can be used to install the updated version of Flash Player on your Mac. Wait for this download process to finish.
  8. Go to your Downloads folder and double-click the file named install_flash_player_osx.dmg (If you don’t know how to locate your Download folder, use this older tip on cleaning-up your Downloads folder.)
  9. A new window opens. Double click Install Adobe Flash Player to start the installation process.
  10. As a security measure, you’ll be notified that Install Adobe Flash Player is an application that was downloaded from the Internet and you’ll be asked if you’re sure that you want to open it. Click the Open button.
  11. Check the box to indicate that you’ve read and agree to the terms of the license agreement.
  12. Click the Install button.
  13. Enter your computer’s administrative user name and password.
  14. You’ll be notified that System Preferences and Safari need to be closed. Click the Force Close All button or manually quit both of these applications and then click the Retry button.
  15. Wait a minute or so for the installation to take place. Click the Done button.
  16. Safari typically opens to give you confirmation that Flash has been updated properly and Adobe conveniently shows an ad asking if you’d like to buy one of their products.

You’re done. I’d like to think that Adobe could come up with a simpler method to update Flash, and maybe that’ll happen one day.

In the meantime, here are some clean-up instructions.

  • Go to your Downloads folder and throw away the install_flash_player_osx.dmg file. You don’t want to be confused by this installer the next time you have to manually update Flash.
  • In the left-hand Sidebar of your Finder window, look for the Devices section and click the eject button (circled in red in the picture) to close the Install Adobe Flash Player Installers that appears there.Eject Installer From Sidebar

Here are a few other links that could help as well.

You can manually download the most current version of Adobe Flash Player installer from Adobe’s web site, https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

This Adobe page always shows the version you’re running & the latest release: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/