16 June 2012

Manually Run Autoupdate for Adobe Flash Player on Windows and Mac

With the latest versions of Adobe's Flash Player after 11.2 offering the option for silent automatic updates in the background, the likelihood of ever having an out of date Flash Player plugin and the security risks that come with it have been reduced to near nil. However, the updates still do not happen instantaneously. As of the time of writing, the plugin checks for updates when the associated browser (such as Firefox) runs Flash content. But even at that point, the plugin sets the update to occur on the next restart, which could be a long time for people who just sleep their computer in between using it. To make things worse, unless you're using a browser such as Google Chrome which has the plugin integrated, there is no easy way to trigger an immediate update within the software.

Fortunately, there's a way to trigger the auto-update with a command line flag on both Windows and Mac, although the Windows commands below require finding out what the version number string is. I've also made this into a Windows batch file (source below) for those who don't want to go hunting for the version number string. Some important notes for those who use either version:

  1. The plugin update can still only be run with the target browser closed.
  2. Running the FlashUtil executable with the -update plugin flag will always trigger the setup, even if your installation is up to date. So check your version to make sure that you don't already have the latest version before running it.

The first command below is for ActiveX (Internet Explorer) and the second one is for Firefox, Safari, and Opera. To run the updaters, replace the version number placeholder with the latest version on your system, or just use the batch file instead.

Batch file source:


Run this command in a terminal window to launch the Flash auto updater.