How to remove Flash on the Mac

Word has emerged about a “ransomware” exploit involving Adobe Flash. Adobe has responded with an update. The ransomware exploit is, for now, limited to users of Windows, but the update has been made to all supported platforms, so it’s an update to essential Flash code, not just something Windows-ish.

This illustrates that you need to be very careful about what you keep on your computer, and that you may want to periodically rethink the software you have installed.

To that end, if you absolutely need Adobe Flash to access content on the web that you need, at least make sure you’ve updated to the most recent version. Following another heinous Flash problem last March, I posted details about to update Flash safely on your Mac.

Those some rules apply today if you need to update. But if you don’t need Flash, you’ll be better off without it all together. It’s a gaping security problem, can cause performance and battery drain issues and is increasingly irrelevant to the web as more developers use HTML5 and other media-rich non-proprietary tech.

So why not remove it all together? If you already have Flash installed on your Mac and you’ve decided that enough is enough, here’s how to get rid of it once and for all.

How to remove Adobe Flash from the Mac

  1. Open your Utilities folder.
  2. Double-click on Adobe Flash Player Install Manager.Flash 1
  3.  Click the Uninstall button.Flash 2
  4. Type your administrator password and click OK.Flash 3
  5. The software will then remove Adobe Flash software from your computer.Flash 4

Once it’s done, and you quit, the removal app should disappear all together.

If you ever want to reinstall Adobe Flash Player, simply visit Adobe’s web site and download the installer.

Also, bear in mind that it’s perfectly fine to have a Mac that doesn’t have Flash installed but still access Flash content. The trick is to use Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome “sandboxes” Flash inside itself, so you can still see Flash content on the web without it possibly affecting the rest of your computer.

6 thoughts on “How to remove Flash on the Mac

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks for the very sound advice which I just took to heart and removed Flash. I guess I’ve only kept it and kept it updated out of habit all these years.

  2. Peter says:

    If you’re concerned about Flash leaving behind stuff, I’d recommend launching the Flash system preference before you uninstall, and make sure to have it delete any saved data.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I don’t have Chrome (and don’t wish to install it!), is Firefox another possibility to allow Flash? (Just came across another website which requires the damn thing)

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