Updating the Flash Plugin

Adobe’s Flash plugin (v10.3) is setup to check for updates on restart. However, at least recently, on my setup, there have been a couple of little annoyances. Either it launches and tries to check for updates before my wifi connects (rare) or it tells me that it must be run with administrator permissions. The end result is that it displays an error, offering only a quit button, and doesn’t provide a way to relaunch the update.

A quick look at TaskManager (see the ‘Command Line’ column for an ‘Image Name’ starting with ‘FlashUtil’) shows that, on Windows 7, 64-bit, the process ran from C:\windows\syswow64\macromed\flash\flashutil10q_plugin.exe. The specific version (in this case ’10q’) changes each time (so, after the update it was ’10t’).

The simple solution to this is:

  1. Open an administrative command prompt (Start > All programs > Accessories; Right click ‘Command Prompt’ and select ‘Run as Administrator’)
  2. Run the following:
    for %f in (C:\windows\syswow64\macromed\flash\flashutil*_plugin.exe) do %f -update plugin

    (While the above ‘one-liner’ will run all the programs matching the path, there should only be one copy present.)

Alternatively, most installations have an entry under the Control Panel, entitled ‘Flash Player’ (or similar) – the advanced tab of that item provides information on the current version and will allow you to check for updates (by opening Adobe’s site).

By cyberx86

Just a random guy who dabbles with assorted technologies yet works in a completely unrelated field.


    1. Glad you found it useful. Since I don’t restart my computer that often, it wasn’t uncommon for me to run into issues updating Flash (the updater only would run when the computer was started). Flash 11 seems to handle updates much better than Flash 10 – haven’t had to use this approach since it came out actually.

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