How to Uninstall Adobe Flash Player and Oracle’s Java Software
Over time, users tend to accumulate software programs on their computer systems and devices that they’ve stopped using or updating. If this describes you, it’s best to uninstall or disable them because they definitely represent security risks.
Additionally, some programs no longer receive support and updates, and therefore pose trouble. See our previous article for guidance on how to handle these problematic software programs.
Flash Player, which makes webpages with video and animation contents interactive, poses a greater problem. Because Flash contains so many bugs, we recommend you uninstall the program and disable it in your web browsers.
Oracle’s Java software also comes under frequent attack and needs security holes plugged. Many people don’t even know if they have Java and most likely don’t need the program. We recommend uninstalling Java if you do not use it. If you think you will need the program, you should disable it when not in use.
Uninstall Adobe Flash Player
If you are on a Windows PC:
- Download the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller for Windows, here.
- Save the uninstaller to your computer.
- Close any browser or program that uses Adobe Flash Player. (This includes instant messengers and games.)
- Find the uninstaller you saved on your computer. Double-click and follow prompts. Allow the program to make changes to your computer.
- Go to Start and choose Run. Copy and paste “C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash” into the Open box.
- Delete all files in folder.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 for:
- %appdata%\Adobe\Flash Player
- %appdata%\Macromedia\Flash Player
If you are using a Mac:
- Determine what OS X your Mac is running. To do this, Click the Apple icon on the top left of your screen and then choose About This Mac. Write down the version number.
- Visit https://helpx.adobe.com and search Uninstall Flash Player for Mac OS.
- Scroll down to Step Two and download the Flash Uninstaller for your Mac operating system.
- The uninstaller will now be in the Downloads folder of your browser. Open that folder and double-click the uninstaller.
- Open the uninstaller and then choose Uninstall.
- You will be prompted to close all of your open browsers.
- Once your browsers are closed, Flash will uninstall. You will receive a message when the uninstallation is complete. Click Done.
- Lastly, delete these directories:
- <home directory>/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\ Player
- <home directory>/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash\ Player
Disable Flash in Your Browsers
You’re almost done, but before you can be free of Flash, you need to disable the plugin from browsers that contain them (Chrome, Internet Explorer). Note you need to do this for ALL the browsers downloaded on your machine, not just the one or two that you use. Leaving Flash enabled on a browser can lead to malware and hacks even if you do not use the browser.
Google Chrome (Windows and Mac)
- Open your Google Chrome browser.
- Type: chrome://settings/content/ into the browser and click Enter.
- Find Unsandboxed plugin access on the list of plugins and click Do not allow any sites to use a plugin to access your computer.
- When you want to run plugins such as Flash or Java on a page you have three options:
- Allow all sites to use a plugin to access your computer.
- Ask when a site wants to use a plugin to access your computer (recommended.)
- Do not allow any sites to use a plugin to access your computer.
- Open Internet Explorer browser.
- Click on the gear-icon in the top-right corner.
- Click Manage add-ons. Click Show and Choose All add-ons.
- Scroll down and find Shockwave Flash Object and click Disable.
Microsoft Edge (Windows 10)
- Open Edge.
- Click the Menu button and then click Settings – View advanced settings.
- Toggle Use Adobe Flash Player to off.
- Open Firefox.
- Open the browser menu and click Add-ons.
- Select the Plugins tab.
- Select Shockwave Flash and click Never Active.
- When you want to run Shockwave Flash on a page you have three options:
- Ask to Active.
- Always Active.
- Never Active.
If you do run into a situation where you need Flash, you can enable it in your browser.
- Click Start.
- Click Control Panel.
- Select Programs and Features.
- Scroll down and find Java. Click once.
- Click Uninstall button near the top left.
If you are using a Mac:
- Open Finder.
- Choose Applications.
- In the Search box, enter: JavaAppletPlugin.plugin.
- Right-click on the plugin and choose Move to Trash.
Disable Java in Browsers
To disable Java in browsers follow the same steps as mentioned above, but this time insted of Flash, disable Java. This works on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Note: Edge does not support Java.
Adobe Flash Player and Oracle’s Java software come under frequent attack and need security holes plugged. Because Flash and Java contain so many bugs, we recommend you to uninstall the programs and disable them in your web browsers. If you think you will need the programs, you should disable them when not in use. Stay safe, and happy browsing!