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It seems Windows XP comes with a default installation of Flash, in the following path:


I'd like to remove this. Certainly, I could probably just nuke the whole Flash folder (or probably even the Macromed folder), but there's got to be a cleaner way that handles Registry entries or other entrails that may be left behind.

What's the "proper" way to remove the default installation of Flash on Windows XP?

Note: Add or Remove Programs displays no programs or updates for a fresh install.


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It may be useful to know that on a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP3 (32bit), my file is: C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\flash.ocx – iglvzx Jan 5 '12 at 20:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Adobe provides a Flash uninstaller that can be used for this. The latest version is available in this Tech Note: Uninstall Flash Player | Windows.

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You should be able to run regsvr32.exe /u %WINDIR%\System32\Macromed\Flash\Flash6.ocx to unregister the OCX file. Then all you'd have to do is delete it.

I'd still rather use Adobe's Uninstaller or their installer for the latest version. However, if you'd like to clean it up as best as possible without any other software, unregistering is about as good as you can get without manually editing the registry.

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Running the following will quietly remove the default Flash component installed with XP along with the KB923789 patch if you've run Windows updates on your system:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\UninstFL.exe -quiet
rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\KB923789.inf,Uninstall,1

I don't know what will happen if you have a later version of Flash installed, but those two commands don't require the Adobe Flash Uninstaller.

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Like any other program, Adobe Flash should be uninstalled via the Add/Remove Programs app in Control Panel.

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Flash does not appear in Add or Remove Programs for a fresh install. – iglvzx Jan 5 '12 at 20:13
On a clean XP install, there is no entry for Flash in Add/Remove Programs, but the old and insecure OCX is there nonetheless. That's what the OP is asking about. – afrazier Jan 5 '12 at 20:14
I've added a screenshot. – iglvzx Jan 5 '12 at 20:19
Thanks to iglvzx and afrazier for covering Add/Remove Programs. It also does not show anywhere in Add/Remove Windows Components. – Iszi Jan 5 '12 at 20:43

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