Flash Player Update Service doesn't run on a reliable schedule, and doesn't automatically download and apply updates when it does run.

Given the importance of having an up-to-date version of Flash Player installed (for those of us who don't use Chrome with its built-in player), I would like to find a way to ensure that new updates are promptly detected and installed.

What follows are the details of my efforts to solve this problem on my own...

Appendix A: Flash Player Update Service

OK, way back in Flash Player 11.2 (or so?) Adobe added the Flash Player Update Service (FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe), it was supposed to keep the Flash Player updated...

  • Upon installation, FPUS is configured to run as a Windows Service, with Start Type set to Manual.

  • A Scheduled Task (Adobe Flash Player Updater.job) is added to start this service every hour.

So far, so good - this set-up avoids having a constantly-running service, but makes sure that the checks are run often enough to catch any updates quickly. Google's software updater is configured in a similar fashion, and that works just fine...

...And yet, when I checked the version of my installed Flash Player, I found it was 11.6.602.180, which, based on looking at the timestamps of the files in C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash was last updated (or installed) on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 --- 3/12/13, 5:00:08pm.

I made this observation on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 --- 4/25/13, 7:00:00pm, and upon checking Adobe's website found that the current version of Flash Player was 11.7.700.169.

That's over a month since the last update, with a new one clearly available on the website but with no indication that the hourly check running on my machine has noticed it or has any intention of downloading it.

Appendix B: running the Flash Player updater manually

Once upon a time, running FlashUtil32_<version>_Plugin.exe -update plugin would give you a window with an Install button; pressing it would download the installer for the current version (automatically, without opening a browser) and run it, then you'd click thru that installer & be done. It was manual, but it worked! Finding my current installation out of date (see Appendix A), I first tried this manual update process. However...

  • Running FlashUtil32_<version>_ActiveX.exe -update activex (in my case, that's FlashUtil32_11_6_602_180_ActiveX.exe -update activex) ...only presents a window with a Download button, clicking that Download button opens my browser to the URL https://get3.adobe.com/flashplayer/update/activex.

  • Running FlashUtil32_<version>_Plugin.exe -update plugin (in my case, that's FlashUtil32_11_6_602_180_Plugin.exe -update plugin) ...only presents a window with a Download button, clicking that Download button opens my browser to the URL https://get3.adobe.com/flashplayer/update/plugin.

I could continue with the Download page it sent me to, uncheck the foistware box ("Free! McAfee Security Scan Plus"), download that installer (ActiveX, no foistware: install_flashplayer11x32axau_mssd_aih.exe, Plugin, no foistware: install_flashplayer11x32au_mssd_aih.exe) & probably have an updated Flash...but then, what is the point of the Flash Player Update Service if I have to manually download & run another exe?


I've since come to suspect that the update service is intentionally hobbled to drive early adopters to the manual download page. If this is true, there's probably no solution to this short of writing my own updater; hopefully I am wrong.


3 Answers 3


Perhaps the updater only applies updates in the 11.6.x range?

You could always use direct links to the installers, which I find to be more reliable: ActiveX; Plugin.

  • Your first sentence makes no sense whatsoever. What would be the point of an auto-update if you need to manually update every time a major version is released? I agree with your second sentence however. I disable the auto-update service completely and manually update both ActiveX and Plugin versions on a regular schedule.
    – Karan
    Apr 26, 2013 at 15:47
  • Thx so much for those links, specifically the "Plugin" link (note: both links download the same binary), that's part of what I wanted. I can't award you "the answer" since it only applies to the "which URL should I use to download the current version, without any chance of foistware?" part. But with that URL, I will be writing my own REAL Flash Player Auto-Updater...& if SuperUser lets me, I'll post a link to that here when it's ready -- tho possibly in the question, if this remains closed & I can't answer it. According to Adobe, they deliberately DELAY the FPUS update for 30 days!
    – user219950
    Apr 27, 2013 at 19:19

With this .bat file it's will try automatically update or install flash player for Internet Explorer, Firefox (SeaMonkey and etc), Chromium based(Chrome, Opera 15+ and etc):

del install_flash_player.exe
del install_flash_player_ax.exe
del install_flash_player_ppapi.exe
wget http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player.exe
wget http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player_ax.exe
wget http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player_ppapi.exe
install_flash_player.exe -install
install_flash_player_ax.exe -install
install_flash_player_ppapi.exe -install

Required wget you can download here and need put it to same directory where .bat was placed.

A little more advanced example written in Autoit.

Features: Simple check for new version, if here no new version then exit program without download flash player installer. If download installer failed then show message box with error and exit. Hidden command prompt window. Don't need wget.

After install Autoit and Editor. Right click on desktop->New->Autoit Script. Right click on this created file->Edit. Now you should see ScITE window and after line "Add your code below here" add this code:

#include <WinAPIDiag.au3>


Func updateflashplayer($link,$fname)
    if FileGetSize($fname)<>InetGetSize($link) then
        if @error then
            MsgBox(16,"","Error: '"&_WinAPI_GetErrorMessage(@error)&"'"&@CRLF&$fname)
        RunWait($fname&" -install","",@SW_HIDE)

Then in SciTE window press Tools->Build or press F7. Now you will get standalone executable in same directory where was Autoit script.

I recommend make new folder(with write-access permission) for this "updater". You can add shortcut to this "updater" to start up also.

Here app for uninstall flash player.


Just, i want to share my batch script with you, just save this piece of code into your notepad and name it as Download_Install_Last_Flash_Player.bat

@echo off
REM Help page related to installation problems flash player windows (English)
REM English https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/installation-problems-flash-player-windows.html
REM Page d'aide relative aux problèmes d'installation flash player windows (Français)
REM French https://helpx.adobe.com/fr/flash-player/kb/installation-problems-flash-player-windows.html
Mode 90,3 & color 9D
Title Download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player by Hackoo 2017
Set "Download_Folder=%~dp0Latest_Flash_Player_Installers"
Set "Uninstaller_Folder=%~dp0Uninstaller"
Set "Uninstaller_URL=https://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/labs/flashruntimes/flashplayer/uninstall_flash_player.exe"
Set "URL1=http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player.exe"
Set "URL2=http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player_ax.exe"
Set "URL3=http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player_ppapi.exe"
Set "URL_Help=https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/installation-problems-flash-player-windows.html"
If Not Exist "%Uninstaller_Folder%" MD "%Uninstaller_Folder%"
If Not Exist "%Download_Folder%" MD "%Download_Folder%"
Call :Killing_Running_Browsers
Rem We Play radio just for fun and in order to let the user be patient until the download ended
Call :Play_DJ_Buzz_Radio
Call :Uninstalling_Flash_Player
Call :Download_and_Install_Flash_Player
REM Just to check (Check Button on the web page) if the latest Adobe Flash Player is installed successfully or not !
Start "Help page" "%URL_Help%" & Call :Stop_Radio & Exit
cls & echo( 
@For %%i in (%Uninstaller_URL%) do Set "Uninstaller_File=%%~nxi"
Call :Download "%Uninstaller_URL%" "%Uninstaller_Folder%\%Uninstaller_File%"
echo    Unistalling older and previous version of Adobe Flash Player ...
%Uninstaller_File% -uninstall
exit /b
set "Browsers_List=firefox chrome iexplore opera"
cls & echo(
echo     Killing any running instances of those browsers "%Browsers_List%" ...
@For %%i in (%Browsers_List%) Do ( 
    Taskkill /IM "%%i.exe" /F>nul 2>&1
exit /b
@For %%i in (%URL1%) do Set "File1=%%~nxi"
Call :Download "%URL1%" "%Download_Folder%\%File1%"
Call :Installing_Flash_Player "%Download_Folder%\%File1%"
@For %%i in (%URL2%) do Set "File2=%%~nxi"
Call :Download "%URL2%" "%Download_Folder%\%File2%"
Call :Installing_Flash_Player "%Download_Folder%\%File2%"
@For %%i in (%URL3%) do Set "File3=%%~nxi"
Call :Download "%URL3%" "%Download_Folder%\%File3%"
Call :Installing_Flash_Player "%Download_Folder%\%File3%"
exit /b
:Installing_Flash_Player <Install_File>
cls & color 9B
echo   Please wait a while ... installing "%~nx1" is in progress ...
%1 -install
exit /b
:Download <url> <File>
cls & color 0A
echo      Please wait a while ... Downloading "%~n2" is in progress ...
Powershell.exe -command "(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('%1','%2')"
exit /b
Taskkill /IM "wscript.exe" /F >nul 2>&1
Set "vbsfile=%temp%\DJBuzzRadio.vbs"
Set "URL=http://www.chocradios.ch/djbuzzradio_windows.mp3.asx"
Call:Play "%URL%" "%vbsfile%"
Start "" "%vbsfile%"
Exit /b
echo Play "%~1"
echo Sub Play(URL^)
echo    Dim Sound
echo    Set Sound = CreateObject("WMPlayer.OCX"^)
echo    Sound.URL = URL
echo    Sound.settings.volume = 100
echo    Sound.Controls.play
echo    do while Sound.currentmedia.duration = 0
echo       wscript.sleep 100
echo    loop
echo    wscript.sleep (int(Sound.currentmedia.duration^)+1^)*1000
echo End Sub
exit /b
Taskkill /IM "wscript.exe" /F >nul 2>&1
If Exist "%vbsfile%" Del "%vbsfile%"

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