How to remove Adobe Flash from your Mac

By , Apr 26, 2016


The succession of vulnerabilities found in Adobe’s Flash Player shows no signs of dying down: not a month goes by without Adobe releasing another yet emergency update for Flash to patch a bunch of newly discovered vulnerabilities (measuring in the dozens).

Some of them can be pretty nasty as they introduce new attack vectors for spyware, ransomware, trojans and other malicious applications that you don’t want anywhere near your computer.

A few years ago, Flash Player was impossible to avoid because a bulk of web video was encoded in Adobe’s proprietary Flash format, but not anymore: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and many other popular web services now use HTML5-based video players that work in any modern browser.

While Apple does block older, vulnerable versions of Flash in the Safari browser on OS X, you should do yourself a favor and remove Flash Player from your Mac using step-by-step instructions provided in this tutorial.

How to remove Adobe Flash from your Mac

1) Navigate to the /Applications/Utilities/ folder on your Mac and launch the Adobe Flash Player Install Manager app.

How to uninstall Flash Player Mac.screenshot 001

Tip: If you don’t see the app and are positive that Flash Player is in fact installed on your Mac, download the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller from Adobe’s website.

2) Click the Uninstall button to begin the process.

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3) Type the administrator password for your OS X user account and click OK to continue.

OS X El Capitan Safari view saved passwords Mac screenshot 001

Flash Player is now being uninstalled from this Mac. You cannot cancel the uninstaller at this point. Don’t restart or turn off your computer until the uninstaller finishes.

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4) After the uninstaller removes Adobe Flash software from your computer, click Done.

How to uninstall Flash Player Mac.screenshot 004

And that’s all there’s to it, folks!

Living in a Flash-free world!

Congratulations, your Mac is now Flash-free and your computer is no longer prone to Flash vulnerabilities—even if you try to access Flash content in a browser—as long as you don’t reinstall Flash Player.

Don’t you shed a tear—you’ll be better off without Flash altogether!

Verifying that Flash Player uninstallation is complete

After running the uninstaller, your system should be free of Flash Player and its associated web plug-in. To verify that Flash uninstallation has been completed successfully, first restart your Mac by choosing Restart in the Apple menu.

Then, open your browser and check the status of Flash Player on Adobe’s website. If Flash Player is no longer installed on this Mac, the page will produce an error message.

How to uninstall Flash Player Mac.screenshot 005

Accessing Flash content without Flash Player

As we mentioned, you can watch virtually any video on the web without needing Flash Player.

In moving away from Flash-encoded video, web developers have embraced HTML5 video en masse. For starters, HTML5-based video works in any modern web browser without needing a dedicated plug-in.

In addition, HTML5 video takes advantage of your computer’s chips to decode content in hardware. Not only does that allow for smooth video playback than in Flash Player, but also does so in a power-efficient manner that helps conserve energy.

YouTube HTML5 video player web screenshot 001

With that in mind, if you stumble upon a piece of Flash content on the web that you want to view but hate the idea of re-installing Flash Player, simply use Google Chrome for these purposes. Google’s browser has built-in Flash Player, but it’s sandboxed to prevent Flash vulnerabilities from affecting the rest of your system.

OS X blocks outdated Flash versions

Out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player that do not include the latest security updates are automatically disabled in Safari by OS X to help keep your Mac secure and help limit exposure to potential zero day exploits from web plug-in enabled content.

If you see the message “Blocked plug-in,” “Flash Security Alert” or “Flash out-of-date” when attempting to view Flash content in Safari, that’s Apple warning you that you’re using an out-of-date version of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in on your computer.

More Mac tips? Browse our tutorials archive.

Need help? Ask iDB!

Not sure how to do something on your Apple device? Let us know at and we might solve your specific problem and provide a solution in one of our future tutorials.

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  • Satyam Panchal

    Wait what I thought Steve job don’t want flash player on Mac and iPhone ? Or I’m confused

    • The Mac is an openish platform so Apple doesn’t really get a say in whether Flash exists or not for the Mac. Personally I think Adobe needs to kill Flash already. No good can come from continuing to support the buggy, insecure mess that is Adobe Flash Player. Adobe should be ashamed to even put their name to such an awful product. HTML 5 is superior to it an every way and an open standard, websites have no excuses for continuing to support it.

  • Michael Bemelmans

    What about apps like Adobe Photoshop CS6? Do you need flash player to be able to operate them?

  • Gabriel Anaya

    Can’t wait for flash to finally die

    • Mark S

      And Real player too.

      • Ángel Javier Esquivel

        And Microsoft Silverlight

    • TJ

      Once that happens website will have to start using html5

  • TJ

    Most websites will choose to display Flash video in Safari on OS X, but on an iOS device will automatically display an HTML5 version of the same video. If you come across a website that displays a Flash video and you can’t play it because you don’t have Flash then you can access the HTML5 file. Click the Develop menu (activate it in Safari Preferences), select User Agent and then choose one of the iOS options. I usually choose the iPad and voila, instant HTML5 video instead of Flash.

    Very rarely need to do that but once in a while you’ll come across some backwards website that still uses Flash and it comes in handy. Saves having to redownload Flash, use another browser or resort to some other trickery.

    • Anonymous

      Just download chrome as your browers with flash. That way its not on the mac and you can see your video. Safari is my home brower but in the event i need flash chrome is where i go.

      • TJ

        No thanks. I’d prefer not to use Flash or any product or service by Google, hence the reason for viewing the video in HTML5 and using Safari.

      • Gary le

        Where can I safely download google chrome since the app store dont have it on my mac.

      • Anonymous

        In safair type google chrome download. If you want when im home and have my mac handy ill send you a link, just let me know.

  • i don’t see it in my utilities folder

  • Noah P

    Just a word of advice for flash users in corporate networks aka behind the firewall. If you uninstall flash you will likely have problems accessing flash multicast streams in browsers other than Chrome.

  • TJ

    Google Music in Safari couldn’t play without flash until this recent update so i had to have flash for just use Google Chrome. plus… some porn websites still don’t use html5 hahah

    • Cristian