The best way to get Flash Updates (Hint: DON’T click DOWNLOAD)



We all need flash. It’s a given. Because Adobe (the maker of Flash Player) knows that, they take every opportunity to track you and install their extra programs on your computer.

We dont want any of that.

It used to be an extra program “GetPlus” came along for the ride, but that annoyance seems to have subsided. Now they sometimes sneak in McAfee Scanner. I trust McAfee, but if you already have antivirus, this programs adds little and runs all the time, slowing down your system. And who knows what they’ll put in the future?

So when you get this window:

flash_update_notification_window_with_stop
[This specific example is for the v16.0.0.235 update]

DON’T click DOWNLOAD

Note: if you dont see this window, it might be because your adobe flash is set to download and install updates automatically. You can change this in the flash entry in control panel (blog post coming soon).

Two ways

1. My personally verified safe files

I plan to keep the following location up to date with the latest download files, selected and verified by me: Montgomery Minds box.com Flash Player file storage. (If that doesnt work try this or this.) That page has hash values and exact files sizes in the description for each file, and in the source.txt file in that folder.

(You can browse all the files i have for download at: Montgomery Minds box.com file storage)

At the end of your install you’ll see that “Allow Adobe to install updates” is checked by default–BAD. That will let them install whatever they want next time. Instead, check “Notify me to install updates” and then check Montgomery Minds box.com Flash Player file storage next time you are notified, and download from there.

install_flash_player_dont_update_automatically_hilit

2. Second-best way

Or, as of 2/16/2015, the next best recommendation is go to the Adobe FlashPlayer FAQ / Flash Player Help / Installation problems (its title keeps changing) and search for something called something like “direct link” or “downloading the installer directly”. It is often in a section dealing with download or installation problems, eg, “Still having problems?” and listed as an alternative to the default installation method. That’s good, because the default installation method is “heavier”, containing as much junk as adobe can put in there. For a while now, the direct link filename has been called something like "install_flash_player.exe" and "install_flash_player_ax.exe" for IE (Internet Explorer). Mouse over the link that looks like the “direct link” and see if the file name is something like that. Note that the filename "install_flashplayer11x32_mssd_aaa_aih.exe" is not a good one.

Also note the size.

The direct link "install_flash_player.exe" today is 17.4MB. That’s big. That’s good.

The “network install” more invasive method "install_flashplayer11x32_mssd_aaa_aih.exe" today is 1.0MB. That’s small. That’s bad. That means it’s really going to contact the adobe website to download the real stuff.

Direct Link – Example URLs

Here’s a direct link accurate as of this writing: http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player.exe (at the time it was version 16.0.0.235).

And http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player_ax.exe for IE.

And http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/latest/help/install_flash_player_ppapi.exe for Chromium based browsers and Opera

  • (A flash specifically for Chromium based browser and Opera is relatively new, ie, appeared in 2014. The standard Chrome browser however does not use this–it has flash support built-in.)

Check version, Check installation

No matter how you get your files, to check whether your installation is working, or what version you have, or whether you have the latest, try one of these two pages (valid as of 1/3/2014; they keep changing):

If that doesnt work, Google check flash version site:www.adobe.com or validate flash installation site:www.adobe.com, ie only on the adobe.com site to protect yourself from malware, or better yet, DuckDuckGo it eg: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=check%20flash%20version%20validate%20flash%20installation+site:www.adobe.com

References:
“Get Adobe Flash Without GetPlus in Firefox” on techsupportalert.com

“Get Adobe Flash and Reader without GetPlus in Firefox”
and updated “Download the Latest Adobe Flash for Firefox and IE Without Any Extras”

Flash (ie youtube video player) keeps a list of all website you’ve visited.

To see it, click here. It is called the Adobe – Flash Player : Settings Manager and it has several “panels”. Obscurely, the list of visited sites is in the Website Privacy Settings panel because it lists the privacy settings of all your visited sites. Full title is
Adobe – Flash Player : Settings Manager – Website Privacy Settings panel. It looks something like this:
screen_cap_flash_settings_mgr

Firefox menu-less, unsizable windows–Annoying–Prevent them!

Sometimes you’ll get a window which has no features. No menu bar.  No scroll bars.  Can’t be re-sized. No close button. No reload/refresh button.  No File -> Print.  No File -> Print Preview.  That can be annoying.  You can prevent that (at least some of the time).

The following solution worked for me, 4/2/2013 on the website Star991.com. That website had a “Listen Now” link which opened a new, feature-less (ie, features disabled) window.

  1. In the address bar, type about:config
  2. It will warn you saying, “This might void your warranty!” and “You should only continue if you are sure of what you are doing.”about_config_warningMake sure you only change what’s discussed in this post.  Go ahead and click the “I’ll be careful, I promise” button.  Again, make sure you only change what’s discussed in this post.
  3. Type “dom” into the search bar.  That’s probably enuf to reveal the settings below.  If not, type more, like “dom.disable” or “dom.disable_window”.  Do not type the double quotes into the search bar.
  4. Right click the one(s) you want and click Toggle, to set them from false to true.  That might be a little confusing.  You’re turning on the disable.  And you’re disabling (preventing) the webpage from disabling features (like menu).  You’re disabling the disablers.  It can be confusing.
  5. You then have to re-do the click that opened the annoying window.
  6. You might want to then turn it back to false, so all the rest of your browsing will stay the same.  Or maybe you like having this new-found control 😉

Quoting my source http://kb.mozillazine.org/Prevent_websites_from_disabling_new_window_features:

Prevent websites from disabling new window features

This article describes how to prevent websites from disabling certain new window features by changing the related Firefox or Mozilla Suite preference setting.

Web pages can disable a number of features in new windows opened via JavaScript. The new window or “popup” may not be resizable and other features such toolbars may be missing, as discussed here. Advanced users can prevent these features from being disabled by editing configuration via the user.js file or in about:config. For example, you can set the dom.disable_window_open_feature.resizable preference to “true” to prevent popup window resizing from being disabled, so that you can resize popup windows that may open too small. Other “dom.disable_window_open_feature.*” preferences are listed below:

(From the About:config entries article, under DOM.)

Meaning of Values (all these values are type “Boolean”)
Web page authors can disable many features of a popup window that they open. Setting these preferences to true will override the author’s settings and ensure that that feature is enabled and present in any popup window.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.close: Prevents the close button from being disabled.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.directories: Prevents the bookmarks toolbar from being hidden.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.location: Prevents the address bar from being hidden
dom.disable_window_open_feature.menubar: Prevents the menubar from being hidden.
dom.dom.disable_window_open_feature.minimizable: Prevents popup window minimization from being disabled.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.personalbar: Prevents the bookmarks toolbar from being hidden.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.resizable: Prevents popup window resizing from being disabled.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.scrollbars: Prevents the scrollbars on a popup from being disabled.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.status: Prevents the status bar from being hidden.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.titlebar: Prevents the title bar from being hidden.
dom.disable_window_open_feature.toolbar: Prevents the navigation toolbar from being hidden. (eg the favorite and reload buttons, and the history drop-down menu)

See also

 

 

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