Flash Player 11.2 Introduces Automatic Updates

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2011
Updated • Dec 3, 2012

If you are not running Google Chrome as your one and only browser on your PC system, you are probably tired of having to update Adobe's Flash Player regularly to protect the system from security vulnerabilities. This could change soon with the release of Adobe's Flash Player 11.2. The new version of Flash, currently available as a beta download at Adobe Labs, introduces a technology called Flash Player Background Updater.

The auto-updater is only provided for Windows systems in Flash 11.2. Windows users who install Flash Player 11.2 or later will see the following prompt after the successful installation.

adobe flash player automatic updates

It reads:

Security updates and enhancements are periodically released for Adobe Flash Player that can be downloaded and installed automatically.

Choose your update method:

  • Install updates automatically when possible (recommended)
  • Notify me when updates are available
  • Never check for updates (not recommended)

The first option checks for and installs Flash Player versions automatically on the operating system. Depending on the Flash version installed, this may include one (Internet Explorer version or other browser version) or even both versions if both are installed on the system.

The second option will perform the same checks for new versions. Instead of installing new versions automatically it will inform the user instead.

Flash Player will check for updates once per hour if the first or second option are selected. Adobe notes that users need to restart their web browser after an update has been installed to use the new version of Flash Player in the web browser.

The latest version of Adobe Flash Player 11.2 is available on the Adobe Labs download page. The installer is provided for all 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems that support Adobe Flash. The very same page offer downloads for the Flash Player uninstaller for 32-bit and 64-bit systems to uninstall the test version from the system again.

The update checks for new Flash versions are added as a Windows task so that no update program is running all the time on the computer system. It is likely that this new security feature will decrease the number of successful Flash player based attacks on Windows significantly. (via)


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  1. b said on April 28, 2012 at 12:16 am

    It doesn’t remember my settings so I have to choose after every update.

    Update checks once per hour seems pretty extreme. I like programs that let me set update checks to occur during certain hours of the day.

    Anyway, I use noscript to disable flash during normal browsing and only temporarily enable it based on need. Flash is such a pig otherwise.

  2. Zinc said on November 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Not quite ready for prime-time yet…

    This dev build puts a very annoying watermark across flash video windows that identifies it as a “Flash Player Incubator Build”.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

      Yeah I noticed that as well. According to Adobe, it is there to remind the “user” that it is a pre-alpha build not suitable for productive use.

      1. Taomyn said on November 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

        Yeah, but on very small Flash content, all you can see is the damned watermark and nothing else. One of the buttons on Gmail when composing is completely obliterated by this – though I never knew Gmail used any Flash,

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 7, 2011 at 10:20 am

        The WordPress media upload button is completely painted with the watermark as well, does not look pretty.

  3. Transcontinental said on November 2, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Checking once per hour seems exaggerated, this is not an anti-virus!
    Anyway, I dislike automatic updates, but I admit that for those who are occasional users of the Web, for those who are not linked to latest updates news, it is beneficial. But not once per hour, good heavens!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

      Since it is using the Windows Task Scheduler, I would say that you can make changes to the frequency comfortably there.

  4. SuilAmhain said on November 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Speaking as a guy who does PC repair etc.. this is fantastic. Most people just ignore the annoying pop up recommending upgrade.

    What would be really fantastic is if Flash, Reader and Java etc.. were updated by Windows Update. That would solve a lot of problems…

  5. TechLogon said on November 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    It’s a step in the right direction in keeping people updated but I’d like to see them go the whole hog…

    Make auto update the default and don’t provide a choice at installation – hide the update method away in Flash (Control Panel) options so those who want to can change/disable it whereas the average joe can be kept updated and secure in blissful ignorance…

  6. ilev said on November 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Never choose automatic updates, not for OS and not for any application (virus signatures excluded).
    Always choose Notify me when updates are available and install at your connivance and after proper testing if possible.

  7. Ross Presser said on November 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    FINALLY a company decides to implement automatic updates with a method that MAKES SENSE — scheduled task! I am so damn tired of everything thinking its updater needs to run continuously, like Java, Google Updater etc ….

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      I agree, it is very refreshing.

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