You may know that Adobe has implemented an auto-updater to its Flash Player that is running as a service, Adobe Flash Player Update Service, and a scheduled task in Windows' Task Scheduler. This is the same basic method that Google uses to update its various programs on the system.
When you look at the scheduled task, you will notice that it has been set to run once per day if Flash Player has been configured during installation to install updates automatically when available. You can alternatively configure the update method to only check for updates and notify you when an update has been found, or to not run at all on the system.
If you have configured Adobe Flash Player to not update automatically, or if you know of an update and want to apply it right away, you could head over to Adobe's website to download the latest version and update the application this way.
Or, you can use the internal updater to update Flash right away. To do that you first need to make sure that the web browser that you are updating the plugin for is closed. Keep also in mind that you can't update Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 10 if the native Flash application is used instead of an external plugin.
The commands that you then need to run are the following (first Internet Explorer, then for other web browsers).
You find the actual file name in the C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\ directory so make sure you go there firs to use the correct file name.
I also recommend that you only run the tool when you know that an update is available as you will trigger a re-installation of the current version of Adobe's Flash Player on the system otherwise.
Karl Horky who came up with the method to force Flash Player to update has made available a batch file as well that you can use to update both versions of Flash effortlessly. Check out his blog for details on how to create and use it.
Forcing an update of Adobe Flash from the local computer has several advantages over downloading the installer from the Adobe website. You first do not need to download two installers if you want to update both the Active-X version and the general browser version of Flash. This can also be helpful if for whatever reason the Adobe website is not available at the time of writing, or if the update has not posted on the site yet.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.