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  1. #1
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

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    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    Some time ago I mistakenly installed the Adobe Flash player on my Mac (2018 MacBook Pro, Mojave). It has been nothing but a pain since and so I decided to uninstall it. I went to the Mac Preferences page and removed the Flash entry. I downloaded the Flash uninstaller and ran it on my system and rebooted. I made sure the entry was gone from the Safari Prefernces page but I still get messages telling me to update the Flash player when I open Safari. I have gotten to the point with Flash that I have seriously considered doing a factory reset on my system and starting all over again, but I would prefer to not have to go through that pain.

    What do I have to do to completely remove the Flash player from my system? Can it be done?

  2. #2
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    krs's Avatar
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    Are you even sure the messages to update Flash are legitimate?

    I still have Flash on my Mac, but many of the pop-ups that ask me to update Flash are actually malware.

    To see if there are any bits and pieces left of Flash on your Mac, I would run 'Find Any File' and search.

    I find 'Find Any File' works incredibly well.

  3. #3
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    When Flash is installed, there will be the Preference Pane in System Preferences. So, if it is not there Flash is not installed.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  4. #4
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Uh, yeah, you have malware on your system. Run DetectX Swift to see what it finds. It has a free trial and is very popular here. Please let us know what it turns up and if it fixes things.
    DetectX – sqwarq | security for your mac

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | Find Any File | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | DetectX: Malware monitoring and removal | Uninstall MacKeeper
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    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  5. #5
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    Are you even sure the messages to update Flash are legitimate?

    I still have Flash on my Mac, but many of the pop-ups that ask me to update Flash are actually malware.

    To see if there are any bits and pieces left of Flash on your Mac, I would run 'Find Any File' and search.

    I find 'Find Any File' works incredibly well.
    No, I am not sure that the messages are legitimate and that is why I decided to remove it from the system entirely. It keeps downloading "flash updates" and I keep moving them to the trash. I have not installed any of them because I did not think that any legitimate software from Adobe would be so bothersome.

    I did a search before I posted and only found "bits and pieces", but perhaps I need to run a malware scan. I have Malware Bytes and it has not notified me of anything, but better safe than sorry.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeisabeach View Post
    Uh, yeah, you have malware on your system. Run DetectX Swift to see what it finds. It has a free trial and is very popular here. Please let us know what it turns up and if it fixes things.
    DetectX sqwarq | security for your mac
    Downloaded and installed DetectX. Ran it and it told me to remove one app TunesToGo or something like that). I did, rebooted and reran it. This time it told me there were no issues, but I am still getting the Flash update message, so whatever this is DetectX did not identify the issue. Malware Bytes also tells me there is no issue.

    Thinking I may need to check with Apple Care although I don't think they can help me since it really is not an OSX issue. Any other suggestions? I would really rather not have to do a factory reset on my MBP.

  7. #7
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    krs's Avatar
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    Can you take a screen shot of the Flash update message and post it here?

    Before doing anything as drastic as a complete Mac reset, I would first clear the Safari cache and cookies.

    If you have never clicked to update Flash on one of these pop-ups, you won't have any malware from that on your Mac.

  8. #8
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Flash update warnings are a popup in Safari, coming from the website you are visiting (or one of their ads on the page). Get an adblocker and they should stop. Never click on them to allow any download or installation as they will install malware or crapware on your system.
    Jake

  9. #9
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    IWT's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Two points:

    1. Click on System Preferences. If Adobe Flash Player is still on your Mac, it will be shown at the bottom as indicated by the Red Arrow.

    S1.jpg

    2. This is the legitimate Adobe site from which you can download the Flash Uninstaller. Make sure you choose the version appropriate for your Operating System (OS) - Uninstall Flash Player for Mac OS

    Using this should weed out any remnants of Flash.

    Worth a try.

    Ian
    Ian

  10. #10
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    Mike,

    Two points:

    1. Click on System Preferences. If Adobe Flash Player is still on your Mac, it will be shown at the bottom as indicated by the Red Arrow.

    S1.jpg

    2. This is the legitimate Adobe site from which you can download the Flash Uninstaller. Make sure you choose the version appropriate for your Operating System (OS) - Uninstall Flash Player for Mac OS

    Using this should weed out any remnants of Flash.

    Worth a try.

    Ian
    1. That is the entry that I removed when I started all of this yesterday.

    2. That is the download I got from Adobe when I did the uninstall today.

    I also did a search on my system for anything named Flash and removed anything that looked like it might be relevant. Here is a screen shot of the message I am getting:

    Dropbox - FlashMessage.jpg - Simplify your life

    I assume the message is bogus because there should no longer be any Flash player on my system.

  11. #11
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Flash update warnings are a popup in Safari, coming from the website you are visiting (or one of their ads on the page). Get an adblocker and they should stop. Never click on them to allow any download or installation as they will install malware or crapware on your system.
    They are downloading without my consent. The message screen pops up and the download starts automatically.

    The odd thing is that this is coming from a legitimate new site - Real Clear Politics - which I browse every now and then. Or, perhaps, coming from one of the news sites that it links to. That is what makes this so strange. I make a habit of never visiting dangerous sites, so I don't know where this might have come from. I am losing hope and making a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my system getting ready to do a factory reset if it comes to that. I got used to doing that with Windows systems but I did not expect to have to do so with a Mac. Live and learn.

  12. #12
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    chscag's Avatar
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    Mike:

    Use an app that can search thru hidden files and folders on your Mac and remove all instances of anything that refers to Adobe Flash. Adobe has a bad habit of scattering files and folders in many places on your Mac. I have had to deal with removing some of their stuff before.

    Be careful though if you're using Adobe Acrobat, the Adobe PDF reader, and of course Photoshop. You do not want to accidentally remove critical files.

    I recommend using "EasyFind" which is a free app and will scan hidden locations on your Mac. You can delete files directly from the app and it will put them in your Trash.

    EasyFind on the Mac App Store

  13. #13
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    They are downloading without my consent. The message screen pops up and the download starts automatically.
    That should not happen. Check to see if you have any settings in your browser to stop that. In Safari, on the General tab, make sure that "Open 'safe' files..." is NOT checked. They might be loading something in an image file (like the "warning" itself).

    The odd thing is that this is coming from a legitimate new site - Real Clear Politics - which I browse every now and then. Or, perhaps, coming from one of the news sites that it links to. That is what makes this so strange. I make a habit of never visiting dangerous sites, so I don't know where this might have come from. I am losing hope and making a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my system getting ready to do a factory reset if it comes to that. I got used to doing that with Windows systems but I did not expect to have to do so with a Mac. Live and learn.
    It's not the site, it is much more likely the advertisers on the site over which the site has little control. Websites often don't have specific advertisers, but sign up for a service that puts ads on the site that are supposed to be "appropriate" to the site. A maleficent ad can link to link to link to get to the bad stuff it wants to put on your system. And the ads on those sites are rotated, so even if you report it to the site owner, it may well be gone before the owner can even check it out. Bottom line, don't ever click on a popup to install anything, in particular Flash.

    You said you got rid of the panel on System Preferences. I don't think that uninstalls Flash, just removed the support from System Preferences. Maybe what you should do at this point is to go to Adobe directly, find the Flash installer. Download and install it, then go through the proper uninstaller to remove it. That should get rid of any residual files and clean up the system from any debris left behind.

    Also, DetectX Swift is a really good malware detector, so run that and clean up what it identifies until you come clean to get rid of any malware that crept in with these bogus installers.
    Jake

  14. #14
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Mike:

    Use an app that can search thru hidden files and folders on your Mac and remove all instances of anything that refers to Adobe Flash. Adobe has a bad habit of scattering files and folders in many places on your Mac. I have had to deal with removing some of their stuff before.

    Be careful though if you're using Adobe Acrobat, the Adobe PDF reader, and of course Photoshop. You do not want to accidentally remove critical files.

    I recommend using "EasyFind" which is a free app and will scan hidden locations on your Mac. You can delete files directly from the app and it will put them in your Trash.

    EasyFind on the Mac App Store
    I have already done something like this. I have an app that I wrote that I use to search my system for files and/or folders that match some specific input. It searches both visible and hidden files and folders and I removed everything that indicated it was a Flash file except those related to specific apps like Photoshop. The one concern I have is that the malware creator would likely not use a name containing the term Flash if he or she was trying to keep it hidden, so any search is likely to not turn up what I am looking for.

    My next step will probably be to remove all files containing Flash and then just reinstall the apps that are involved but, as I said, I suspect this will not fix the issue.

  15. #15
    How can I get rid of the Flash player?

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    That should not happen. Check to see if you have any settings in your browser to stop that. In Safari, on the General tab, make sure that "Open 'safe' files..." is NOT checked. They might be loading something in an image file (like the "warning" itself).
    That box is not checked. I had checked the Preference settings earlier today and I just rechecked. It is not checked.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    You said you got rid of the panel on System Preferences. I don't think that uninstalls Flash, just removed the support from System Preferences. Maybe what you should do at this point is to go to Adobe directly, find the Flash installer. Download and install it, then go through the proper uninstaller to remove it. That should get rid of any residual files and clean up the system from any debris left behind.

    Also, DetectX Swift is a really good malware detector, so run that and clean up what it identifies until you come clean to get rid of any malware that crept in with these bogus installers.
    I have already run the Adobe Flash uninstaller. Should that not have worked? I can run the installer and then rerun the uninstaller if that makes any difference.

    DectectX Swift found only one item, which I removed. I then rebooted, ran DetectX Swift again and it found nothing. But I am still getting the message and the immediate downloads. I know that should not happen, but it is happening on my system.

    I now have a full backup (as well as my TM backups) and I am going to try a more aggressive Flash removal strategy but, as I posted earlier, I would think that anyone writing malware to download more malware using Flash as an excuse would not name their app anything containing the word Flash, so I expect the search for the word "Flash" to not be very helpful.

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