Flash Player Will Not Install or
Windows Update for Flash Player Wont Install

Why Wont Flash Player Install?
Adobe Flash is a plugin for Internet Explorer and Firefox that allows active content to be displayed in your web browser. As with other third party programs, its updated on a regular basis. In many cases, the Flash Security Update KB923789 in Windows Update would not install properly. In other cases, you may have received an error "you must install a later version of the Macromedia Flash Player".

In April 2008, Adobe is releasing another security update that may cause issues too. Because of these problems, you may have to uninstall and reinstall the flash player to may it work properly. Follow the steps below to download the Flash Player Uninstaller and then reinstall it. In most cases, a reinstall will fix any issues with Flash Player.

Last week, a hacked flash ad injected into online advertising enabled malware to attack systems just by visitors viewing the infected web page.  These "malvertisements" may become commonplace in the future and are even more reason to uninstall any old versions of Adobe Flash Player and install the latest version. Read more about Flash Security further down the page.

Download the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller


Many times, just uninstalling and reinstalling the Adobe Flash Player from the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel will not solve the problem. If the Flash Player is corrupted, it may not remove properly and therefore an new installations will not proceed correctly. Click on the following link to download the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller and save it to your desktop.

http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/alternates/

Run the uninstaller program and then reboot your computer to complete the uninstall.

Download the latest version of Flash Player

Now that Adobe Flash has been uninstalled, go to the Adobe site and download the latest flash player.

http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer

Security Level Issues Won't Allow Flash Player to Download

Sometimes, browser security will not allow you to download the Flash Player correctly. If this happens in Internet Explorer, check the following items to allow the download.

To change your security level:
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on Tools, Internet Options
  3. Click on the Security Tab
  4. Click Custom Level
  5. Find the section titled "ActiveX controls and plug-ins"
  6. Choose Prompt for "Download Signed ActiveX Controls"
  7. Choose Prompt for "Run ActiveX Controls and Plug-ins"
  8. Click OK twice to close the options screen
Checking for the Flash Killbit in the Registry

Microsoft has an option in the Windows registry that can be set to disallow an Active X control from running. This killbit will sometimes be set by a malware application to cause further problems for the user. This happened just a few days ago on a clients computer. I completed every other procedure for fixing the Flash player and it was installed. However, when the customer went to a flash enabled site they were greeted with a message that Flash needed to be installed even though it already was installed.

Follow these steps to check for this killbit for the Flash player and fix it.


1) Click Start, Run and type REGEDIT (for Windows XP) or Click the Start Orb and type REGEDIT in the search box and open it (For Windows Vista/7)

2) Navigate to the following registry key
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • SOFTWARE
  • Microsoft
  • Internet Explorer
  • ActiveX Compatibility
  • {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}
3) If that particular key does not exist, then the killbit for Flash is not set, however if it contains a DWORD entry for Compatibility Flags and the value is set for anything different than 0x00000000, then the killbit has been set and this is the reason why Flash is not appearing.

4) You can delete the registry entry if the killbit is set, or change the value to 0x00000000

5) Close the Registry Editor and test flash player again.


More Troubleshooting Help for Flash Player


If this procedure does not allow you to install Adobe Flash, you may want to visit the Troubleshooting FAQ on Adobe's site.

Flash Security

Because of the recent vulnerabilities found in Flash applications that allow malware code to be released when a flash file is viewed, you may want to turn flash off when viewing flash enabled websites. This is a more extreme measure, but should be considered.

Here are some utilities that will help turn flash off when needed.

For Internet Explorer:
  • TurnFlash - a utility to turn flash on or off from the system tray
  • No! Flash - free utility to disable flash, java, and more
For Firefox:
  • FlashBlock - an add-on extension to block flash, shockwave, and authorware in Firefox
To read more about this flash vulnerability visit the Windows Secrets article

Written by Mark Hasting


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