Adobe Flash has caused many problems in the past, with critical vulnerabilities being exposed right after the company releases security updates.

The security flaws have affected Flash for Windows, Mac and Linux. With Flash already assigned to history, these vulnerabilities aren’t helping its survival. 

You might have also seen telltale "Blocked Plug-in" when attempting to view Flash content in Safari - all of which leads to us and Apple suggesting that you should stop using Flash Player all together and adopt HTML5 content.

In macOS Sierra, Safari 10 now disables Adobe's Flash Player by default - an option you had to previously select to disable. Suggesting Apple no longer wants its customers to be exposed to Flash vulnerabilities and wants you running on HTML5, the newer, safer way of browsing the web.

In this article we outline how to uninstall Flash Player on Mac and the various Flash-fixes we've noted along the years.

How to uninstall Flash Player on your Mac

Download the uninstaller from Adobe. You can find it here.

There’s a different version depending on the age of your operating system. The newest is for OS X 10.6, but don’t worry, it covers all subsequent versions of the OS.

Launch the uninstaller from your Downloads folder on your Mac.

When the uninstaller runs, click Uninstall.

Enter your admin password and close all your browsers.

When the uninstaller has finished it is also wise to delete a couple of folders, according to Adobe. These can be found in the home directory’s Library folder. Go to Finder, click Go in the menu and hold down Alt (or Option) to make the Library folder appear as a drop-down menu. Locate these two folders and delete them:

~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\ Player

~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash\ Player

How to install Flash Player on your Mac, stop Blocked Plug-in warnings

What if having removed Flash you decide you can’t live without it? Or perhaps you are being badgered by the "Blocked Plug-in" reminders when you are browsing the web and want to watch the videos or play the games that require the plug in. Here’s how to install Flash Player on your Mac.

1. Click the Flash out-of-date button

2. Click on Download Flash

This will take you to: which is a legitimate site – if you ever get taken to a site that is clearly not Adobe be very cautious, it is likely you are being taken to a malicious site  

3. Click on Install Now

The download is ~14.9 MB

4. Wait while the download is initialising

5. You will see the download appear in your Downloads folder

6. Double click on the installer

7. Click on Install Adobe Flash Player

8. This window appears whenever you download an app from the internet, it’s designed to protect you if the app might not be legitimate. You know that this is a legitimate download from Adobe. Click Open

9. Add your password

10. Wait for the install

11. You will have to close any programs that also require Flash before you can install the update, click Close All

12. Click Continue

13. Wait for the install

14. Click Finish

Why is Flash Player not working on my web browser?

You may see a “Flash out-of-date” button on the web page, which when clicked directs you to visit Adobe’s website and download Flash from there.

You may also see the alert: "Blocked Plug-in" when attempting to view Flash content in Safari.

Flash Player will often stop working on a Mac. This is a common problem. Apple will block Flash if the version on your system is out of date. By stopping older versions of Flash from running Apple is able to guard against security vulnerabilities that could allow malware to be delivered to your Mac via Flash Player.

You might be glad to see the back of Flash if it means you don’t have to watch web ads, but many of the UK on demand channels still use it, such as All4. However, iPlayer has now moved away from Flash to HTML5 so it may only be a matter of time before the others catch up.

Some people want to use Flash on their iPad and iPhone, perhaps to allow them to play Flash videos and games on your iPad. To find out what to do read: How to get Flash on an iPad and iPhone.

Blocked plug-in for All4, how do I get it back?

While blocking Flash might mean However you are being greeted by fewer adverts, you will no doubt have noticed that All4 (previously 4OD) and other on demand services no longer work. Follow the guide below to reinstall Flash.

Should I update Flash Player?

You may find you can live without Flash Player. There was a time when lots of websites relied on Flash, but now-a-days sites are gravitating towards HTML5.

One of the main users of Flash was YouTube, but now Google's YouTube defaults to HTML5.

Can you live without Flash? If you aren't watching 4OD and other sites that require Flash on the Mac, you may find you can survive without it. But there may be things that stop working that you do need including some web apps.

If you can live without these apps then not having Flash running on your Mac may protect you from malware, and you may also benefit because your browser will not be suffering from crashes due to faults in Flash.

Is Flash Player safe?

Flash has a long history with security vulnerabilities that put users at risk, so we can't really give it the green light.

HTML5 v Flash

One reason for Flash's demise it HTML5, which is an open standard supported natively across a variety of devices and platforms including PC web browsers, mobile devices, and smart TVs.

Flash, by comparison, is proprietary technology owned and controlled by Adobe. Even though Flash was long considered the de facto standard for web-based video, it isn't a native component of most browsers and either has to be enabled with a built-in plugin or a downloadable one from Adobe.

Java vulnerabilitues

It's not only Flash that can be plagued by security flaws. Java can also suffer from vulnerabilities and has come under fire as the means by which hackers have been able to gain control of computers. In April 2012 more than 600,000 Macs were reported to have been infected with a Flashback Trojan horse that was being installed on people's computers with the help of Java exploits. Apple has already stopped bundling Java with OS X by default. You can read about how to disable Java on your Mac here.