Changes to Adobe Flash Player Background Updater

Since we first released the new Background Updater for Flash Player, there were two major things that many people mentioned as having the potential for some improvement.


The first thing that many of you (as well as other blogs) mentioned was the desire to deploy Flash Player updates through this new updating mechanism on internal networks that have restricted access to the internet. A little more than a week ago, we documented the process how to achieve this and the response so far has been very positive. It’s very exciting to see how many bright people are out there that have this already implemented, or even wrote scripts to automatically mirror the official Adobe backend.


The second thing that was mentioned a lot was the desire to not have the installer configure a scheduled task and service if the Background Updater wasn’t chosen as the update mechanism by the user. I’m happy to say that this has officially changed in today’s update to Flash Player 11.2. When you download and install this version, you will notice that when you select the option to be notified of updates or to disable updates, the installer will no longer install a task or a service. If you change your mind, you can always go to the Flash Player Settings Manager in the Windows Control Panel. If you select to be automatically updated, we will again install the service and the task for you.


This second point was heavily driven by your feedback on my previous blog post that introduced the Background Updater. Give yourselves a pat on the back on our behalf and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Well done!

28 Responses to Changes to Adobe Flash Player Background Updater

  1. sathyamoorthi says:

    what about debug flash player. if you give auto update for them will be nice.

    • Stephen Pohl says:


      Debug versions of Flash Player are generally aimed at Flash/ActionScript developers. What we’ve heard from these users is that they would prefer that we don’t modify their installed debug versions of Flash Player. This because they may be in the process of debugging their Flash/ActionScript applications, and an update to Flash Player might change the behavior ever so slightly.

      Hope this helps.

  2. mechBgon says:

    Sorry to report that Flash Player on IE9 is still at war with our Software Restriction Policy, so we are effectively forced to choose between our SRP, or updating from 11.1 and abandoning SRP (not going to happen). I’ve tried your prior suggestion of installing Flash Player manually prior to enforcing SRP, and running IE9 once to let it “settle in.” That doesn’t work. Please offer the engineers a pizza party if they resolve this 😉

  3. xAdmin says:

    Thank you very much for listening! I just updated to the latest version and noticed the scheduled task and service are gone after choosing to disable automatic updates. I no longer have to manually go disable them. Awesome! 🙂

  4. Ludovic says:

    I’m happy that Adobe listened about schedule task and service.
    But how can I choose the option to disable updates when I use the commandline with the msiexec.exe and the msi to silent install or update the Flash Player ?
    Thank your for your help.

  5. Jonathan says:

    This is still far from perfect. If you deploy using the MSI and even if you have a MMS.CFG present that disables all updating, it still creates the scheduled task and service. The only time it doesn’t create them, or it removes them, is if you install via the GUI and pick never update.

    • Stephen Pohl says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Agreed, this isn’t perfect yet. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe I made the claim that it was perfect. 🙂

      There is an added complexity with the MSI installers in that you loose some of the control if you deploy via MSI. For example, the only way to modify the behavior of Flash Player, or its updaters, after an installation is via the mms.cfg configuration file. As you can see, changing the update behavior via mms.cfg can only work if the service and task is already installed on the system. Modifying a text file after the installation simply isn’t enough to recreate a scheduled task and service.

      Granted, it may be rare that an enterprise environment will want to change its update behavior. This is why we’re looking into supporting command line arguments for the MSI installers which would let you choose your desired update behavior. If this is something that you’d like to see in an upcoming release, I’ll gladly add your vote to this work item. Even better, if you have 5 minutes to spare, I encourage you to open an official bug in our Flash Player bug base.

      Hope this helps.

  6. Stefan Brutscher says:

    I didn’t find a solution to deactivate Adobe Auto Updater with the MSI Deployment.

    Test it with Version 11.3.300.257.

  7. Bonnie Beresford says:

    A few days ago I got an automatic request to update my Adobe Flash Player (version 11.3.300.262) and I said Yes.
    It began the update and then had to abort, although I don’t know why and didn’t save any info on that because I figured it would try again soon. Since then the updater began sending me requests about sending, or not sending , error reports. No matter what I say, ie send the report or don’t send, it has now morphed into asking me this same thing almost constantly, that is, I am continually getting Error Report messages all referring to this update. How do I make it stop??

    Error signature (re Adobe Flash Player Update Service 11.3r300)

    szAppName:FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe szAppVer:11.3.300.262

    szModName:ntdll.dll szModVer:5.1.2600.6055 offset:000113c0

    Files included in report:



  8. Wandas says:

    A Flash updater error message keeps popping on my screen. Says it will have to close. I ‘don’t send’ it, and my movie or recording continue as normal. I’ll try to get a screen shot of it, but i’m not real computer savy. What could this problem be and what can I do to solve it. I’ve already uninstalled and reinstalled.

  9. Reto says:

    I am running Windows 7 64bit. I never wanted to install Flash Player 64bit but this new version always installs both 32bit and 64bit. Is there a way to select?

    • Stephen Pohl says:

      Hi Reto,

      As you may have noticed, there is currently no way to select this. If you feel this is something that you need, please feel free to open an enhancement request in our bug base.

  10. Jerry says:

    An automatic Adobe Flash Player update today caused my PlayOn program to “freeze”. Is it possible for me to change this automatic update feature on my computer so that this problem does not recur?

    • Stephen Pohl says:

      Hi Jerry,

      Sure, you can control your update behavior from the Flash Player Settings Manager. The Settings Manager is in the Windows Control Panel. It seems like you may want to select notification updates instead of automatic ones until this issue is fixed.

      Please don’t forget to report your issue in the Flash Player forums and/or to log a bug in our bug base, if you haven’t already. This will help getting this issue resolved in an upcoming release.


  11. Christopher Wilson says:

    We run Faronics Deep Freeze on all student computers here at campus. Is there an MSI version of Flash, Reader updater so we can install this package after hours?

  12. Andy Knowles says:

    The 11.4.402.265 msi seems to support ISAUTOMATICUPDATES=2 public property to turn off automatic updates. Much easier than having to create a transform containing the mms.cfg file every time an update comes out.

    • Stephen Pohl says:

      Hi Andy,

      Hi Andy,

      My understanding is that ISAUTOMATICUPDATES=2 will not create the mms.cfg. Our updating mechanisms check this file to see which update option was selected by the system administrator. In the absence of this file, the updater will fall back to default values, which currently is to notify when updates are available.

      Are you saying that ISAUTOMATICUPDATES=2 creates the mms.cfg file for you?