Adobe Flash Player supports notification of software updates by periodically checking for new versions of the player on the Adobe website. Flash Player never runs in the background to perform the auto-update check. The check is only performed when the player is loaded to view rich media content, typically in the browser. By default, the check only occurs if it has been at least seven days since the last time it checked for updates. IT administrators can customize the update notification behavior for their users. The auto-update notification settings can be configured in two ways: user settings or an administrator deployed configuration file.
User configuration of auto-update notification
Users can set the frequency of the checks or disable auto-update notification by using the Flash Player Settings Manager. These user-configured, auto-update settings are stored in a local shared object on the user's computer.
To learn how individual users can disable autoupdate, see How to disable auto-update notification in Flash Player.
Enabling the background update process
On computers running Microsoft Windows with Flash Player 11.2 installed, a Flash Player background update can install the update silently in the background. No user interaction is required. A background update installs both the ActiveX and plug-in players, when appropriate.
Background update is disabled by default. To enable it, edit the mms.cfg file, as shown below:
If background updates are enabled, the task checks for an update once every 24 hours. If no network or Internet connection is available at the time of the check, the task checks again every hour until a connection is detected. After the next successful check, another check does not occur for 24 hours.
If you have a browser open during an update, some browsers don't use the updated player until a new browser instance launches. For example, it's necessary to restart Firefox to use the updated player. Browser instances open during the update process continue to use the previous player version.
If Flash Player is updated while Internet Explorer is running on Windows 7, a warning appears when the browser loads the new player version. Alternatively, restart the browser to load the newly installed player.
Administrator configuration of auto-update notification and background update process
Administrators can configure auto-update notification settings by deploying a file named mms.cfg. The mms.cfg file is intended for configuration by an IT administrator, and is stored on the user's computer. Flash Player installation does not create the file. You can use third-party administration tools, such as Microsoft System Management Server, to replicate the configuration file to the user's desktop.
The mms.cfg file is a UTF-8 text file. The format of the mms.cfg file is a series of name=value pairs separated with carriage returns. If a parameter is not set in the file, Flash Player assumes the default value. When set, values in this file override the user-configured settings stored in a per-user local shared object.
Note: Settings in mms.cfg override the users settings and users cannot change it through Settings Manager. Settings Manager, as the user sees it, doesn't reflect configuration settings that mms.cfg sets.
If you are deploying Flash Player 8 or later, store the mms.cfg file in the following location depending on the operating system:
- Windows NT, 2000 -- C:\WINNT\System32\Macromed\Flash
- Windows XP, Vista -- C:\WINDOWS\System32\Macromed\Flash
- Windows 95, 98, or ME -- C:\Windows\System\Macromed\Flash
- Windows 64 bit -- C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
- Macintosh -- /Mac HD/Library/Application Support/Macromedia
For player versions earlier than Flash Player 8, store the mms.cfg file in the following location depending on the operating system:
- Windows NT, 2000--C:\WINNT\System32
- Windows XP, Vista-- C:\WINDOWS\System32
- Windows 95, 98, or ME--C:\Windows\System
- Windows 64 bit -- C:\Windows\SysWOW64
- Macintosh-- /Application Support/Macromedia
Note: Flash Player 8 and later versions can read mms.cfg from either the new or old location. If mms.cfg exists in both locations, Flash Player 8 reads settings from the new location.
The following table describes settings in the mms.cfg file:
0 allows auto-update based on user settings.
<0 (or absent)
Takes a numeric value.
<0 (or absent) uses value from player settings.
1 allows background update.
Enable background update process
Administrators can verify the mms.cfg configuration has disabled auto-update by using a packet sniffer with the following test:
- Open a web page with Flash content to start Flash Player. A simple page with a single piece of Flash content is best, to minimize the network traffic in the packet sniffer log. The packet sniffer shows the auto-update request traffic to http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/
Note: Avoid using www.macromedia.com as your test page, since the auto-update request is lost in the other file requests.
For more details on the additional parameters you can control with the mms.cfg file, see the Adobe Flash Player Administration Guide.