Application developers who switch between player and debugger versions during development and testing can experience issues with Flash Player control installation and registration methods.

Before you begin

This page is for Flash and Flex developers only. If you are a consumer looking to upgrade Flash Player, see one of the following:

Developing for supported versions

Starting with the release of the December 18 2007 security bulletin, Adobe discontinued support of Adobe Flash Player 7 and no longer provided security updates. Adobe recommends that all Flash Player users on supported systems update to the most recent version of the player through the Flash Player Download Center.

Adobes support policy for Flash Player is to support the current and previous major release. Flash Player 7 was updated with security fixes as a courtesy to customers on Windows 95, Microsoft NT, and Macintosh Classic. It was also updated for Linux and Solaris customers before the availability of Flash Player 9.

If you use an unsupported configuration for the latest player or want to continue to use Adobe Flash Player 7, you can find the archived installers in Archived Flash Player versions. The information in this TechNote continues to apply to all developers testing Flash Player 7.

Solution

Select the appropriate Flash Player version.

The general uninstaller (uninstall_flash_player.exe) is designed to work with the new version-checking logic, and you can use it to remove Flash Player from the system. (This uninstaller is available in Uninstall Flash Player | Windows.) This unistaller is a general-purpose uninstaller that you can use to remove any version of Flash Player. If you want to switch from a later to an earlier version of Flash Player, Adobe recommends that you completely remove one version before you install another.

Installing prior versions of Flash Player can fail.

If you previously installed a later version of Flash Player for Internet Explorer, you can be prevented from installing an earlier version. For example, if you installed Flash Player 9.0.47.0, and attempted to install version 9.0.45.0, the installation failed. If the installation fails, follow the instructions in Install an earlier version of Flash Player | Internet Explorer | Windows.

Note: When testing for Windows Vista, the earliest player that is supported is 9.0.28.0. If you use Windows Vista and have an earlier player, update it.

Flash Player 10.1 or later


With the release of Flash Player 10.1 (Argo), the command-line arguments have changed significantly. Users are no longer required to use the -clean/-force argument to force a complete uninstall of Flash Player when using the stand-alone uninstaller. However, when using the FlashUtil.exe to uninstall, the user is still required to use the -force argument to perform a complete uninstall.

Note: The arguments listed below only apply to the EXE installer, not the MSI installer.

The new command-line arguments are:

  • -install: Perform a silent install of Flash Player.
  • -uninstall: Perform a silent uninstall of Flash Player.
    • Note: These arguments can be used with the stand-alone uninstaller, or with the FlashUtil .exe in \Macromed\Flash directory.
  • -uninstall {activex | plugin}: Perform an uninstall of a specific player, either ActiveX (Internet Explorer) or plug-in (other browsers).
    • Note: This argument can be used with the stand-alone uninstaller, or with the FlashUtil .exe in the \Macromed\Flash directory.
    • Note: When uninstalling a specific player, use a specific player type with the silent -uninstall argument. Otherwise, it doesn't work and both player types are uninstalled.

Flash Player 9.0.28.0 to 10.0.45.0

 

The utility file FlashUtil.exe is installed with Flash Player 9.0.28.0 to 10.0.45.0 (Coral) in the C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash directory. FlashUtil.exe includes functionality required by Windows Vista and by the auto-update notification process. The previous utility (UninstFl.exe) is no longer required by or installed with Flash Player.

The utility is versioned with the control. For example, FlashUtil9b.exe is installed with the control Flash9b.ocx. FlashUtil.exe also contains several options that developers can use to switch between player and debugger versions during testing. Developers can modify the default behavior by using the following command-line flags:

USAGE: %s [-uninstallUnlock] [-uninstallLock] [-uninstallControlPath] path]

  • If run with no flags, the auto-update notification dialog appears.
  • -uninstallUnlock: unlock the control. Grant write/delete permission to OCX and registry keys without erasing files.
  • -uninstallLock: lock the control. Deny write/delete permission.
  • -uninstallControlPath path: Optional; override the default path to the control. Must be used with one of the other flags. If omitted, the path is located based on registry information.

The default path is located in the registry key of:

HKCR\CLSID\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000}\InProcServer32

For example, C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash8b.ocx

The use of FlashUtil*.exe with the locking control is best illustrated with an example situation. While developing and testing content, you want to check playback in Flash Player 8 and Flash Player 9. You keep copies of the 8.0.24.0 and 9.0.28.0 controls in separate named directories. Version 9.0.28.0 is the currently registered control, and you want to switch to version 8.

First, unlock the registered control without deleting it so that you can switch back to it later:

FlashUtil9b.exe -uninstallUnlock c:\WINDOWS\System32\Macromed\Flash\Flash9b.ocx

Next, register the version 8 control:

regsvr32.exe c:\windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash8b.ocx

Now, version 8 is the currently registered Flash Player. The locking controls contain the self-registration code to lock the control.

Flash Player 9.0.16.0 or earlier

 

Some versions of Flash Player earlier than 9.0.28.0 are installed with an uninstaller program, UninstFl.exe, which is placed in the C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash directory.

Version Includes UninstFl.exe

Flash Player 7

7.0.63.0, 7.0.68.0 and later

Flash Player 8

8.0.24.0, 8.0.33.0 and later

Flash Player 9

9.0.16.0

The default behavior of UninstFl.exe is to prompt the user, unlock the control, unregister the control, and then delete the OCX, GetFlash.exe, and GetFlash.exe.manifest. UninstFl.exe does not remove itself and cannot remove files that are in use. UninstFl.exe only works on the new locking controls. Older controls do not contain the registration logic to lock or unlock the file and the UninstFl.exe doesn't recognize them for deletion. When run on older controls, GetFlash.exe and GetFlash.exe.manifest are deleted, but the control remains. To ensure complete removal of Flash Player, run the general uninstaller, uninstall_flash_player.exe. (This uninstaller is available in Uninstall Flash Player | Windows.)

UninstFl.exe also contains several options that developers can use to switch between player versions during testing. Developers can modify the default behavior by using the following command-line flags:

USAGE: %s [-quiet] [-unlock] [-lock] [filename]

Only the first character of a flag is relevant.

  • -q: Suppress prompt.
  • -u: Unlock; grant write/delete permission to OCX and registry keys without erasing files.
  • -l: Lock; deny write/delete permission.
  • Filename: Overrides the default path. The default path is located in registry key of HKCR\CLSID\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000}\InProcServer32. For example: C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash85.ocx

The use of UninstFl.exe with the locking controls is best illustrated with an example situation. While developing and testing content, check playback in Flash Player 7 and Flash Player 8. You keep copies of the 7.0.63.0 and 8.0.24.0 controls in separate named directories. Version 8 is the currently registered control, and you want to switch to version 7.

First, unlock the registered control without deleting it so that you can switch back to it later:

UninstFl.exe -u c:\windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash8.ocx

Next, register the version 7 control:

regsvr32.exe c:\windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash.ocx

Now, version 7 is the currently registered Flash Player. The locking controls contain the self-registration code to lock the control.

Additional information

The update to Flash Player 7 (7.0.63.0) and Flash Player 8 (8.0.24.0) included security enhancements and also introduced extra version-checking to the installation process. Because older installers and controls did not contain the new version-checking logic, the Flash Player control was locked upon installation. Beginning with this update, installers and uninstallers from Adobe are designed to work with this change. There is no impact to the user installation experience. Flash and Flex developers sometimes find it necessary to make slight modifications to their normal methods of switching between player versions during testing to account for this change.

Common installation issues:

Symptom Diagnosis  and solution

Attempts to delete the registered control manually or to delete the Macromed\Flash folder fail.

Diagnosis: The currently registered control is locked and cannot be manually deleted.

Solution: Run general uninstaller to remove all files, or Run uninstfl.exe -u, or FlashUtil.exe -uninstallUnlock, to unlock the registered control, and then delete manually.

Attempts to change the filename of the registered control fail.

Diagnosis: The currently registered control is locked and attempts to rename the control without unlocking the file fails.

Solution: Run uninstfl.exe -u, or FlashUtil.exe -uninstallUnlock, to unlock the control, and then rename the file.

Running regsvr32 on a flash*.ocx file returns the following error message:

Diagnosis: The currently registered control is locked and attempts to register an alternate version of the player without unlocking the registered player fails.

Solution: Run uninstfl.exe -u, or FlashUtil.exe -uninstallUnlock, on the currently registered control to unlock it. Then run regsvr32 on the desired version of Flash Player control to register it.

 

 

 

Keywords: updates; support policy; patches; troubleshooting; 4da116d3

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