Uninstalling Safari Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Plugin

The Adobe Flash Player 10.1 plugin for Safari kept crashing so I have uninstalled it. Let me tell you my story.

Unlike most people my default and only browser is Safari 5.0. I like my MBP system to be simple and clutter free. Safari allows me to get rid of almost everything and just have three icons, an address bar and the search bar. That’s it. Clean and simple. The rest of the functions I toggle with keystrokes; it only took about ten minutes to figure out most of them. Safari is generally quite fast and renders DisplayBlog very well, just the way I like it. Yes, I should test how my blog looks on different browsers and I do, just not on my MBP.

For quite some time Safari has been rock-solid but like almost all software there are times when it has problems. The main symptom is that the beach ball starts to spin and doesn’t stop for a while. And when it stops, almost always there’s a nice little dialog box telling me: “Flash Player (Safari Internet plug-in) quit unexpectedly.” Unfortunately, these dialog boxes aren’t completely unexpected. After upgrading to Flash Player 10.1 I expected better performance, but more importantly less plugin crashes. Here’s what Adobe promises:

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is the first runtime release of the Open Screen Project that enables uncompromised Web browsing of expressive applications, content and video across devices. With support for a broad range of mobile devices, including smartphones, netbooks, smartbooks and other Internet-connected devices, Flash Player 10.1 allows your content to reach your customers wherever they are.

When it works. And recently I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated each time the Flash player plugin crashes. I use Flash for one main purpose: Google Analytics. I don’t watch Hulu. I sign on YouTube’s HTML5 version so no problems there. I’ve stopped playing all of Facebook’s time-sucking Flash games. I do see a lot of sites using Flash though. Just as a side note: the most silly ones are small Flash snippets that are used instead of text. And I have to click it just to see what it says. Ridiculous.

I don’t think Steve Jobs was exaggerating in his Thoughts on Flash article:

Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now.

I still need Google Analytics. But I’m willing to give up a lot of Analystics functionality just so I don’t have to deal with this Flash player plugin crashing BS. So here’s how you get rid of the Flash Player plugin. You can be Flash-free too. It’s very simple. Get rid of anything that says Flash of Shockwave or swf in these two directories on your Mac:

/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/

The tilde (~) in the directory path name is just a shortcut for your user account name. For instance, if your name is John the directory would be:

/Users/John/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/

As of now I am Flash-free and free of Flash Player plugin crashes. I feel good like I’m free from some parasite or disease. And I expect to continue feeling good. I’m not a software expert and I can’t tell you if these crashes are caused by OS 10.6, Safari 5, lots of opened tabs, faulty Flash implementations on websites, the Flash Player 10.1 plugin, or some combination. But, I can tell you this: my MBP hardly crashes at all. I have not experienced consistent software crashes like this before* and I don’t expect to as long as the Flash player plugin stays off of my MBP. So Google can you build an HMTL 5 version of Google Analytics? I would really appreciate that.

* There is one exception: the crappy and unstable WiBRO Mac connection utility that I am using in Korea.