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Under Add-ons + plugins, i have three versions of Shockwave Flash. Can I remove the two oldest versions (22.0 and 23.0) and if so how?

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  • Last reply by jscher2000

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First: Is Adobe Flash and Shockwave Flash the same product with different names? Question: Occasionally I receive a message that indicates "Shockwave Flash" has stopped and ask do I want to continue or stop/close the notification. I normally select stop or close and I continue. Reviewing the pulgins, I notice I have three Shockwave Flash versions listed. Two of them ( version 22.0 r0 and 23.0 r0) have "Shockwave Fleash is known to be vulnerable and should be updated." message with an "update now." message above the plugin name. The third version (24.0 r0) does not have any messages. Can I remove the two older version without causing other abnormal issues? Why doesn't Firefox delete the older versions when installing new versions of the plugin?

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Yes, it's a very good idea to clean this up.

The official name of the plugin on the Add-ons page is "Shockwave Flash" because back in the day, Shockwave was a hot format and Flash was the newcomer. Times change, and for some reason Adobe hasn't gotten around to cleaning up the inconsistencies.

Normally Adobe's installer will remove old versions, but if they are considered to be "in use" they will linger beyond their shelf life. Because the plugins are stored outside of your Firefox profile folder (under C:\Windows, normally), Firefox does not offer a Remove button. You won't see a Remove button for any add-on installed in a shared location.

In order to clean up the multiple files, you have two options:

(1) Official method: full uninstall/reinstall. Adobe has an uninstaller for this purpose:

Then reinstall the latest version.

(2) Unofficial method: delete the old files by hand. If you type or paste about:plugins in the address bar and press Enter or Return to load that page, it lists the full path to each Flash plugin file. On 64-bit Windows, that's usually


It's usually safe to find and remove the specific files listed on about:plugins (keeping just the latest one).

Since the folder stores files used by other applications, please be very surgical in your deletions.

Because that's a protected folder, you might encounter some resistance from Windows, in which case, it might be easier to use the official method.