Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Preventing Adobe Flash, Shockwave and Adobe Acrobat Reader from AutoUpdating

When you set up mandatory profiles for your users or you want to limit access on a computer that is a locked down workstation one of the greatest frustrations are programs that inject their own autoupdate feature and constantly go out and check and try to install updates whether you want them or not. Then when users without proper access try to load the updates they fail and get frustrated prompting a help desk call. Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader and Shockwave are such culprits.

Fortunately there IS a way for administrators to place a file on the users hard disk that will let you disable the autoupdate feature of Adobe Flash. I found a KB article on the Adobe website which explains how to create a file called mms.cfg that can be dropped in the Flash folder on the users hard disk that will stop the autoupdate prompting. (note user who have access can disable autoupdate via the interface. This link has instructions.)

To create the file simply open up Notepad and create a line that reads as follows:


Use Save as to save the file with the name MMS.cfg as UTF-8 format

To deploy use AD or SMS or some other management tool for your network to Copy the mmd.cfg file out to your workstations to the Windows\System32\macromed\flash folder for versions of Adobe Flash 8 and above and to the Windows\System32 folder for previous versions of flash.

There are many more settings for the mms.cfg file for administrators to manipulate how flash reacts and they can be found on page 22 of the following Adobe Manual:

And for Adobe Shockwave use this link at the Adobe site that explains how you disable autoupdate for Adobe Shockwave via the interface. http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_16683

While I am at it I will point out how to disable AutoUpdate on Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a little more convoluted though. The AdobeUpdaterPrefs.dat is the file you need to edit that determines updates and it is in the users profile located at:
%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\Updater5\

Open the AdobeUpdatePrefs.dat file in notepad and look for the following lines:
To disable the updates for Adobe Acrobat Reader change the value from 1 to 0. If the lines do not exist in the file you could certainly add them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For adobe reader you can also create a custom msi with adobe customization wizard and remove the updater part.