I wasn’t really satisfied with Flash’s auto update feature because it is not fast enough to inform me to update to the latest version when Flash is one of the common method for drive-by attacks. Manually checking and updating Flash version is also quite troublesome because there are a few steps to go through. While I was reviewing Alternative Flash Player Auto-Updater software, I had to do some research on how Adobe Flash Player update mechanism works. If you go to Control Panel in Windows, you should see a Flash Player icon. At the Advanced tab of Flash Player Settings Manager, you can only set it to automatically check for update or never check for update. Unfortunately there is no way to know how often does Flash checks for update there.
When I continued researching, I found that we can actually select how frequently we want Flash Player to check for updates at the online Global Notifications Settings panel. The default selection is 7 days which I think is rather too long and shockingly I couldn’t set or select any number smaller than that.
My first idea was to locate where the setting is saved to so that I can hack the file and manually change the update interval to 1 day. Using SysTracer, I found out that the Flash Player settings are saved to a file called settings.sol located very deep inside Windows.
Fortunately there is already an editor called Sol Editor that can be used to edit .SOL files. I opened the settings.sol file, changed the autoUpdateInterval value to 1 and save it. This seems to work but the problem is whenever I access the online Global Notifications Settings panel, the autoUpdateInterval value will be automatically reverted back to 7.
I researched further by going through the Adobe Flash Player administration guide and found that there is an official way to configure Flash Player auto-update notification that is meant for IT administrator. All we need to do is create a mms.cfg file with the update interval settings and store it to Flash directory in Windows.
1. Run Notepad.
2. Copy and paste the two lines below into Notepad. You may want to change the AutoUpdateInterval value according to the amount of days you want it to auto check.
3. Click on the File menu and select Save As. Set the file name as mms.cfg and make sure you select All Files (*.*) for Save as type or else you will end up with mms.cfg.txt which will not work. Set the Encoding to UTF-8.
4. Browse to the following location according to your Windows version. %WINDIR% refers to your Windows directory name.
32-bit Windows – %WINDIR%\System32\Macromed\Flash
64-bit Windows – %WINDIR%\SysWow64\Macromed\Flash
5. Click Save.
The mms.cfg file will override the users settings and users cannot change it through the online Global Notifications Settings panel. If you set the the AutoUpdateInterval value to 0, it will check for updates every time the player launches and the player is normally launched when you’re logged in to Windows.