Adobe releases 64-bit Flash player

Like that old guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Flash isn’t dead, yet. Ten months ago, I wrote that Adobe had a publicly-available beta of a 64-bit Flash player. The beta is now complete, and Adobe released the player today. You can download it from their web site. If you’re running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 (or Vista, heaven forbid), do this. It will improve your experience and make your browsing more stable.

If you aren’t sure whether you’re running the x64 version of Windows, here’s how you find out: press Windows key + Pause. This displays the System Properties screen, where you should see something like this:

System properties screen

A few things to look out for:

The installation page might guess wrong that you’re running 32-bit Windows, and show you this:

32-bit system screen

If that happens, click the “Do you have…” link and choose 64-bit. You may also need to download two versions of the installer: one for Internet Explorer, and another for all other browsers.

One other gotcha to look for: the screen will display a check box to install the Google toolbar or a trial of McAfee anti-virus. By default, the box is checked, so I had to make sure to un-check it. This is very irritating. Whether you call it “shovelware” or “foistware”, it’s very easy to overlook, and then your computer has stuff you didn’t want, slowing it down. This is especially bad for installing anti-virus software, since it will conflict with the one you already have one running. You do have one running…right?

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