Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found Scam

Also Known As: "Adobe Flash Player was not found" virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found removal instructions

What is Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found?

"Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found" is a fake error message displayed by a malicious website. Research shows that users often visit this website inadvertently - they are redirected by various potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that infiltrate systems without permission. As well as causing redirects, PUPs deliver various intrusive advertisements (coupons, banners, pop-ups, etc.), gather various sensitive data, and might also misuse system resources.

Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found adware

The "Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found" error states that the page cannot be loaded correctly and the installed Adobe Flash Player application is not up-to-date. It also encourages users to immediately update this tool, however, as mentioned above, "Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found" is fake - it is merely a scam. Firstly, it is displayed no matter which version of Flash Player is installed (even if it is up-to-date). Secondly, rather than downloading updates, victims will download malware. At time of research, this scam was distributed with a virus that steals passwords. Previously, these scams were known to spread adware and ransomware-type viruses. In any case, ignore the "Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found" error and never click the "Download" button. Your applications should be updated using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Immediately exit any malicious websites. In some cases, these websites use scripts that prevent users from closing tabs, clicking "Back", and performing other tasks. In this case, close the web browser (preferably, via Task Manager) or reboot the system. After re-running the browser, never click "Restore Closed Tabs", otherwise you will return to the malicious site.

As mentioned above, potentially unwanted programs often deliver various intrusive advertisements. To achieve this, developers employ various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, these advertisements can lead to malicious websites and even run scripts that download/install malware. Therefore, even a single click might result in high-risk computer infections. Information tracking is also an issue. Potentially unwanted programs often gather various data that might be classed as confidential. PUP developers later sell this data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, the presence of information-tracking apps can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter such redirects, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, potentially unwanted programs misuse system resources to perform various unnecessary tasks (e.g., to mine cryptocurrency). In doing so, they significantly reduce overall system performance. Therefore, you are strongly advised to uninstall all PUPs immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name"Adobe Flash Player was not found" virus
Threat TypeAdware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
SymptomsSeeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
DamageDecreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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"Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found" shares many similarities with ACTION CENTER, Windows Support Alert, Microsoft Azure, and dozens of other fake errors. All state that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, etc.), however, unlike "Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found", most of these errors do not offer any downloads. They encourage victims to contact "certified technicians" via telephone numbers provided, however, rather than contacting technical support, criminals are directed to cyber criminals who claim to be computer technicians. Most fake errors are essentially designed to trick unsuspecting users into paying for technical services that are not required (all claims regarding computer issues are false). Potentially unwanted programs also share many similarities. By offering various "useful features", PUPs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, rather than giving any real value for regular users, they pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

As mentioned above, PUPs typically infiltrate systems without permission. Most are distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", and the aforementioned intrusive ads. "Bundling" is stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs together with regular software/apps. Developers do not disclose these installations properly - they hide "bundled" apps within various sections (most likely "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes. Many users rush and skip these procedures. In addition, they click various advertisements. This behavior exposes their systems to risk of various infections.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior - the key to safety is caution. Therefore, be very cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet in general. Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Furthermore, download your applications from official sources only and, preferably, using a direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are typically promoted using the "bundling" method (they promote rogue apps). Therefore, these tools should not be used. Intrusive ads often appear legitimate, but redirect to gambling, adult dating pornography, and other dubious websites. If you encounter these redirects, immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions.

Text presented in "Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found" pop-up:

Adobe Flash Player 28.0.0.126 was not found

The web page you are trying to load is displayed incorrectly, as it uses the "Adobe Flash Player 28.0.0.126". To fix the error and display the next you have to update the "Adobe Flash Player".

Manufacturer: Adobe Systems Software Ireland Ltd
Current Version: Adobe Flash Player 26.3.3.500
Latest version: Adobe Flash Player 28.0.0.126

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "adobe flash player was not found" virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "adobe flash player was not found" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Adobe Flash Player Was Not Found ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "adobe flash player was not found" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "adobe flash player was not found" virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "adobe flash player was not found" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Adobe Flash Player was not found virus QR code
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