Identifying Flash Player When Disconnected

In my work I regularly work with software that (unfortunately) has a dependence on Adobe Flash Player. There can be compatibility issues with particular version combinations and so occasionally I find myself needing to verify Flash player versions. Normally I’m able to do this by visiting any of a variety of web sites that can query the version number of Flash player. However I recently found myself in a position where I was remotely accessing a client machine, but it had no Internet provision meaning I couldn’t query it from any of the usual sites I use. Instead I employed a simple trick to work out the Flash player version.

I created a new text file on the remote computer; it was a Windows machine so I used the explorer context menu options of New > Text Document. I renamed the file to have an SWF file extension. SWF files are Shockwave Flash files and can be interpreted and run by Flash player.

Once created I opened a new browser tab and then dragged and dropped the file into the tab. The browser attempts to load the file into Flash player, but will obviously fail. In doing so, Flash player is active in the tab and right clicking on the page will display the Flash player menu and on the menu is the Flash Player version.

A handy little tip for what was an unusual and generally frustrating situation.

Author: Stephen Millard

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