Fix Adobe Flash update installers not opening

FlashIconXIn the past few days, Apple issued an update to its XProtect anti-malware system in OS X, part of which blocks versions of Adobe’s Flash Player internet plug-in for security purposes. If you need flash for your browsing, then after XProtect has been updated on your system, you will see a notice appear on Web pages that require flash, which states you need to update it. However, you may find that upon visiting Adobe’s site and downloading Flash, you are left with an unknown file on your Mac that you cannot open.

This happens because Adobe’s site manages download files without providing a direct link to them, and when you download, the disk image file will be named with a .mdlp extension. The downloaded file is a .dmg disk image, and you can likely see this if you look closely at the file name, so the fix for this problem is as simple as renaming the file:

  1. Select your downloaded .mdlp file
  2. Press Enter to edit the file name
  3. Change the .mdlp to .dmg, or simply give it any name that ends with “.dmg”
  4. Confirm this change in the warning that pops up

After doing this, the file should now appear like a classic disk image, and opening it should have it mount on your Mac so you can run the installer contained within it.

Adobe Flash .mdlp file

Renaming the file and changing its extension to .dmg will have it be recognized as a proper disk image.

9 thoughts on “Fix Adobe Flash update installers not opening

  1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    I didn’t have the problem this time around, but I’ve seen it before. The file suffix is supposed to change to .dmg automatically after the download completes, but this does not always happen. Sometimes Adobe will use an app to download a file and this downloader app can be buggy. There’s also the case that Adobe doesn’t always use the same naming conventions for its files; the one I got through MacUpdate is named install_flash_player_16_osx.dmg. The one I got when I dug it out of the Adobe web site is AdobeFlashPlayerInstaller_16_ltrosxd_aaa_aih.dmg. I have no idea why they’re different, but the mounted disk image looks different as well. This seems to be a common issue with Adobe, providing different packages for the same software. I think they have an entire department in charge of finding ways to confuse users.

  2. Lawrence

    I have the Flash preference panel set to automatically download and install Flash updates. I received today without issue. You can also set it to download and ask to install. I don’t understand why people are going to Adobe’s website to manually download the updates.

    1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

      Some people may be installing Flash for the first time and need to find it without benefit of the Flash system preference pane. Others just don’t know they can use the preference pane to download it. Admittedly going to the Adobe web site to find anything can be a challenging experience. It was designed to market software, not help users find solutions.

    1. xAirbusdriver

      Unfortunately, there are still many sites that do not offer any other ‘video’ player format. Ustream’s NASA feeds, for example.

    2. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

      What Adobe stuff is “all” to you? You may get by without Flash, if you don’t mind web sites telling you that you need to install it to view their content. In my opinion ClickToFlash is a better alternative – that way you have Flash if you do need it and don’t get all those bothersome notices. If you don’t use Flash at all on the web then you apparently live in a very small world. Which is fine, it’s your world after all. You can, of course, do without Adobe Reader on the Mac because Preview can open most PDF content.

      But if you don’t use other Adobe products, chances are you are not a digital artist or photographer – not a professional one, anyway.

  3. Chris Hart, Independent Mac Consultant, Connecticut

    I recommend avoiding Adobe’s proprietary installer entirely. At this Adobe page…. ….you can always get the latest Flash Player as a complete OSX installer package. Look for the link titled “Download DMG Installer (for System Administrators)”

  4. hydrovacing

    Saw a tip recently that instead of using the installer, you right click and click “Show Package Contents” . One there look for Resources Folder and navigate into it and double click “Adobe Flash Player.pkg”. Seems to get by what ever the dmg was hanging up on.

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