Apple tip: kill Flash in Safari without quitting Safari

By Grant Jacobs 24/09/2010

It’s Friday. Temporary freedom!

(Looks around furtively.)

I can post something that’s not science can’t I?

Nevermind the silly introduction. Below is a quick tip to a common problem for users of the Safari web browser.

Update: This tip applies to Safari versions 5.0 and earlier. As of Safari 5.1, Flash is a plugin.

Kill Flash in Safari without quitting Safari

Safari is Apple’s web browser. I’m probably more a fan of Opera than Safari, but Safari is the default web browser for Apple computers. Not that that means much given the ease you can install any of the alternatives but, let’s face it, we’re all lazy. One huge drawback is that Adobe’s Flash seems to induce hangs. Here’s how you can kill Flash if Safari starts to beachball:


  • Open Activity Monitor (under Utilities).
  • Show the processes by ’All Process, Hierarchically’.
  • Locate ‘launchd’ (the launch daemon).
  • Within this should be WebkitPluginAgent, within that FlashPlayer.
  • Double click on FlashPlayer, then click Quit.
  • You’ll be offered to force quit Flash. Done.

You may want to close or reload the offending browser window or tab that triggered the stall.

(Updated: somehow the first line got dropped. Don’t ask…)

Other computer-related articles on Code for life:

Consumer brain-computer interface

Web browsers (part 1)

iPads for the disabled

The iPad: a cat toy?

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