It is often well versed to keep your web browser up to date; there are many threats on the Internet that could exploit an out-of-date browser. There are a number of other components that make up your web browsing experience though, in particular, you want to make sure you keep plug-ins also running their latest version. This article will show you how to easily tell what version of a plug-in you’re running and how to see if it’s up to date.
Mozilla Firefox is into the swing of things with its latest version which will notify you if your Adobe Flash is out of date after a Firefox Update.
Adobe Flash is pretty easy to test which version you are running and what is the latest version. Just take your browser on over to this Adobe knowledge base article. If you have Flash installed, a small Flash movie will load and tell you which version you are running. You can then scroll down further on that page to find the latest version of Adobe Flash for your platform.
If you find that you’re running an older version, which is very likely as Flash is frequently updated with minor releases, you can download the latest version from Adobe here. It appears Adobe has spread their usage of GetPlus to the Flash Player now which has had its share of problems: GetPlus is a Big Minus.
Launch the Adobe Reader program and go to the Help menu. Under that, choose “About Adobe Reader 9…” (or the current version number).
This will launch a small splash screen which tells you some information about Adobe Reader and look for the Version number under the logo and title.
Compare this version number to the version listed on the Download Adobe Reader page under Updates.
You can also, in Adobe Reader, go to the Help menu again and go to ‘Check for Updates…’ to have Adobe do the work for you and download the latest updates.
Java is another convenient plugin where you can test your version just by visiting a Java page to verify your version. The page will tell you if you have the latest version or if your Java is out of date. You can then download the latest version by following a link below on the same page.
You can also test whether your Java VM is working and get another listing of your Java configuration through the Java Test VM page.
Silverlight has a simple webpage that you can view to see what version you have installed. It will tell you what the latest version is if you don’t have it installed and provide a link to download and install the latest version.
Quicktime is the least convenient plug-in to check, another reason to dislike it, I guess. You’ll need to launch QuickTime or visit QuickTime element in your browser like the movie trailers that Apple hosts.
Right-click on the video and choose ‘About QuickTime Plug-in…’ from the context menu.
This will pop up a little window that tells you the version number of the QuickTime Plug-in that you have installed.
You can compare the number from the previous window to the QuickTime download web page and then proceed to download the latest version.
You may be prompted to update when you first load a QuickTime movie after a new version is released. Alternatively, when you right-click on the QuickTime object, you can go to ‘Plug-in Settings…’. This will open up the QuickTime Properties and you can select a tab called ‘Update’. Next hit the ‘Check for updates’ button. If you don’t have the latest version, it will notify you and send you to the QuickTime download web page listed above. The steps above will cut out the middle man.
If you have questions or know of other plug-ins that should be listed, add them in comments on the forum.