Adobe Flash Player is well known for being bloatware – including unnecessary programs with the actual download you wish to acquire. For a long time they were serving up McAfee Security Scan Plus. Now, if you visit the Get Adobe Flash Player page in Internet Explorer or Firefox from a Windows computer, you will be prompted to install Google Chrome and the Google Toolbar. The checkbox is marked by default. You can click the ‘Install Options’ link to deselect Chrome, the toolbar, or to not make Chrome the default browser independently.
The Google add-ons increase the download another 32.11MB in size. That bloat seems minor compared to the latest bloat Adobe is serving up to Mac OS X visitors. If you try to download Adobe Flash Player in Safari or Firefox on Mac OS X, you are presented a banner that offers a free trial to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Checking the box to include Lightroom increases the download size from 17.1MB to 464.1MB. You could end up downloading almost half a gigabyte for just Adobe Flash Player!
When I visited, the checkbox was not checked by default like the Google Chrome offer but others are reporting that it was checked by default when they visited. Perhaps Adobe didn’t want to spend that much in bandwidth and switched the checkbox behavior.
This isn’t such a big deal if the box is unchecked by default but it is very wasteful to the majority of users if it were to be checked by default. Part of the problem stems from ad blindness. The banner looks a lot like a banner ad that you might gloss right over it and start downloading the 2,714% increased file size. Talk about your bloat!
Since Adobe seems to be constantly messing with the download page and finding new ways to include bloat, I always go straight to the source and refer back to an old article ‘Download the Latest Adobe Flash for Firefox and IE Without Any Extras‘ for a direct link to the executables.