Adobe Shockwave interfereres with my system, blocks my attempts to remove it, and replaces the "No" button with "I grant permission for you to nag me later"

Does Adobe Shockwave fit your definition of malware?

I train my kids not to click on random boxes that pop up, and I don’t want any boxes popping up on computers my kids use.  So I was very annoyed the other day when I first saw this box — intrusive auto-update window that shows only two options, without a “Cancel” button or a “Close dialog box” button.

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I’ve blogged before about the lengths I went to avoid using Adobe’s Acrobat PDF reader.
My nerves are a little raw from several late nights at work, but even
on a good day, the arrogance of this dialog box would disgust me.

Even more insulting, this window stays in the front of the screen, and there’s no way to move it, minimize it, or even kill it from the Windows Task Manager “Applications” screen. Unless I yield to the “choice” Adobe presents here, when I want to search my hard drive for a Shockwave setup program, or search the internet for tips on how to disable the intrusive auto-update, or even use the Windows file removal utility to install the stupid program, I have to do with this digital cataract, this abomination of an eclipse, in my field of view.

After peeking aroud the edges of the box, searching the internet for advice on how to remove this unwanted “feature,” I found a page on the Adobe website that purports to include a feature to disable the autoupdate feature, but 1) it’s damn anoying that this box doesn’t include a link to that page and 2) I don’t expect to have go to someone else’s website in order to control what happens on my computer.  I also found some advice on how to adjust the Windows registry, but that was far too complex to do with an obstructed screen.

And the final insult — when finally managed to use the program manager to remove Shockwave, the stupid popup was blocking the confirmation button.

It ticked me off to no end that I had to click “Remind me later” just to make this box stop blocking the button that I had to click in order to remove Shockwave from my system.

I suppose I could have tried killing the process in the Windows Task
Manager, but by that time I just wanted the stupid box to go away.

So… do the deliberate interface choices implemented by Shockwave’s desingers meet your definition of malware?  Are the needs of users in any way served when Adobe deliberately makes it impossible to say “No”?

7 thoughts on “Adobe Shockwave interfereres with my system, blocks my attempts to remove it, and replaces the "No" button with "I grant permission for you to nag me later"

  1. I don’t have the answer, but it is even more annoying now. I called Adobe and was informed strongly, this was a “free” download and they could provide NO TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR ANY PROBLEMS I WAS HAVING! They hung up with no advice on how to STOP the attempts to download onto my computer. It daily delays my entry to the internet with it’s attempts.
    If anyone knows how to stop this, I am desperate.

  2. find all swhelper files in adobe and macromedia directories
    and rename or delete. the shockwave updater will quite runnung at startup

  3. I agree with you.
    I like to control what is happening in my computer and there is no startup link, no Run in the registry that point’s to this nagware.
    I use CCleaner ans nothing is there.
    Even Java has a entry in the registry run.
    This is unacceptable this is piracy, Bloatware, Intrusionware.

  4. I agree completely. The Shockwave update installer is malware. I used Windows Task Manager to kill the application when, after the Shockwave progress bar reached the end another window popped up with the “offer” of the Norton scan and no option except to Accept their terms of service. This ticked me off so I sent a message to the Adobe website Feature Request and Bug Report Submission Form reporting a bug and saying that their installation software is malware. Don’t know what good it does, but here’s the link:

  5. I,m sorry but am very happy with service I have with McAfee………so I don,t need Adobe shockwave or norton software so please I have no extra money to pay for Adobe, or Norton thank-you w5yqd

  6. You are absolutely right. As you say, the arrogance of that dialog box is disgusting. Don’t listen to someone patronisingly telling you to go “easy on the coffee” – this is easily the most damned intrusive updater in the software world, and most definitely qualifies as malware. Imagine if all software did this! Computers would literally become unusable.

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