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Question: Is it safe to delete FLEXnet Publisher from my Mac

I think the title of my thread says it all.

There is something called "FLEXnet Publisher" on my MacBook Pro and I want to delete it. I don't like things on my Mac with which I am unfamiliar and especially things I did not install.

I understand it is some kind of licensing thing, but I still want it gone. Maybe it's the reason my totally-paid-for Photoshop software isn't working properly, and after owning it since the early 2000s suddenly thinks I don't have a license for it. I not only have a license for this copy of Photoshop, I purchased THREE licenses at the same time for three separate copies of Creative Suite. Frustrating!

Still, I want to be safe. Anyone?

Running OS 10.13.3.

MacBook Pro, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3)

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Mar 10, 2018 3:16 PM in response to MarydaleEd1 In response to MarydaleEd1

If "safe" is your goal you really need to change your computer practices.

Basics for Uninstalling Software

Most OS X applications are completely self-contained "packages" that can be uninstalled by simply dragging the application to the Trash. Applications may create preference files that are stored in the /Home/Library/Preferences/ folder. Although they do nothing once you delete the associated application, they do take up some disk space. If you want you can look for them at the above location and delete them, too.

Some applications may install an uninstaller program that can be used to remove the application. If you cannot find the uninstaller then you could download the freeware, Easy Find, to locate files that need to be removed. The places you need to search include:

  1. /Home/Library/Applications Support/ folder. Check if the application has created a folder then delete the folder that's in the Applications Support folder.
  2. Applications may install a startupitem or a LogIn item. StartupItems are usually installed in the /Library/StartupItems/ folder or the /Home/Library/StartupItems/ folder. Login Items are set in the Users & Groups preferences. Open it in System Preferences, then click on the Login Items tab. Select the item from the list and click on the Delete [-] button to remove it.
  3. Some software use startup daemons or agents. Look for them in /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Library/LaunchDaemons/ or in /Home/Library/LaunchAgents/.

Some applications install a receipt in the /Library/Receipts/ folder. Usually with the same name as the program or the developer. The item generally has a ".pkg" extension. Be sure you also delete this item as some programs use it to determine if it's already installed.

There are many utilities that can uninstall applications. Here is a selection:

  1. AppZapper
  2. AppDelete
  3. Hazel
  4. AppCleaner
  5. CleanApp
  6. iTrash
  7. AppBolish
  8. AppUninstaller
  9. Uninstaller

For more information visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on removing software.

Mar 10, 2018 3:16 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 12:20 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

I'm sorry, Kappy, but I believe you have misunderstood my question and I'm not certain what you meant by "if 'safe is (my) goal (I) really need to change (my) computer practices."

First, nowhere in my original post did I seek counsel on how to uninstall software. I am not a novice to the computing world. As the retired owner of a successful web development company, I know my way around a computer.

Second, FLEXnet Publisher is a licensing software that, I am quite certain, is being used by Adobe, and its removal from one's system has been related to others no longer having the capability to use any Adobe products, specifically Photoshop, Illustrator and other software obtained through Creative Suite, although it is not limited to those products.

Others have mentioned in this support community that removal of this software even caused their systems to no longer work properly. I encourage you to Google or otherwise research the experience of others in relation to FLEXnet Publisher before you make any other comments related to it. I also recommend you check your ego at the door before you insult someone else in your responses to him or her.

You are darn straight I operate my computer in a "safe" manner. That is my consideration first and foremost. I want to do nothing that might render important elements of my computer inoperable, especially my computer, itself. Perhaps you are cavalier in your approach to your computer, and if that works for you, congratulations. I assure you I will never operate my MacBook Pro – or any other Mac – in a cavalier manner.

Despite what I have read in other threads herein regarding FLEXnet Publisher, I continue to want it off my computer and still seek the wise counsel of those familiar with this product who understand its association to vital programs on my MacBook Pro.

One last note: I am on a discontinued 17-inch MacBook Pro. I am on borrowed time. I continue to use my laptop to develop websites and graphic design, and I covet my large 17-inch screen. I will do nothing – nothing – that might shorten the already short life of my beloved MacBook Pro.

Mar 11, 2018 12:20 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 3:10 PM in response to Terence Devlin In response to Terence Devlin

That is good news, but I would like you to address the issues that others have had in their disastrous attempts to remove this software. Of course, I don't expect you to directly respond to them all, just perhaps help me understand why I won't experience the issues others have had.

Mar 12, 2018 3:10 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 3:25 PM in response to MarydaleEd1 In response to MarydaleEd1

FlexNet Publisher (formerly known as FLEXlm) is a software license manager from Flexera Software which implements license management and is intended to be used in corporate environments to provide floating licenses to multiple end users of computer software.

Are you working in such an environment as suggested by the aforementioned? If not, then you can remove it. Otherwise, keep it. Can't be any clearer than that.

Mar 12, 2018 3:25 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 3:45 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Yes, I found that information in my research, as well.

My concern is that it will cause my Creative Suite – mainly Photoshop – to stop working properly. After more than a decade of having Photoshop on my computer, I am suddenly getting a red alert when I open Photoshop that says my copy is not properly licensed.

As I mentioned in my original post, I purchased three licenses for three separate copies of CS6 for my web development company when we were just starting out. I have purchased many more licenses as we grew. I can see no reason why I should be getting this alert.

Now, I have found this FLEXnet Publisher on my computer that wasn't there before, and I'm thinking that through updates – it would have to be updates because I no longer add new software to my Mac – that Adobe has caused this to be on my computer and I fear that – as so many others before me have found – that removing FLEXnet Publisher could cause my Photoshop, which I use all the time, and other elements of CS6, to stop working altogether.

Despite the red alert, I can, at least, still use my Photoshop.

So, you see, it isn't quite as simple as it might seem on its face.

I value the opinions of my peers who have gone before me and have specific familiarity with FLEXnet Publisher and the ramifications of removing it. Phone calls to Flexera's support have proved unhelpful. Their support team seems to be unaware of which of their end users might have caused it to be installed on my computer; nor are they helpful in determining the ramifications of removing it except to say that whichever company installed it – that company's software will probably be unusable if I uninstall it.

Still, I think it's the demon that is causing problems for my Photoshop. Perhaps I'm answering my own question.

I'll be honest: I have a basic dislike for Adobe and I resent to no end the idea that they have sneakily installed new software on my computer "sniffing out" possible licensing issues, especially after I've spent a small fortune with them buying licenses.

Mar 12, 2018 3:45 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 5:44 PM in response to MarydaleEd1 In response to MarydaleEd1

UPDATE: Well, it's a moot point now. I deleted it.

I will give it a week, and if nothing happens I will report back here and update. If something happens, of course I will update immediately.

Many, many thanks to those who were so kind to take their time and energy to try to assist with this issue. It was greatly appreciated.

Let's hope for the best!

Mar 12, 2018 5:44 PM

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Question: Is it safe to delete FLEXnet Publisher from my Mac