"webkitpluginagent" what is it and why was it invoked

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by neuroshock, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. neuroshock macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2011
    I was using safari and unfortunately some nasty ads popped up (amongs them, the ones that say your computer is in danger or the ones that say you won something and the window keeps flashing) I didn't click the ads but still they were downloaded to my computer.

    Under top i noticed "webkitpluginagent" running. I think the process is related to safari , this is the first time i've seen it appear even though i've used safari before. What does it do and why was it invoked.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Most likely just the "hooks" things like Flash need to connect in with Safari.

    Searching for webkitpluginagent in te forums leads mainly to threads about Flash.

  3. neuroshock thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2011
    flash? i wasn't using flash and i was never using flash at any point with safari. Unless those ads were flash based? which makes me worry even more if those ads were connecting in with safari.
  4. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    This is really pretty simple and nothing to worry about.

    Safari in Snow Leopard (and Lion) is 64-bit. It can run in 64-bit mode (and will do automatically if your computer supports it).

    64-bit mode brings various theoretical performance benefits.

    The problem with an Application being 64-bit is that it cannot normally use 32-bit plugins. Flash is probably the most common plugin that people use online, but there are others including Java and Silverlight.

    Safari gets around the problem of compatibility with 32-bit plugins by having an intermediary between the browser (Safari) and the plugin (e.g. Flash Player). That intermediary is "webkitpluginagent".

    Any time that Safari needs to launch a plugin (like Adobe Flash Player), webkitpluginagent will be started. The page I'm typing this into has a Flash based ad at the top of it.

    It's really nothing to worry about. Just keep your computer up to date (using Software Update in Mac OS X) and install the latest version of Flash from Adobe:


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