Support for Adobe Flash officially ends today. The age-old multimedia player and creation tool will cease to work after December 31, 2020, bringing an end to a legendary internet application.
Although Flash’s userbase had dropped significantly in the past five years, removing Flash Player support completely will cause some websites and online games to stop working entirely.
Adobe Flash Support Ends, Flash No More
The news that Adobe Flash is hitting the rust heap is not a surprise. Adobe announced its plans to remove Flash back in July 2017. The three-year grace period has given websites and content creators the chance to switch to modern alternatives, such as the now-preferred HTML5.
As the world moves into the new year of 2021, Microsoft will officially no longer support Adobe Flash player. From January 12, 2021, Adobe will block Flash content from running using the Flash Player. If you try and run the Flash Player installed on your system, you’ll meet the following warning:
In early 2021, a Windows 10 patch will remove Adobe Flash from your system. As we reported in October 2020, the Flash removal process will come in two stages.
An update released in October 2020 removed any copy of Adobe Flash Player installed via Windows 10. That means, if you have Adobe Flash Player installed as a regular program in your Programs & Features application list, the update will forcibly remove it.
This update will roll out to every Windows 10 user in early January 2021, removing Adobe Flash Player from your system.
However, as explained in our earlier article, that update doesn’t “erase every strain of Flash.” For example, if you have a Flash component installed in Microsoft Edge, that will remain after the update. Microsoft will issue a second update removing Flash Player components from your browser at a later date.
Other major browsers have already taken steps to remove Adobe Flash player. Mozilla will remove Flash Player from Firefox version 85, set to release on January 26, 2021.
Google Chrome disabled default Flash support with version 76 (we’re on Chrome version 87 at the time of writing) and will completely remove the Flash option with an upcoming update.
Apple killed Flash support with Safari 14, while Opera will follow the same blocking and removal process as Google Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers).
Adobe Flash: End of an Era
Adobe Flash has caught the headlines for all kinds of reasons over the years. While it is well known as the tool for creating Flash games and amusing content, the now antiquated media tool is riddled with vulnerabilities.
The list of Critical Vulnerabilities and Exposures relating to Flash spans tens of pages, with many issues rating critical—the most dangerous level. Removing Flash Player from operating systems and web browsers has been a long time coming, even if its demise takes some early internet memories with it.