Microsoft is (mostly) killing off Flash at the end of 2020

Forward-looking: Flash Player will enter its death throes at the end of 2020 as Microsoft officially drops support in its three browsers—the same time when Adobe stops updates and distribution. The technology isn’t being killed off completely, though; enterprise customers that depend on Flash for business applications can still receive support, and Microsoft Edge will allow Adobe Flash Player to load as a plug-in via the Internet Explorer mode feature.

Back in July 2017, Microsoft, Adobe, and other tech giants, including Facebook, Apple, and Google, announced that Flash would no longer be supported after 2020. Now, Microsoft program manager Suchithra Gopinath writes that the company is dropping support for Flash Player in Edge, Edge Legacy, and Internet Explorer on December 31, 2020.

Microsoft will continue providing security updates to Adobe Flash Player and maintain OS and browser compatibility through the end of 2020.

Gopinath said that the falling number of Flash users, along with the availability of better and more secure options such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly, was behind the decision to end support.

Flash will not be entirely consigned to tech history at the end of the year. Some companies that still use the software for the likes of intranet content and training apps will continue receiving support from Adobe, which has signed a contract with Samsung’s Harman group to help with the process. It will also work as a plug-in via Edge’s Internet Explorer mode feature. “Inherently, Internet Explorer 11 will also allow this,” wrote Gopinath, but Microsoft won’t be providing support for anyone running Flash as a plug-in.

From January 2021, Adobe Flash Player will be disabled by default on all Microsoft browsers and all versions older than KB4561600, which was released in June 2020, will be blocked.

If you want to get rid of Flash from your system completely, Microsoft is releasing an “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” via Microsoft Update Catalog, Windows Update and WSUS.

Flash has slowly been disappearing for a while now. It was blocked by default in last year’s Chrome 76, Google stopped showing Flash content in search results in October, while Safari, Facebook, and Mozilla have all removed support

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