Flash is being removed from Windows soon - but there's a catch

(Image credit: Pixabay)

Microsoft has announced it will be ending support for Adobe Flash Player soon.

The much-maligned Flash will no longer be supported on Microsoft's web browsers after December 31 2020 as the technology firm looks to ensure customers are secured online.

Flash will be removed from Microsoft's browsers with the upcoming launch of Edge v88 in January 2021, with Internet Explorer 11 also waving goodbye alongside Microsoft Edge Legacy.

Flash farewell

The announcement comes after tech giants including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Mozilla, Facebook and Adobe itself declared in July 2017 that Flash would gradually be phased out of the big internet players.

In a blog post, Microsoft program manager Suchithra Gopinath said the decision to remove Flash has been brought forward due to the dwindling numbers of users utilizing Flash Player, with many instead turning to more powerful and secure options such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly.

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

"As you transition away from Adobe Flash Player, we encourage you to continue to upgrade your systems with the latest security updates, while it is still in support," Gopinath added. "If you require additional assistance, please contact your Microsoft Account team."

She added that Adobe is offering some support options to companies that rely on Flash to power business applications, and that Microsoft Edge will allow Adobe Flash Player to load as a plug-in via the Internet Explorer mode feature.

However from January 2021, Flash Player will be disabled by default on Microsoft browsers, with all versions older than KB4561600, which was released in June 2020, will be blocked, and any downloadable resources related to Adobe Flash Player hosted on Microsoft websites will no longer be available.

Adobe confirmed that support for some Flash apps will continue thanks to a deal signed with Samsung's Harman group, which will offer to help customers transition from Flash to other technologies if desired.

Via The Register

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.