Windows 10 may have finally killed off Flash Player for good

RIP Adobe Flash Player
(Image credit: Mr.Nikon/Shutterstock)

Adobe Flash Player may be nearing its final curtain after Microsoft issued a Windows 10 update aimed at removing the software for good.

Back in September 2020, Microsoft reminded users of the impending removal of Flash Player, noting that the product would not be supported on its web browsers after December 31 2020. 

It looks like Microsoft has now made good on that promise, having released KB4577586, the “Update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player” on October 27 2020.

The decision to remove Flash Player was made due to the dwindling numbers of users utilizing the service, and with better and more secure options such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly it isn’t difficult to see why. In short, whilst Flash may hold some serious nostalgia for those of us who grew up with dial-up internet, the Adobe software is archaic technology that doesn’t hold up to today's standards.

Flash end of an era

KB4577586 will remove Adobe Flash from all versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server and prevent it from being installed again. Once this update is installed, it cannot be removed – the only option to get it back (should you want to for some reason) is to restore your PC to a previous backup.

While the update is not being pushed to devices currently and is currently only available via the Microsoft Catalog, it is anticipated that it will see a wider rollout via Windows Update in early 2021 when Flash exits support.

Although Adobe Flash Player is deleted from your system by the update, it remains a built-in component in the Edge web browser, and no official word has been given as to when this will be removed.

Businesses have already been urged not to skip important security updates just so that they can keep using Flash, with the NCSC telling companies to avoid it, despite many businesses still claiming it is an important part of their systems.

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.

Via Neowin

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.