Windows 10 update will finally kill off Adobe Flash, unless...

Adobe Flash Player
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Microsoft is in the process of rolling out a Windows 10 (opens in new tab) update that will remove Adobe Flash Player from all versions of the operating system (opens in new tab).

A phased approach will see the update (KB4577586) arrive for different users at intervals over the next few weeks. Once the update is installed, either manually or automatically, Windows 10 users will not be able to restore the program unless via a pre-existing backup (opens in new tab).

However, as per the support documentation (opens in new tab), the update will only remove editions of Adobe Flash Player installed automatically by Windows. “If you installed Adobe Flash Player manually from another source, it will not be removed,” Microsoft explained.

The death of Adobe Flash

Announced by Adobe in the summer of 2017, the death of Flash has felt like a long and drawn out affair, with various web browsers (opens in new tab) withdrawing support for the medium over the course of the last few years.

The world’s most popular browser, Google Chrome, began to block Flash by default (opens in new tab) in 2019, while Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox phased out support before the deadline at the end of last year.

At the start of December, meanwhile, Adobe confirmed it would terminate support for Flash imminently and block content from running in Flash Player from January 12 onwards.

“Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China. We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades,” said Adobe at the time.

“We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio and video. We are excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences.”

With Flash no longer receiving updates from Adobe, the company has advised users to rid their machines of any related services, to ensure they do not provide an avenue of attack for cybercriminals.

For this reason, owners of Windows 10 devices should install the relevant update as soon as it becomes available. Anyone that installed Flash Player manually will also have to remove the software by hand, via system settings.

Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.