Microsoft Is Cutting the Adobe Flash Cord in July

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Is Cutting the Adobe Flash Cord in July

Image: Sam Rutherford

Adobe Flash officially reached end of life at the end of 2020, and now Microsoft is removing Flash from Windows 10 this summer.

Advertisement

While Microsoft had already started to remove support for Flash from a number of its apps, including its Edge browser, there is still some native support for Adobe’s Flash Player built into Windows 10 itself, which Microsoft is now planning to remove via Windows Update KB4577586: “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player.”

In a recent update to a previous blog post on the matter, Microsoft said it will begin sending out the patch to remove Adobe Flash from Windows 10 starting in June, first to users who are part of Microsoft’s Preview program before the patch becomes a mandatory update in July. Microsoft says that going forward, all systems running Windows 10 version 21H1 or later will have Flash removed by default.

In addition to removing native Flash support from Windows 10, Microsoft is also planning on removing Flash from older versions of Windows as well, including Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Embedded 8 Standard. And in case you don’t want to wait for June, you can also remove Flash from Windows 10 manually by downloading and installing the KB4577586 update from the Microsoft Update Catalog here.

Adobe Flash has been on its way out for the past several years, so it makes sense for Microsoft to do a final pass and remove native support for Flash from Windows 10, thereby eliminating all the security issues often associated with Adobe’s outdated multimedia format.

However, for those feeling nostalgic about Flash games from days gone by, you can still play a number of titles using the Internet Archive. And if you don’t find the specific game you’re looking for, you can also try apps like BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint, which is essentially a multi-platform Flash emulator for Windows, macOS, and Linux PCs.

Depending on which install you choose and what OS you’re on, Flashpoint even comes with a library of more than 38,000 old Flash games (the total file size for Flashpoint Ultimate 9.0 is a whopping 532GB), providing you with a wealth of content from a previous generation of the internet.

Advertisement

Flash is dead; long live Flash.

Microsoft Is Finally Purging Flash From Windows

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Is Finally Purging Flash From Windows

Photo: Sajjad Hussain (Getty Images)

After being kept on life support for arguably far too long, Flash will finally be sent to that big hard drive in the sky by the end of this year. To make the goodbye a little easier, Microsoft has released a new Windows update that purges Flash Player before its eventual demise on December 31.

Advertisement

Much like a real-world fatality, Microsoft’s update (which can be downloaded via the Microsoft Update Catalogue here) emphasizes that once you choose to install it, there’s no bringing Flash back; once it’s been installed onto a person’s device, it can’t be uninstalled. Any attempt to bring Flash back onto your device, Microsoft goes on to explain, will only work if you restore your system to its pre-update settings, or reinstall your Windows operating system entirely.

The update is only the latest nail in the coffin for Flash, which Adobe announced in 2017 it would cease distribution and updates of as part of the fittingly called “end-of-life” process. Since then, Google’s Chrome browser began disabling the player by default, as did Firefox. While Microsoft’s Edge browser is officially cutting ties with Flash Player come December, the company will allow Flash to load as a plug-in on Edge when the browser is run via its Internet Explorer mode.

Advertisement

While Flash’s slow march to the grave has been gleefully received by people who point out how outdated, buggy, and insecure the tech is, there’s also something deeply sad about it. Our idea of what constitutes weird internet humor was born, in part, thanks to Flash-based cartoons mocking everything from unicorns to badgers to World War III. Before you update your browser of choice to permanently kill off this piece of internet history, just remember that Salad Fingers walked so today’s goth TikTokers could run.