Microsoft Begins Killing Adobe Flash Player – Releases Manual Update

kill adobe flash player
Image: brycedurbin

Following a 2017 decision taken by Adobe, Microsoft, Google, and other industry leaders, this year will put an end to Flash Player. Microsoft has begun the process of removing support for Adobe Flash from its ecosystem, with a manual update now live for Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. The company is expected to retire it by the end of this year officially, as December 31, 2020, marks the end of support of Adobe Flash for Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge (legacy), with the new Microsoft Edge removing it by January 2021.

"After December 2020, you will no longer receive 'Security Update for Adobe Flash Player' from Microsoft that applies to Microsoft Edge Legacy and Internet Explorer 11," the Windows maker had said. "Beginning in January 2021, Adobe Flash Player will be disabled by default and all versions older than KB4561600 released in June 2020 will be blocked. Downloadable resources related to Adobe Flash Player that are hosted on Microsoft websites will no longer be available."

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In advance of this end of support deadline, the company has now released KB4577586 that removes Adobe Flash Player. "We are releasing this removal update in advance of end of support to help customers test and validate their environments for any impact that might occur by the removal of Adobe Flash Player," Microsoft writes.

"Also, if another security update for Adobe Flash Player is released, customers who take this removal update will still be offered the security update."

After this manual release, Microsoft will make this update available through Windows Update as an optional update. Afterward, in the summer of next year, the company plans to remove "all the APIs, group policies and user interfaces that specifically govern the behavior of Adobe Flash Player" via a Cumulative Update.

Microsoft added that it would continue to offer Adobe Flash Player security updates and maintain OS and browser compatibility through the end of 2020.

KB4577586 "Update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player" applies to the following

  • Windows 10, version 1909, all editions
  • Windows 10, version 1903, all editions
  • Windows Server 2019, all editions
  • Windows 10, version 1809, all editions
  • Windows Server version 1809
  • Windows 10, version 1803, all editions
  • Windows Server version 1803
  • Windows 10, version 1709, all editions
  • Windows Server version 1709
  • Windows 10, version 1703, all editions
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows 10, version 1607, all editions
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows RT 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012

You can head over to the Microsoft Update Catalog to download KB4577586. The update cannot be uninstalled. However, if you need to use Flash after you have removed it, Microsoft said you can reset your device to an earlier system restore point created before this update or reinstall Windows but do not apply this update.

For more details, head over to this advisory published by the company.

- Earlier: Microsoft to reinvigorate Windows 10 experience through a design refresh

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