Today, January 12, 2021, is Adobe Flash’s official end of life date. All major browsers will now prevent you from running flash as well as Flash Player itself. Adobe Flash will now even ask you to uninstall itself. The warnings have been coming for a long time. Adobe Flash was an amazing technology in its heyday. It allowed for fancy interactive content in web browsers. Lots of websites were created around Flash games. Many educational games were created using flash as well.
Why has Flash Reached End of Life?
While many good things have come out of Flash, it was a security nightmare. Almost every time there was a Windows update, there was something fixed for flash player. Not to mention the countless security updates Adobe pushed themselves for Flash over the years. Another reason is it’s simply not needed anymore. Modern web browsers can do everything Flash could do. From playing videos to games. The popular video streaming site, YouTube, used to use Flash Player for video playback. It was moved away a long time ago in favor of built in browser technologies which are more secure and efficient.
Is There Anything I Should Do?
There’s nothing for you to do. If you’re concerned about flash still being on your system, you can uninstall it yourself. With that said, it should prompt you to uninstall sometime soon. We’ve been seeing this happen to our customers for the past month or so. To manually uninstall flash player, hold down the Windows key (next to the left alt key) and press “R” at the same time, then let go. A small box should come up titled “Run”. In the input field, type “control” and press enter. Control panel is now open. Locate uninstall a program and click it. A list of programs is now shown. Select and uninstall Adobe Flash Player. Your system may have more than one version installed. It’s safe to remove both of them but you can only do so one at a time.
What if I Still Want to Play Flash Content?
Like any popular thing on the internet, people want to preserve it. That’s no different with Flash Player. People still want to play those fun games they enjoyed so many years ago. Lucky, there’s an archive project which allows you to do just that. The internet archive is a well known site doing this. They also archive websites in general. There’s also another project called Flashpoint. This is a program that bundles Flash player and allows you to download and play the flash content as you play it. Please use these services at your own risk. Flashpoint in particular as it’s managed by community members, however, it is open source.
Flash player will be missed by some but all in all, it’s about time it goes away. If anything it has been a major liability for Adobe to maintain over the years. Especially over the last few years. They did the right thing by giving users plenty of notice and patching it to the best of their ability. Flash has also been a prime target for malicious actors for phishing. They’d create a rather convincing popup asking you to update flash player and once you went through the steps, they had some kind of malware on your system doing whatever it wanted. Ranging from ransomware to a remote access trojan. People in charge of security at their organization will be jumping for joy as there’s one less piece of software they need to worry about being up to date. Rest in peace Adobe Flash.