Windows 10 Will Make Flash Removal Mandatory This Summer
There was a time not too long ago that Adobe Flash was seen as an integral part of the web. From online games to restaurant menus, trying to use the web without Flash was a nightmare. Those days are over, though. Today, Flash itself is the nightmare thanks to its poor security and abysmal performance. It’s been phased out in most ways that matter, but there’s one more nail being pounded into Flash’s coffin, courtesy of Microsoft. Soon, Windows 10 will make Flash removal mandatory.
Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari all ended Flash support at the beginning of 2021, and they’d been blocking Flash content by default for several years before that. Windows has not pushed to kill Flash, but that will change in July. That’s when we can expect to see KB4577586 arrive on Windows 10 systems. This “Update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player” will do what it says on the tin. If you’ve got Flash installed, this Windows update will get rid of it.
While browsers are mostly blocking Flash, Internet Explorer 11 and IE mode in Microsoft Edge still support the direct installation of Flash. That’s a potential problem because Adobe stopped supporting Flash at the end of 2020. After the very slow demise of Flash, anyone who’s still running it probably doesn’t know doing so is a major security risk. That’s why KB4577586 is going to be mandatory on all builds of Windows 10. In addition, KB4577586 will come to Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Embedded 8 Standard.
Flash made sense decades ago — the web was a static, boring place, and Flash content instantly made it more dynamic and fun. Who among us didn’t kill a little time with Flash games or watch embedded video? However, newer, more secure technologies offered similar features, and no one could ever get Flash working well on mobile devices. Apple never bothered trying, but Google and Adobe gave it a shot on Android before declaring it a lost cause.
If, by some miracle, you’re using a version of Windows and a browser that has not banned Flash, now is a good time to remove it manually. The best time was probably a few years ago, but hindsight’s 20/20. If you want to be extra sure there’s no hint of Flash on your system, you can install KB4577586 early by going to the official Windows Catalog and finding the update for your system version.