Microsoft has announced that web browser support for Adobe Flash Player will end on January 1, 2021. Adobe Flash Player will no longer be distributed or updated from December 31, 2020.
The Security Update for Adobe Flash Player, which is usually released on Patch Tuesday every month for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer will end after December 2020.
“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,” explained Microsoft program manager Suchithra Gopinath.
The reason for the ending of support is due to the falling numbers of users of Flash Player and the increase in use of more secure technology such as HTML5.
Microsoft said it will be releasing an update in the fall of 2020 which will permanently remove Flash from all Windows devices, although the update will be made available earlier via the Update Catalog. Initially, it will be an optional update, although Microsoft will be recommending all users apply the update as soon as possible. The update will remain optional until the summer of 2021, when Microsoft will start rolling out the update to users who have not yet installed it.
“In Summer of 2021, all the APIs, group policies, and user interfaces that specifically govern the behavior of Adobe Flash Player will be removed from Microsoft Edge (legacy) and Internet Explorer 11 via the latest “Cumulative Update” on Windows 10 platforms and via “Cumulative Update for Internet Explorer 11” or “Monthly Rollup” on Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard.”
There are enterprise clients that are still reliant on Adobe Flash Player. While support will stop, enterprise clients will be able to continue to use Adobe Flash Player using dedicated Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer plug ins.
“Once you make the switch from Microsoft provided Adobe Flash Player, it will be treated as any other third-party plug-in and will not receive Customer Support from Microsoft.”