One day shy of its 25th Birthday, Adobe (nee Macromedia) Flash Player will officially become End of Life (EoL) on 31st December 2020. Adobe announced the EoL in July 2017, back then it had a 7.5% usage rate according to W3Techs, down from 28.5% in its heyday in 2011. Today it is standing at 2.4%!
This EoL event will be slightly different from most, as Adobe have taken quite an aggressive stance to ensure that Flash will be removed from as many workstations as possible:
- Download links will be removed from the web
- Flash content will be blocked from running in Flash Player post EoL
- Users with Adobe Flash Player installed will be prompted to remove the software
Each of the major browser creators, Apple, Google, Mozilla and Microsoft will automatically be removing Flash from their browsers in December of this year. You may be thinking that these are some extreme measures for software that has reached EoL. However, there is a very good reason for this, as in 2013 it was estimated that Flash Player was installed in over 1 BILLION devices. It was the go-to format for web games, animations and GUI interfaces on websites. Even in late 2019 I had to reinstall Flash to use a company’s web page for time tracking.
Flash has also had several security bugs and vulnerabilities over the years that can allow malicious persons access to either your PC, or your data. So, with such a large historical install base, and the attacks against the software, it is understandable that Adobe would like to ensure that it can get as many uninstalls as possible completed while the software is still being maintained and any new or outstanding vulnerabilities patched before end users are left with potentially vulnerable software installed on their machines, which could be leaving them exposed to new attacks.
While we applaud Adobe for the steps that they are taken to ensure that potentially vulnerable software is removed from as many users workstations as possible, I have seen very little information regarding this and the format that it is going to take, so I am concerned that this is going to confuse a lot of end users who are going to see a message and wonder if their machine has been compromised.
If you would like to uninstall Adobe Flash Player from your PC or Mac you can click on the link and follow the instructions from Adobe. Technology Support 24/7 will be automatically removing Flash Player from any workstations that we manage during the month of December.