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Update on Adobe Flash Player End of Support

Written By published September 4, 2020

In July 2017, Microsoft, along with Adobe and their industry technology partners, announced that Adobe Flash Player will no longer be supported after December 2020. The decision to end support for Flash Player was made by Adobe due to the diminished usage of the technology and the availability of better, more secure options such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly.

In keeping with this plan, Microsoft is ending support for Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Edge (both the new Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Edge Legacy) and Internet Explorer 11 at the end of 2020.

Options for continued support for enterprise customers

For enterprises seeking assistance with moving away from Adobe Flash Player or needing continued support for line of business applications that may be dependent on it after 2020, Adobe is providing some support options. For more details, please visit the blog posted by Adobe.

To aid such customers, Microsoft Edge will allow Adobe Flash Player to load as a plug-in via the Internet Explorer mode feature. Inherently, Internet Explorer 11 will also allow this. 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.

End of support from Microsoft in December 2020

In the new Microsoft Edge, Adobe Flash Player will be removed by January 2021. The schedule of changes is available here.

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. 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.

An update titled “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” will be made available via Microsoft Update Catalog, Windows Update and WSUS that permanently removes Adobe Flash Player as a component of the Windows OS devices. If you wish to remove Adobe Flash Player from your systems ahead of the end of support, this will be available for download on the Microsoft Update Catalog in the Fall of 2020. The update will be made optional on Windows Update and WSUS in early 2021 and will be made recommended a few months later. It should be noted that this update will be permanent and cannot be un-installed.

In Summer of 2021, all the APIs, group polices 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. Also, the “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” will be included as part of the “Cumulative Update” and “Monthly Rollup” this point forward. If you are working with Adobe for continued support, you should not be impacted by these changes.

Microsoft will continue providing security updates to Adobe Flash Player and maintain OS and browser compatibility through the end of 2020. As you transition away from Adobe Flash Player, we encourage you to continue to upgrade your systems with the latest security updates, while it is still in support. If you require additional assistance, please contact your Microsoft Account team.