December 31, 2020, Adobe will permanently end support for the Flash Player. From this point on, Flash has reached the end of its lifecycle (end-of-life, EOL), new versions or updates will no longer be released. In this article, we’ll explain what a Windows administrator needs to know about the end of support for Flash Player.
Since 2017, Adobe has been advising all developers to migrate their existing Flash projects to HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly open formats. The transition period ends later this year, and on December 31, Adobe will remove the Flash Player download page from its site.
To check if Flash Player is installed on your computer/browser, go to the check page https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player.html
KB4577586: Update for the Removing Adobe Flash Player on Windows
In October 2020, Microsoft released KB4577586 to remove embedded Adobe Flash from supported Windows versions (Windows 8/8.1/10 and Windows Server 2012/2012R2/2016/2019).
- The KB4577586 update only removes the Adobe Flash Player built into Windows 10 (and other current Windows versions). If you manually download and install Flash Player from Adobe site or another source, it won’t be removed;
- You cannot uninstall update KB4577586 after installation. This means that you can no longer install Adobe Flash Player on your Windows device (in order to use Flash again, you will have to rollback to a restore point, reset or reinstall your Windows).
Update KB4577586 (Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player) is currently only available for manual download from Microsoft’s Update Catalog.
To install the update, just run the downloaded file
wusa.exe C:\updates\windows10.0-kb4577586-x64.msu /quiet /norestart
If you try to uninstall the Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player that disables Flash support on Windows 10, you will receive an error:
wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:4577586
Windows Update Standalone Installer Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player is required by your computer and cannot be uninstalled.
Uninstall Adobe Flash Player in Older version of Windows
In order to uninstall Flash Player in legacy Windows versions (Windows 7/XP and Windows Server 2008R2/ 2003), in which Flash is not built into the OS image, you need to use a special Uninstaller from Adobe. You can download it here https://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/support/uninstall_flash_player.exe.
Close browsers and other applications that might be using Flash and run the downloaded file
or to uninstall a specific Flash extension (ActiveX, NPAPI, PPAPI):
uninstall_flash_player.exe -uninstall activex
uninstall_flash_player.exe -uninstall plugin
uninstall_flash_player.exe -uninstall pepperplugin
It remains to manually delete all the remaining Flash files from the following folders:
Disable Flash Player in Windows via WSUS
Update KB4577586 is currently optional in Windows Update and WSUS. Most likely in early 2021 Microsoft will make it recommended or even mandatory.
The KB4577586 update can be manually imported into WSUS
If the Failed error appears when importing an update, you must enable TLS 1.2 strong encryption support for .Net Framework 4 version on the WSUS server. To do this, create the DWORD (32-bit) parameter named SchUseStrongCrypto and value 1 under the registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\v4.0.30319. To apply the new settings, you need to restart your computer.