How to disable Adobe Flash Player in Windows 8, 8.1, 10

Sicherheit[German]Adobe Flash Player is a permanent security risk, because once a month, several vulnerabilities are detected and many of them are exploited. So it's helpful to know, how to disable or uninstall Adobe Flash Player.


The Problem with Microsoft Windows

Whilst Flash Player can be uninstalled on Linux, macOS and Windows 7, Microsoft ships Adobe Flash in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. There is no way, to uninstall Adobe Flash in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. All you can do: disable (at least partially) the Flash-Player.

Microsoft and other vendors announced the dead of Adobe Flash in 2020 (see my blog post Fake News: Flash is dead? No it's fading out is planned 2020).

Deactivate Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer

Microsoft allows us to deactivate Adobe Flash Player as an add-in in Internet Explorer, using ActiveX kill bits. If you use Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Home edition, try the .reg below.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}]
"Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}]
"Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

You can download the .reg file as a ZIP archive from my blog. Unzip ist into a local folder, then you will find two .reg files. One to block Flash and one to enable Flash. Details about the registry may be found within this Microsoft document.

1. To import the .reg file launch registry editor regedit.exe with Run as administrator and confirm UAC prompt.



2. Open menu File and select the command Import, then select the .reg file launch within the dialog box.

After confirming the Open button, follow the advices shown and restart Internet Explorer. Afterward Flash Player should be disabled in IE.

The screenshot above shows the IE in Windows 10 when you access the Adobe Flash test page. The current Flash version is no longer displayed.

Attention: In Microsoft Edge the above registry entry doesn't work. The browser does not support ActiveX kill bits, because ActiveX isn't supported. But the browser offers the possibility to switch off the support for Adobe Flash in the settings.

Deactivate Adobe Flash via group policy

Flash can be disabled in all Windows Pro and Enterprise versions using Group Policy. To do this, call gpedit.msc via Run as administrator and execute the following steps.

Adobe Flash GPO

1. Navigate (left pane) to Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> Internet Explorer –> Security Features –> Add-on Management.

2. Activate the group policy (GPO) Turn off Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer … and restart Internet Explorer.

Afterward Adobe Flash should be no more active within this browser. For further advices see also this blog-post. Some details may be found also here.

More ways to disable Adobe Flash

I haven't found a reliable way to remove Flash from Windows 8.1/10. But Microsoft has published this article, pointing out to disable Flash in Microsoft Office 2010 via a .reg file. Here are the settings for the .reg file that has to be imported.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Common\COM\Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}] "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

In addition, Internet Explorer offers the possibility of allowing Flash on certain websites via its Internet zone model. This is discussed within this Microsoft article.

Disable Flash Player in Google Chrome and MS Edge

Microsoft Edge allows you to disable support for Adobe Flash in the settings. Go to the three dots (More button) and select Settings. Then scroll down to Advanced Settings in the toolbar and set the Use Adobe Flash Player switch to Off (see also this post). 

The Google Chrome browser also includes the Flash player, but it's now disabled by default. To check the settings, enter chrome://settings/content in the address field. A list of options will then appear, listing an Adobe Flash Player entry with an option to disable (see also this discussion). 

Accessing Flash Settings

To access Flash settings in Windows, go to the Control Panel (e. g. press Windows+X and select the command from the Quick menu). In Windows 10 (V1703 and beyond) type control panel into the task bar's search box and select the Control Panel result.

Enter Flash into the Control Panel's search box and select the Flash Player command shown within the window.

Then you should see the Flash Settings Manager property page with several settings. For example, the Flash Settings Manager can be used to prevent Flash pages from storing data on the computer. Or you can block peer assisted networking and access to the camera and microphone. Unfortunately, there is no option to disable Flash Player.

Similar articles:
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2 Responses to How to disable Adobe Flash Player in Windows 8, 8.1, 10

  1. Pingback: Adobe Flash 0-Day Vulnerability APSA18-01 - gHacks Tech News

  2. a d00d who doesn't want to get cracked says:

    This is all about disabling, which implies being temporary. What we need is DELETING, complete REMOVAL of this huge Swiss-cheezy collander of security. (Of course, I'm not stupid enough to run winshit–much less 10–on my own machine, but work requires it…can't wait until their next big data loss scandal!)

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