[German]Microsoft has begun to remove Adobe Flash Player from Windows. The Windows 10 Preview updates released on February 16, 2021, removes Adobe Flash Player from certain versions of Windows 10. In addition, Microsoft is again forcibly delivering the October 2020 Flash removal update KB4577586 to machines that do not have this update installed.
Flash has reached the end of support
The support for Adobe Flash Player has ended on December 31, 2020, as planned and announced in July 2017 from Adobe. Since then, no more security updates are available for Flash player. I've mentioned some more details within the blog post Microsoft: Flash Player will be removable in autumn, support will end in 2021.
Adobe itself has included a kill switch with an update to Flash Player that disables it on January 12, 2021. So a Flash player that is still installed will be non-functional since that date.
Flash is removed by preview updates
I already mentioned in the blog post Windows 10 Preview Updates (Feb. 16, 2021), that the cumulative preview update KB44601380 for Windows 10 version 1909 and Windows Server 1909 not only raises the build to 18363.1411. This update removes the Adobe Flash player from this version of Windows. There was also information for Windows 10 version 1809 and its server counterparts that cumulative update KB4601383 removes Adobe Flash Player.
What's with Windows 8.1 and other Windows 10 versions?
Some users has asked about removing Adobe Flash in Windows 8.1, Windows 10, version 2004 or 20H2, using preview updates. Well, for Windows 8.1 preview updates has been suspended (cause of Corona virus). And we also have no preview updates for Windows 10, version 2004 and 20H2.
But Microsoft has provided the October 2020 Flash removal update KB4577586 in Microsoft Update Catalog for all relevant Windows versions, from Windows 8.1/Windows Server 2012/R2 to Windows 10/Windows Server. The colleagues from deskmodder.de have collected the download links in the post KB4577586 entfernt den Adobe Flash Player unter Windows 10 und 8.1 sowie Server.
Forced Update KB4577586 removes Flash
In October 2020, update KB4577586 (removes Flash Player) was already released as optional via Windows Update. In this comment EP points out the article Microsoft force installs Windows 10 update to remove Flash Player at Bleeping Computer. It looks like Microsoft is forcibly installing update KB4577586 on machines where it has not yet been applied in October 2020. There is a screenshot in the post that proves the forced installation of the update without user intervention.
In Windows 7 Adobe Flash has never been integrated. With the last Flash update of December 2020, Adobe included an installer for Flash that should remove this component., if Flash has been installed.
It seems that there are still users who want or need to display Flash content in the browser – after all, many solutions (including games) for Flash have been knitted or corresponding documents have been created. This article from February 6, 2020, published by the colleagues of Bleeping Computer, mentions an Flash Player emulator written in Rust called "Ruffle". Ruffle allows to run archived Flash games. This is rather uncritical from a security point of view, since there does not need to be a connection to the Internet to run the locally stored Flash content.
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