New Windows 10 manual update removes Flash from OS, prevents reinstallation
It won't erase Flash from browsers, thoughBy Rob Thubron 7 comments
In a nutshell: Microsoft's campaign to eradicate Flash is continuing with the release of an optional manual update that removes the app from Windows 10 and stops it from being reinstalled.
Bleeping Computer reports that the "Update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player: October 27, 2020" KB4577586 update is only available via the Microsoft Catalog. Make sure you definitely want it on your device as it can't be removed after installation without restoring a system to an earlier point or doing an entire reinstall of Windows.
It's worth noting that the update will only remove the version of Flash that's bundled with Windows---it won't remove any standalone versions you installed. It doesn't remove Flash from Edge or other browsers, either.
Microsoft plans to end support for Flash in Internet Explorer 11, the older version of Edge, and Chromium-powered Edge by the end of the year. "We are releasing this removal update in advance of end of support to help customers test and validate their environments for any impact that might occur by the removal of Adobe Flash Player," writes the company.
The update will be available through Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) and an optional Windows Update early next year. It will become a recommended update in the summer of 2021.
The writing was on the wall for Flash back in 2017 when Adobe, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google, and other tech giants announced it would no longer be supported after 2020, with better and secure options such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly taking its place.
Flash has slowly been disappearing for a while now. It was blocked by default in last year's Chrome 76, Google stopped showing Flash content in search results last October, while Safari, Facebook, and Mozilla have all removed support.