Bottom line: Adobe will stop supporting Flash Player after December 31, 2020, and will actively start blocking content from running in Flash Player from January 12, 2021. As such, the company "strongly recommends" that all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems.
Adobe this week released the final scheduled update for Flash Player in all regions except mainland China.
In a farewell statement accompanying the release, Adobe thanked the customers and developers that used and created content with Flash over the last two decades. "We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video," the team said, adding that they are excited to help lead the next generation of digital experiences.
It seems a bit unusual to release an update, only to ask that people uninstall Flash Player in the same breath.
Adobe has been planning to sunset Flash for a few years now and arguably could have done so even sooner. The software platform started to fall out of favor in the mid-2000s and has been on a downward trajectory ever since as alternatives like HTML5 gained support.
Fortunately, the Internet Archive is working to preserve some of the best Flash content so it won't be lost to Father Time. More than 2,000 pieces of Flash media have been added to the archive so far.