Adobe Flash Faces Final Curtain by December 2020

John Lister's picture

Microsoft will block Adobe Flash in its web browsers from the end of the year. It's the last major browser developer to drop the technology.

While Adobe Flash was once the primary tool used for multimedia content on websites, it earned a poor reputation for security. It wasn't just that it had numerous security holes, but that when those holes were exploited, hackers were often able to access a computer's memory and gain a worrying level of control just by using a web browser.

Steve Jobs a Noted Flash Hater

Apple was arguably the first company to crack down on Adobe Flash content with Steve Jobs personally making the controversial move to block it on iPhones and iPads. At the time it was a debatable decision, with some users put off from the devices because so many websites wouldn't be accessible as designed.

Removing Adobe Flash support later became more conventional and in the summer of 2017, most major tech companies agreed to drop it by the end of 2020 at the latest. Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox browsers have all already done so, while Google has gone as far as to not include links to Adobe Flash content in its search results.

Now, Microsoft has confirmed that on December 31st, 2020, it will disable Adobe Flash content by default in Internet Explorer, the current version of Edge (based on Chromium code), and the previous version of Edge (based on Microsoft's own code).

Internal Business Use Could Continue

Users who want to remove all traces of Adobe Flash before then will be able to do so through an optional update coming soon. (Source:

Businesses which rely on Adobe Flash for particular web applications will be able to use it as a plug-in in Internet Explorer 11 and in Edge running in "Internet Explorer mode." In both cases, it will be treated as a third-party tool with no customer support from Microsoft. (Source:

Adobe will work with a company called Harman to help businesses that want to carry on using Adobe Flash for internal purposes such as on an intranet or in a training application.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you knowingly still use Adobe Flash? Does it have benefits that outweigh its security limitations? Are you happy to see it go?

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Average: 5 (8 votes)


Draq's picture

I use a screen reader, and a lot of flash content had unlabeled buttons making it near unusable. I'm not all that sad to see it go for that reason.

russoule's picture

You know, Dennis, a lot of us just want software that works and don't really care about the development side of the equation. Whether Flash is used for media or HTML5 or some other software makes little difference to the end user as long as the media is seeable and usable.

Is or was Flash better or worse? I don't really have an opinion about Flash per se, just about whether the sites I go to to play movies or gifs or other forms of media can do so without my having to download ANOTHER package from some other developer. I care more about the message "Cannot play this file because we no longer support Flash" than whether it is Flash that does the display.

If MS is willing to have Flash as an add-on, why not the other browsers? THEN when a site is programmed using that "old stuff", we users can just choose to have the add-on run.

beach.boui's picture

Flash should have been dumped long ago by everyone, everywhere. It has always been a huge security risk and has done a lot of damage for this reason. People need to be informed, and this newsletter is informational. People who don't already know need to know that Flash is, and should be, going away. Lack of knowledge is lack of understanding. Lack of understanding makes idiots.

Dennis, why isn't this page Https???

buzzallnight's picture

by Adobe for years??????????????

That is the main reason why it needs to be gone.....