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FlashP EOL - To uninstall now (NOV2020) or to keep updating - that is the question

Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2020 Nov 08, 2020

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Webpage [https://www.adobe.com/uk/products/flashplayer/end-of-life.html?cq_ck=1591175470736] states:

 

7. Will Adobe provide security updates for Flash Player after the end-of-life date?
Adobe will not issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL Date. WE RECOMMEND THAT ALL USERS UNINSTALL FLASH PLAYER BEFORE THE EOL date (see manual uninstall instructions for Windows and Mac users). Users will be prompted by Adobe to uninstall Flash Player on their machines later this year and Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.

 

I've capitalised the important passage.

On another page [https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html], the following statement appears:

'These instructions are NOT applicable to Flash Player included with Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer on Windows 8 and later or with Google Chrome on all supported operating systems.  Please visit the Flash Player Help page for instructions on enabling (or disabling) Flash Player in various browsers.'

I'm an uncomplicated retail user. Flash Player came to my PC as part of whatever process updated it automatically sometime years ago. In other words, I don't know where and in what it is installed so I don't know how important it is to my machine. It seems to me there are contradictory instructions here, telling me to both uninstall and not to uninstall FP. I am now in a quandary

Perhaps your Help Pages could explain it a bit more simply. Yesterday (07NOV2020), I think I was offered an update with only an 'Uninstall' option, which I deferred to allow me time to investigate; please forgive me if I'm remembering this wrongly - I seem to get two or three FlashP update messages each week and they've begun to blur my memory. Today (08NOV2020), I've been offered another update (32pp_a_install 32.0.0.445). I hope you can see how confusing it is.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Employee , Nov 10, 2020 Nov 10, 2020
Yeah, the ecosystem is complex, and there are actually mulitple companies distributing their own encapsulated copies of Flash Player.  We talk about Flash Player as a single product, but in practice, there are something like 30 variants that meet the specific needs of various combinations of browsers, operating systems and use-cases.  We only have control over the copies that we distributed and installed, which is the reason that there are all those caveats.  Running our uninstaller will remov...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 08, 2020 Nov 08, 2020

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It is confusing. If you're looking for a simplification:

- there are up to three DIFFERENT Flash Players, depending what browser(s) you have ever used.

- if you only ever used Microsoft Edge and/or Internet Explorer AND you are in Windows 8 or Windows 10 THEN you need to nothing. Microsoft will at some point do an update that gets rid of it.

- if you EVER used a different browser, such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari, you CAN uninstall Flash Player. Nothing else will remove it.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2020 Nov 11, 2020

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Thanks for taking the time to reply - clear and concise,

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 10, 2020 Nov 10, 2020

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Yeah, the ecosystem is complex, and there are actually mulitple companies distributing their own encapsulated copies of Flash Player.  We talk about Flash Player as a single product, but in practice, there are something like 30 variants that meet the specific needs of various combinations of browsers, operating systems and use-cases. 

 

We only have control over the copies that we distributed and installed, which is the reason that there are all those caveats.  Running our uninstaller will remove all of the Adobe distributed copies of Flash Player.

 

In addition to the copies that we distribute, Microsoft and Google both distribute Flash Player directly as a built-in component for their browsers.

 

On Windows 8 and higher, Microsoft distributes the ActiveX variant of Flash Player as a bundled component of IE and Edge (we distribute it on Windows 7 and below).  The goal on Microsoft's part was to provide more security around the browser, and as a component of the browser, Flash Player is installed in a special location that only Microsoft can write to.  We literally can't delete it with our uninstaller. 

 

Microsoft will ultimately push an update that removes their copy of Flash Player via Windows Update.  It's already available in their update catalog if you want to manually go find it and run it early, but we don't publish an ActiveX installer for Win8 and higher, so that action is permanent.  If you do nothing, Microsoft will eventually push that update out to all users, at which point it will be removed from the system (as long as you have Windows Updates on). 

 

For Google Chrome, Google distributes a copy of the PPAPI Flash Player as a built-in component of their browser.  Similar to the Microsoft situation above, a future Chrome update will remove support for plug-ins entirely, and will remove the bundled copy of Flash Player along with it.  Again, as long as you have automatic updates enabled, you can do nothing and Google will eventually remove it.

 

The long and short of all of this is that you probably don't need the Adobe-distributed Flash Player(s) at this point.  Flash Player is definitely not going to work next year, and we're trying to drive the population down early, so people aren't struggling with this stuff over the US holidays.

 

Hope that helps!

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2020 Nov 11, 2020

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A very reassuring answer; very clear and comprehensive. I now understand the background and complications.

Thanks for taking the time to reply so coherently. 

 

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