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OS Imbedded Flash / Browser Imbedded Flash / Flash Player relationship

Community Beginner ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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We are looking to leverage the Enterprise Enablement for flash, but need details on the relatoinship between the OS / Browser and Flash Player.

 

At the point when the Flash Player is forced to leverage the Enterprise Enablement CFG file (Jan 12th), if we have a site that requires Flash, but was not placed in the CFG file, will the browser fail over to use the OS imbedded flash, or because Flash Player is installed it will not fail over to the OS imbedded flash?

 

Is this the same for IE11 as well as the new Edge & Chrome?

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Adobe Employee , Dec 16, 2020 Dec 16, 2020
The default value for the EnableAllowList setting will default to true after Jan 12, 2021 on all flavors of Flash Player.  At this point, Flash Player will no longer load content from the open web.  You can configure specific AllowListUrlPattern entries in mms.cfg.  Check out the admin guide for specifics on how to do that and where to put the files. For completeness, please check out the Enterprise EOL FAQ here for a clear and concise description of what's happening, your options and our reco...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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Do you mean you are using the Flash Player from Internet Explorer/Edge? If so, my understanding is-

- in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, Flash Player is a system component

- at EOL Microsoft will remove the system component

- no Adobe installer exists to install Flash as ActiveX when Microsoft have removed it (because it is not needed until after EOL, and after EOL is irrelevant).

- other browsers do not use the ActiveX system component

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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Microsoft is not scheduled to FORCE remove the OS components from the OS until a cumulative update in the July/August 2021 timeframe when they will force its removal and all API calls via the Cumulative monthly patch.  So from a OS imbedded flash perspective we have ~ 6 months.

 

 On systems with OS imbedded flash that have not been removed (i.e Windows 10 / Server 2012 R2 w/ the Desktop Enhancement pack that includes Flash).  Post Jan 12th if we still have Flash Player installed will the browsers (Chrome / Edge Chromium/ IE11) process flash content using the OS imbedded Flash if:

  1. We enable Enterprise Enablement of Flash but the site is not listed in the CFG file?
    1. i.e. it will fail over to the local OS Flash
  2. Enterprise Enablement is/has not been configured or enabled?
    1. i.e. With the Flash Player being installed will it cause all flash content to faile even if the OS Flash componets exists.

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Explorer ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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The embedded Flash Player / Microsoft patch only affects IE11 and Edge Legacy. Other browsers use their own version of Flash. They do not automatically hand it over to the embedded Flash. 

 

So, even if you use the Enterprise Enablement, it will only work as long as the browser supports Flash. 

  • Chrome + Edge Chromium will remove Flash in version 88 (January), so this will no longer work.
  • Firefox (regular version) also removes Flash in January, so this will no longer work.
  • Firefox (ESR 78 version) will continue to support Flash until Fall 2021. As long as you keep the NPAPI version of Flash installed (best to save that installer before EOL) and have configured Enterprise Enablement. 
  • IE11 and Edge Legacy will continue to support Flash until Summer 2021. As long as you do not install the Flash removal update and have configured Enterprise Enablement. 

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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Just for clarification then...

IE 11 (Or new Edge in IEMode i assume) will or will not leverage the OS embeded Flash?

 

Your last statement of :

"IE11 and Edge Legacy will continue to support Flash until Summer 2021. As long as you do not install the Flash removal update and have configured Enterprise Enablement."

 

Makes it sound like we have to also leverage Enterprise Enablement... Can't we just remove the Local Flash Player and let IE11/Edge IEMode leverage the OS level flash until summer 2021?

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Explorer ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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IE11 does use the embedded (ActiveX) Flash Player. That has always been the case since Windows 8. Installing or uninstalling the ''local'' Flash Player from Adobe (NPAPI or PPAPI versions) does not affect IE11 in any way.

 

But the point is: even the embedded version will block Flash playback on January 12. That is why you'll need to use Enterprise Enablement to circumvent that. That will work until Microsoft removes Flash completely in Summer 2021. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 15, 2020 Dec 15, 2020

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There is no "fail over to the OS imbedded flash".  On Windows 8.1 and above IE and Edge have always only used the embedded Flash as there's no way to manually install Flash Player ActiveX control on these OS versions.

 

"Is this the same for IE11 as well as the new Edge & Chrome?"

This update from Microsoft, https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2020/09/04/update-adobe-flash-end-support/, might provide more information for you.


With regards to Chrome, Google will remove Flash Player from Chrome in Chrome 88  I expect any Chromium-based browser will also drop support when applying Chrome 88 updates to their browser.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 16, 2020 Dec 16, 2020

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To confirm my understanding:

Chrome / Edge native will stop supporting Flash in Version 88 - At this point Chrome/Edge will NOT allow any Flash in any form. (i.e. Game Over for Flash)

 

Post Jan 12th - Flash Active x will "time bomb" and not be available, and fro above - this version is not used with Browsers from Windows 8 Forward.

 

Post Jan 12th (Version 88+) - IE-11 and IE11 Mode (Via ChromeEdge) will support Flash, IF the local OS embeded Flash has not been removed by Microsoft (KB4577586) AND only if Enterprise Mode has been enabled for the required sites.

 

Enterprise Mode must be managed via MMS.CFG located:

C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash or C:\windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash

 

Enterprise Mode must be configured for all Windows 8+ and Server 2012R2+ systems that require flash until Summer 2012

 

For Windows 7 systems that require Flash in IE 11 Browsers - this must be provided via the Flash Player ActiveX Controls & will leverage the same MMS.CFG file for Enterprise Mode sites?

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 16, 2020 Dec 16, 2020

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The default value for the EnableAllowList setting will default to true after Jan 12, 2021 on all flavors of Flash Player.  At this point, Flash Player will no longer load content from the open web.  You can configure specific AllowListUrlPattern entries in mms.cfg.  Check out the admin guide for specifics on how to do that and where to put the files.

 

For completeness, please check out the Enterprise EOL FAQ here for a clear and concise description of what's happening, your options and our recommendations: https://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/enterprise-end-of-life.html

 

And check out the Enterprise Enablement section in the Flash Player System Administration Guide (pp.28): 

https://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/flash_player_admin_guide.html

 

In terms of what other companies are doing, I don't think we should be speaking on behalf of anyone else.  All of the major browsers will be removing plug-in support entirely in the coming year.  We do not recommend running an unpatched or unmaintained Flash Player.


The statements and corresponding roadmaps for all of the major browser vendors are linked to from the original announcement back in 2017: 

https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-flash-update/

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