On December 8, 2020, Adobe announced the following: “Adobe will no longer support Flash Player after December 31, 2020, and Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, 2021.”
So, that’s “all she wrote” for an application that lasted 24 years. But the end was not unexpected. In mid-2017, Adobe announced it would retire Flash from support and halt distribution of the application by the end of 2020.
The primary browser makers — Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla — also embarked on their own roadmaps for Flash Player’s end. Because the vast bulk of Flash content was created for websites and run in web browsers, those four developers’ plans carry enormous weight.
Here are how those browser makers will wrap up Flash — if they haven’t already done so — in the coming weeks.
Google has stated that as of January 2021, “Flash Player will be marked as out of date and will be blocked from loading” in Chrome.
Edge and Internet Explorer
Because Microsoft’s Edge now relies on the same base code as Chrome, and Internet Explorer (IE) is maintained only as a legacy last resort for businesses, the Redmond developer’s path toward Flash finality is complicated.
Microsoft plans to purge Flash from Windows and will offer the uninstall-Flash update via Windows Update as an “optional” download in early 2021. The status will change to “recommended” a few months later.
During the summer of 2021, Microsoft will eliminate the remaining evidence of Flash support from the original version of Edge and IE.
Mozilla has taken a straight-forward approach to vanquish Flash. Firefox 84, which was due to be shipped on December 15, 2020, will be the final version to support Flash. Firefox 85, slated for release on January 26, 2021, will arrive without Flash support.
Safari 14, the 2020 refresh that was bundled with the macOS 11 (“Big Sur”) upgrade in November, and offered in late September as an update to users running the earlier Catalina and Mojave versions of macOS, lacks any capability to run Flash content.
What Does This Mean For You?
With the Adobe Flash Player removed from your browser, you can expect some ads not to function properly, some games will not operate as you expect, and some websites will not display content (either properly or at all).
Please note: There is nothing you can do about it.
Every website owner has known for years this change was coming. It was their responsibility to create an alternative method of providing their advertising, games, and web content. If one of your favorite websites is not displaying content — or otherwise not appearing properly, you can locate their Contact Us section and send them a note. How responsive website owners will be after the fact is questionable. I have a feeling several will be scurrying to learn how to code in HTML5, the replacement method that has been available for almost six years.