Adobe Flash is still somewhat alive, but not for long

There are still a handful of Windows PCs in the world that haven't installed the operating system update that eliminates the dangerous Flash Player, but Microsoft has decided to change its policy.

If you thought Adobe Flash was dead on December 31, 2020, the date Adobe itself stopped officially supporting it, you were wrong: the multimedia content playback platform that depopulated for years when "multimedia content" certainly didn't mean 4K videos from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but very poor animations and low-resolution movie sketches, is still inside Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012.

Or at least inside some copies of those operating systems, those on which the optional update with code KB4577586 has not been downloaded and installed. An update that dates back to October 2020, which removes Adobe Flash and even prevents its reinstallation, but which, being optional, not everyone has inside their Windows 10. And, as it turns out, the copies of Windows without KB4577586 are not even as few as one would be led to believe since Microsoft has announced that those who don't remove Flash on their own will suffer its forced removal by the operating system. How? Through a new update, this time mandatory, coming in June 2021.

Adobe Flash, why it must be removed

The big problem with Adobe Flash is that it is full of security holes, all well known to hackers. Flash can therefore be used to execute dangerous code or download a virus on a computer: it is enough to induce the user to view a Flash video, suitably modified.

In the old days, to understand if we still had Adobe Flash Player installed on our computer, it was enough to open with a browser an old Web page that contained Flash content. Nowadays it is not so easy, because since a long time the main browsers block by default these contents even if the plug-in to play them is installed on the operating system.

Adobe Flash, removal will be mandatory

So far Microsoft has chosen the way of optional removal of Adobe Flash: those who have Windows Update set to automatically receive and install optional updates, then they have certainly installed KB4577586 (and therefore uninstalled Adobe Flash).

Those who have set Windows Update to be able to choose which updates to install, then they might still have a copy of Adobe Flash on their computer. This will no longer be the case in June: Microsoft will release the same update included in KB4577586, but will include it in a mandatory update to Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8.1 (earlier versions of Windows no longer receive security updates, because support has expired).