Less than a decade ago, Adobe Flash Player was a crucial ingredient for everyday web browsing. Many online games, quizzes and even embedded videos relied on it to work properly, and people bemoaned the lack of support on Apple's Safari mobile app.
Fast forward just a few years and Flash is no longer the force it once was. Most sites have now transitioned over to the much faster HTML5, and Adobe is ending support for the plug-in at the end of 2020.
However, millions of Windows devices still have the technology installed, which could cause security issues moving forward. Here's how to remove Flash from your PC once and for all.
How to remove Flash from Windows 10
Microsoft has released an update for Windows 10 that will remove Flash completely, but you won't be able to download it from Settings. Here's how to install the optional update:
- Head to Settings > System and choose 'About' from the left pane
- Under the heading 'Device specifications' note down the processor type listed next to 'System type' (In the screenshot below it's x64-based)
- Scroll down to 'Windows specifications' and make a note of the Version number (in the screenshot below it's 1903)
- In any browser, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog and find the correct update that's compatible. Those for more recent versions are available on the second page
- Click 'Download' from the far-right column
- A dialog box should appear. Click the link in blue to download it
- After a few seconds, double click the completed download in the bar at the bottom of the window
- When prompted, click 'Yes' to confirm you'd like to install the update
- After the installation has completed, restart your device to apply the changes
How to disable Adobe Flash Player in Microsoft Edge
Even after installing this update, the Flash Player component is still built into Microsoft's Edge browser. Here's how to turn it off:
- Open Microsoft Edge and click the three dots in the top-right corner
- Choose 'Settings' and then 'Site permissions' from the left pane
- Under 'Adobe Flash', check the toggle next to 'Ask before running Flash' is set to off
That's it! Most other web browsers now block Flash Player by default, so you no longer have to worry about the potential security risk.