Last month, Microsoft released a timeline for the end of Adobe Flash. It said that the Flash removal tool would be an optional update in Windows Update by early 2021. Now, within a few weeks, Microsoft has released a new update that removes the Adobe Flash version bundled into Windows 10. However, it does not remove any standalone versions you’ve installed yourself. Plus, it doesn’t remove Flash from your browsers, either.
The optional Catalog update paves the way for the eventual end of Flash in 2021. With the new Windows 10 update, Flash support will officially end this year. There will eb no more updates for Internet Explorer 11 and the legacy (non-Chromium) version of Edge by December. Further, the latest version of Edge that uses Google’s Chrome engine, will have its Flash support end in January 2021.
While Google has said that it would end Flash support for Chrome, Adobe itself has announced that it will end Flash development in 2020. Microsoft says, “We are releasing this removal update in advance of end of support to help customers test and validate their environments for any impact that might occur by the removal of Adobe Flash Player. Also, if another security update for Adobe Flash Player is released, customers who take this removal update will still be offered the security update.”
The update is optional as of now, but it will become a recommended update and in the middle of 2021. The company will also be removing Flash-related developer frameworks, group policies, and user interfaces from legacy Edge and IE11. Once installed, this update cannot be uninstalled.