Adobe Flash Player has come to the end of its life after 24 years on most computers in the late 2000s. Launched in 1996 by Adobe Systems, Flash Player made online animations possible on internet-enabled PCs and facilitated the streaming of videos and gaming in its early days. The advent of smartphones by 2009 left Flash Player behind since its developers failed to effectively deal with its security problems.
In 2017, Adobe announced that they will no longer offer updates or security patches for Flash and that the browser plug-in would be fully retired on January 12, 2021. And on January 1, the company laid Flash Player to rest, while all animations and games using Flash will cease working by January 12. Adobe warns that all users should uninstall the plug-in for security reasons.
“Adobe strongly recommends all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems,” the company wrote. “Some users may continue to see reminders from Adobe to uninstall Flash Player from their system. Uninstalling Flash Player will help secure your system since Adobe does not intend to issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL date.”
It is helpful to uninstall the Flash Player from PCs at this moment so that users will identify any future updates as malicious and dangerous.
Apple’s Steve Jobs in April 2010 discounted the value of Flash Player for smartphones and said iPhones, as well as iPads, would not be allowed to run Flash. He argued that the plug-in posed a security threat and was unreliable while also draining battery life fast. He stated that smartphones would be better off with HTML5. And in 2015, the company removed Flash from Safari web browser while other browsers such as Chrome began to block some Flash content.
In a recent announcement to discontinue Flash Player, Adobe appreciated users for taking advantage of the product and credited the animation player with the success of many web content over the decades. Windows and Mac users are advised to remove the plug-in from their systems for improved system security so that hackers will not seize the redundant utility for malicious purposes.
“We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades,” Adobe stated. “We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video.”