After their official statement in September 2020, where they confirmed they were ending support for Adobe Flash Player on its Chromium-based Edge, legacy Edge browsers, and Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft has begun removing the software from Windows devices.
Although initially intended to be optional, as stated in a support note from last October, this week several Windows 10 users reported that Microsoft is forcefully installing KB4577586 on their devices, permanently removing Flash support from the OS.

It seems that Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 KB4577586 as an automatic update with the February 2021 Patch Tuesday updates. This patch will portray a final farewell to Adobe Flash Player for all versions of the operating system and it will be pushed via Windows Update to more users over the course of the next few weeks.

Popular web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge have already announced Adobe Flash Player EOL (End of Life):

  • Since Firefox version 85, Mozilla doesn’t support Adobe Flash. In fact, since version 69, the Adobe Flash Player Plugin was disabled by default. However, there was an option to enable Flash for certain websites. What’s more, Adobe Flash was the only NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) plugin supported by Firefox back then.
  • Chrome has interrupted support for Adobe Flash Player since Chrome version 88.
  • Microsoft Edge doesn’t support Flash Player content from the very first releases of Microsoft Edge version 88.

Nevertheless, if you’ve created a specific Restore Point in the past, you can restore the entire Windows version to get it back. Additionally, you can also try reinstalling Windows except for this patch to save the Flash Player.
Also, please be aware that the manually installed Flash Player won’t be removed with this update. Only the one installed on Microsoft’s OS will get scoured. If you have a browser plugin on any other third-party browser apart from those mentioned above, you will still be able to use it.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend you proceeding with any of these options as Adobe has clearly stated that the Flash Player might be susceptible to vulnerabilities, malware, as well as security risks in the future. In any case, the update is moving smoothly with the February 2021 cumulative updates and will reach all users in a few days.
Moreover, if for some reason you are still using an older operating system like Windows 7, I recommend you upgrade to Windows 10 to remain secure since Microsoft has already ended support for it.

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