Although Adobe stopped serving updates for its Flash Player last month — and will disable the plug-in on Jan. 12 — Microsoft will be in charge of uninstalling the software from Windows PCs.
(Adobe has recommended that users remove Flash from their personal computers to “help secure your system since Adobe does not intend to issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL Date.”)
Users can, of course, manually uninstall Flash using the steps Adobe posted on its website.
But Microsoft has a plan to scrub Flash from all Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 PCs this year, a plan that doesn’t rely on users taking action.
Microsoft seeded “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” to the Microsoft Update Catalog on Oct 26. The update, also identified as KB4577586, “permanently removes Adobe Flash Player as a component of the Windows OS devices.”
Users can select the appropriate-to-their-OS version of KB4577586, then download and apply it to their PC. Microsoft noted that the update removes only the Flash Player installed by Windows. “If you installed Adobe Flash Player manually from another source, it will not be removed,” Microsoft said in a support document.
Microsoft will offer KB4577586 as an optional download on the Windows Update and WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) platforms.
A few months later
Microsoft will change KB4577586 to recommended on Windows Update and WSUS. Depending on the settings of Windows Update, recommended updates may be automatically downloaded and installed.
The “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player,” aka KB4577586, will be included in the monthly “Cumulative Updates” and “Monthly Rollups” from this point forward. In other words, KB4577586 will be automatically installed and activated, permanently removing Flash Player from the system.
Macs with Flash
Mac users with Flash Player must manually uninstall the plug-in using the steps. Adobe outlined here.