With the end of 2020 comes the end of the era for one of the web’s most contentious browser plug-ins. Support for Adobe Flash officially ended on December 31, 2020, so that means it’s time to uninstall Flash from your device.
Flash was pivotal in enabling video and audio playback in the early internet of the 2000s, as it allowed developers an easy way to embed videos or create games that could be played in a browser. But it was also heartily criticized along the way, both for being a resource hog and for having terrible security, with a series of security risks that needed regular patches.
These criticisms came loudest in 2010, when Apple founder Steve Jobs published an open letter called “Thoughts on Flash,” in which he outlined many issues with the software and said it would not be allowed to run on Apple products. Covering security issues, poor performance especially on mobile devices, and its excessive use of battery power, Jobs’ missive proved to be the beginning of the end for Flash.
Flash has since been replaced in its functions by HTML5 in 2014, which allows embedding of audio and video with any additional browser plugin needing to be installed.
Now, with Flash no longer supported, it’s time to remove it from your device if you haven’t already. To uninstall Flash from a Mac as described by 9to5Mac, you can go to the Utilities section and select Adobe Flash Player Install Manager, then select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users should find that Flash was automatically uninstalled in the October 27, 2020 update of Windows 10.
Even though Flash is gone, the good news is that some classic pieces of early internet culture which were built on Flash won’t be lost. The Internet Archive has announced it will be saving and emulating Flash animations to make them viewable to browsers without Flash installed. So you’ll still be able to view and enjoy such classics from the ancient world as Badger Badger Badger Badger Mushroom Mushroom or Peanut Butter Jelly Time, should you feel the need to be catapulted straight back to the bizarre and somehow surprisingly wholesome realm of the early 2000s internet.
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