Three years ago Adobe announced (opens in new tab) that Flash Player, a once cornerstone of interactive content online, will be ending. Well, that day has finally come, and Adobe is strongly recommending that users uninstall Flash from their computers immediately.
On January 1st, Adobe dropped support for Flash. That means no more annoying update prompts, the ones that also nudged you to install McAfee Security Scan Plus. According to Adobe's Flash end of life page (opens in new tab), "Adobe does not intend to issue Flash Player updates or security patches after the EOL Date. Adobe strongly recommends that all users uninstall Flash Player immediately."
The reason Adobe is being so forceful in asking users uninstall Flash is because it has always been a security nightmare.
Per a piece by Adam Palmer at Infosecurity Magazine, the National Vulnerability Database returns 1,122 records for Flash Player, both the FBI and CIA put it in the top-10 routinely exploited vulnerabilities, and that criminals still try and trick people into installing fake versions of Flash on their computers.
Research shows that 99% of internet users don't have Flash installed on their computers. Actually, Apple dropped support of Flash from its computers in 2010, switching to HTML and WebGL standards. The iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch have never supported Flash. It's likely that you don't have Flash installed on your computer. But just in case, it's good to follow these steps.
How to uninstall Flash on Windows 10
- Download the uninstaller for Flash Player (opens in new tab)
- Exit all browsers and programs that use Flash
- Run the uninstaller
How to uninstall Flash on MacOS
- Open a Finder window and select Applications
- Open Utilities (or search for Adobe Flash Player Install Manager)
- Open Adobe Flash Player Install Manager and click Uninstall
- You will get a confirmation when it is fully installed
If you don't want to go through the above steps, Adobe also has an uninstaller program for Mac that can be found here (opens in new tab).
As for sites like Homestar Runner, it will continue to work using an emulated version of Flash thanks to the Ruffle Project. Emulation isn't perfect, and some games might not play the way you remember. But the Ruffle Project aims to fix emulation issues. New episodes of Homestar Runner also go live on YouTube.