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Chrome 76 Buries Flash Player Once And for All

Chrome browser
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In 2019, no one should be downloading Adobe Flash — period. Its a known breeding ground for malware attacks, but some people must still be trying to access Flash content because Google just released a Chrome update making sure no one can encounter it in the first place.

Chrome 76, the latest version of Google's popular browser, now blocks Adobe Flash by default with no option to bypass. The tech giant has been trying to eradicate Flash for years, first by actively pausing Flash Player content on web pages in 2015. Previous editions of Google Chrome allowed users to request to run Flash on a case-to-case basis.

Google's rationale for the change can be found in the Chromium roadmap. Flash is a common Trojan horse for malicious cyber attacks, posing as a regular content file when it actually holds anti-virus-evading malware. Any Flash content worth saving should have been converted to another format, or now exists on YouTube or another platform.

If for some reason you still want to run Flash through Chrome, you'll need to venture deep into your settings and make an explicit request. By next year, though, Adobe will stop distributing Flash altogether, so you shouldn't be able to find it on the internet at all.

Chrome 76's other noteworthy update is a security patch for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS that kills off a "loophole" that permitted tracking through Incognito Mode. Some websites found a way to track those using the private browsing option to bypass paywalls. Chrome 76 implements the FileSystem API differently so users can no longer be flagged, making it easier for you to access subscription websites for free.

The rest of Chrome 76's fixes can be found here

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at