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2020 did one good thing: Adobe’s Flash is finally dead

Published Jan 1st, 2021 7:31AM EST
Adobe Flash
Image: Asus/Amazon

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  • Adobe Flash Player will no longer work on computers and devices that still supported the software.
  • Adobe will block the program come January 12th, and Flash will not be available in major browsers.
  • Companies like Microsoft and Facebook will also block Flash. Apple has already been doing it for years.

The 2020 meme needs no more introductions. Last year was an awful, awful year. It wasn’t just the novel coronavirus pandemic that ruined normal life. The world experienced a variety of bad events from early January 2020 through December. Netflix has an aptly titled Death to 2020 mockumentary that hilariously documents all of the strangeness of 2020. But if there’s one thing that 2020 did right, that’s “killing” Flash. An iconic functionality of the old internet is now gone. Adobe and other companies no longer support Adobe Flash. Internet browsers will also lose Flash support soon, which might render some games and web apps useless for a period. If you have Flash installed on your device, you should remove it as soon as possible. If a program tells you that you need to download Flash Player, better avoid it. It might be malicious behavior.

We knew this day was coming for a while, but, thankfully, many people might not even feel the absence of Flash. One of the most famous adversaries of the software was Apple’s Steve Jobs. The iPhone never supported the Flash Player, a move that was fiercely criticized in the early days of the smartphone. It wasn’t just that Flash could be a resource hog that could lead to significant battery drain. Flash also posed security issues.

Flash did not get any better over the year, culminating with Adobe’s unexpected move in 2015 to ask developers to move to HTML5. A few years later, Adobe announced it would terminate Flash support, practically vindicating Jobs in the process. That day has finally come, and Flash will now be part of the history of the old web. If anyone wants to reexperience Flash content, including games and animations, the Internet Archive will be the place to go.

From now on, Adobe will start blocking Flash content. You have until January 12th to adapt to that move, in case you still need Flash for anything. Internet browsers will not support Flash, and Microsoft will block it in most versions of Windows. Facebook will do the same thing, which means some games might not work.

Such is the case with Zynga’s original FarmVille game from 2009. Rather than adapt the hit to HTML5, Zynga is shutting FarmVille down for good. Players will be able to migrate to FarmVille: Tropic Escape, or anything else that has FarmVille in the title.

Don’t be surprised if other Flash Player apps and games stop working on your machine. In fact, if you still had Flash in your life, getting used to something else could be one of the first things you do this year. It could be the first New Year’s resolution that you complete, even if it’s not a specific entry on your list.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.