25 November 2020
Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 update that removes the Adobe Flash and prevents it from being re-installed. This does not come as a surprise as Microsoft had already announced in September 2020 that an “optional” update coming this fall will uninstall Adobe Flash Player and prevent it from getting installed again on the same device. So, Microsoft is just paving the way for the eventual death of the app that is set to happen in 2021.
Microsoft reiterates that Flash Player will go out of support on December 31, 2020, and announced that it has released the removal update in advance of the end of support to help customers "test and validate their environments for any impact that might occur by the removal."
Note that this is an optional update and can only be downloaded via Microsoft Catalog. According to Bleeping Computer, the update KB4657786 currently only removes the Flash version bundled into Windows 10 and not any standalone versions you’ve installed into Windows 10. Also, the Adobe Flash Player component built into Microsoft Edge and other browsers are also not removed.
If you still wish to use Adobe Flash Player again on your device after this update has been installed then Microsoft has a couple of methods as recommendations. You will need to reset your Windows device to an earlier system restore point. “This feature must be explicitly enabled and a system restores point must have been created on your Windows device before you apply this update.” The second method is, reinstall your Windows OS and do not apply this new Catalog update.