Adobe to Discontinue Flash Support and Updates in 2020

Adobe announced today that it will discontinue Flash support and updates at the end of 2020. Flash played an important part in the history of the web, inspiring many of the open standards and formats that the web has moved on to embrace.

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

Last year most major browsers moved to block Flash, requiring users to enable it manually for sites where they wish to view Flash content. Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla were on deck today with announcements of their own regarding future Flash support. Firefox is the most aggressive with its plan to disable Flash for most users in 2019. Only those running an Extended Support Release will be able to continue using it through the end of 2020 and no version of Firefox will load the plugin after Adobe discontinues security patches.

Chrome is also phasing out support for Flash and plans to remove it completely from the browser toward the end of 2020.

“Three years ago, 80 percent of desktop Chrome users visited a site with Flash each day,” Google Chrome Product Manager Anthony Laforge said. “Today usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline.

“This trend reveals that sites are migrating to open web technologies, which are faster and more power-efficient than Flash. They’re also more secure, so you can be safer while shopping, banking, or reading sensitive documents.”

The Microsoft Edge team also announced its plans to phase out Flash from both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer with complete removal from all supported versions of Microsoft Windows by the end of 2020.

Although HTML5 adoption is growing among game developers, Adobe’s announcement means major changes for segments of the the gaming, education, and video industries that have not yet migrated to newer, open formats. This news will also make obsolete dozens of WordPress plugins that were created to upload and display Flash content.

Adobe’s announcement was met with thanks and “good riddance,” with many calling for an even speedier timeline. Many are also concerned about all the orphaned content and .swf games on the web that Flash’s disappearance will create. Adobe has received many requests on Twitter for the company to consider open sourcing the old Flash Player codebase for the sake of compatibility and archiving content. Adobe has not officially replied to any of these requests.


13 responses to “Adobe to Discontinue Flash Support and Updates in 2020”

  1. Wow, they are finally doing it.

    Flash had its moment on the internet, but it was over long ago. It was useful, but always a pain when a website asked you to install the plugin to see it. For me, it was in the same category as Java and even Silverlight.

    Useful, cute, but extremely painful. Avoid at all costs.

    The web is much better without lots of Flash stuff all over the place. I especially hated the Flash ADS with loud sounds (heck, I remember one of a baby that almost made me have a heart attack a few years ago). It was a love-hate thing… but mostly landing in hate.

    Nowadays, only old and abandoned parts of the Internet use it… mostly… so this was a natural move.

  2. Flash was and is still great for online games. HTML5 and WebGL and other open formats still have to mature till they match the performance of a simple Flash Game but in IT terms 2020 is very far, many things can happen in 3 years.

    For more complex 3D games there is Unity plugin but also major browsers seems to have a beef with this particular plugin and disable support for it one by one.

    Best regards from an casual online browser-gamer ;)

  3. The title of this article is incorrect and misleading.
    I actually enjoy disappointing all the Flash haters out there crowing the last few days that “Flash is dead!”: there is a whole lot of confusion about this. The free Adobe Flash Player web browser plugin is end of life in 3 years. But Flash is very much alive… it has been given a new name = Adobe Animate and still does everything it did before plus it outputs to HTML5 and JavaScript. It does way more in HTML5 than “simple HTML5 animations”!!!!
    Flash Player is ending because the SWF output is no longer necessary. Again Flash lives with a new name and a new preferred output = HTML5 and JavaScript.
    All this Flash is dead and Flash is doomed nonsense is ridiculous. I wish people would educate themselves instead of mindlessly repeating silly clickbait!

    So FLASH LIVES! Flash haters can cry me a river. :-)

    • The article you have referenced is old, and things have changed a lot since 2015.

      Flash doesn’t work on any mobile browser (Android and iOS), and mobile browsers have overtaken desktop browsers in market share (desktop holds only 42%, according to StatCounter). Most desktop browsers don’t run Flash by default at all (only Microsoft Edge still includes Flash, Chrome has Flash support, but it is disabled). And, latest tracking data puts Flash on about 6% of websites only (according to W3Techs tracking).

      So, taking all current data into account, Flash is pretty much dead technology when it comes to the web use.

      • Milan, Things have changed and Flash no longer uses the free Flash Player plugin. Please read what I wrote about how Flash (now called Animate) publishes to open standards for the web (HTML5/JavaScript). With the new output, there is nothing making it as “Flash” content and so it is of course not showing up in the stats you quoted.

        • When people talk about the Flash, it is the Flash file format using plugin/player in the browser.

          Adobe Flash software for creating Flash animations is replaced by Adobe Animate. It still can create animations, but it no longer produces only Flash files, it can create HTML5 instead. And that is not the same as Flash.

          Adobe has purposely renamed the animation software to start the process of killing Flash format and Flash player. Produced HTML5 has nothing to do with Flash format. Adobe is killing Flash format, not the Animate software.


Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: