What should you do with Adobe Flash Player?

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You might see a notice pop up on your computer that Adobe Flash Player is being discontinued, and asking if you want to uninstall it from your computer. Here’s what to do.

Adobe Flash


I’ve had several clients ask me recently about this message they’ve gotten on their computer:

uninstall Flash


The questions that come up…

  • What is Flash?
  • Do I need it?
  • Should I uninstall it?

What is Flash? Flash is a programming language that used to be very common. Websites used it to display some of their content, such as animated images or games. An example of this is the original Facebook game of Farmville – remember when all your friends were always talking about playing that game? It’s actually still played by a lot of people, but that will end at the end of this year when Zynga (the company that owns Farmville) ends it. Only the original Farmville is being discontinued – newer versions will still be available, since they don’t use the Flash technology.

The end of Flash has actually been on the horizon for a while. Adobe announced the “end of life” for Flash over two years ago, to give enough time for websites to change over to its replacement (HTML 5). And why is it going away? Because of all the security problems it causes. Of all the malware in existence right now, about HALF of it is due to security issues in Flash. It’s really bad.

Do you need Flash? No. The vast majority of websites have already switched over to the much safer HTML 5, and you probably didn’t even notice. There are still a few sites that use Flash to display content, but it’s becoming pretty rare now. And those sites are going to have a big problem after December 31, when Flash no longer works.

Should you uninstall Flash? Yes. There’s a good chance you don’t even have it installed now anyway. I haven’t been installing Flash on new computers and the laptops I sell for at least a couple of years. If you have had your computer for longer than that, you might still have it installed. If so, when you get that pop-up on your screen offering to uninstall the Adobe Flash Player, you can go ahead and get rid of it.

If you have not seen that pop-up and want to make sure you don’t have it, you can go to Control Panel and look at the list of programs available to uninstall, and see if it is listed there as Adobe Flash Player. If you see it, you can go ahead and uninstall it. Or, you can use the Adobe Flash Uninstaller program here.

And if you still play the original Facebook Farmville game, enjoy it while you can!

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