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Flash Supported in Edge and IE Browsers Until December 2020

Microsoft has slightly altered its Adobe Flash retirement plans for its older supported browsers.

In a Friday announcement, Microsoft indicated that it won't disable Flash this year, as originally planned, in its EdgeHTML-based Edge browser nor in its Internet Explorer 11 browser (called "in-market" browsers by Microsoft). The ability to use Flash in those browsers will still come to an end, though, in "December 2020."

The Flash browser plug-in is considered potentially insecure and irrelevant since its video and animation capabilities are now handled by HTML5, WebAssembly and WebGL technologies used in today's browsers. More than two years ago, Adobe had announced an end to its Flash product, which would happen after 2020.

Microsoft back then stated its plans to disable Flash use by default in Microsoft Edge (the EdgeHTML version of that browser) and Internet Explorer, starting "in mid to late 2019." Microsoft's new policy, as expressed on Friday, has dropped the disablement of Flash this year for those browsers. It'll be possible to use Flash in 2019 if end users assent to it, but that option will end in December 2020.

Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser, released as a first beta version last month, will follow the Chromium model with regard to ending Flash use. Microsoft's announcement referred to Google's 2017 announcement on the matter. Per Google's approach, end users can use Flash if they grant it permission to run, but Flash ultimately will get removed from the Google Chrome browser "toward the end of 2020."

Mozilla's Flash plans were a little more accelerated for its Firefox browser. Mozilla aimed to block Flash by default in early 2019, with removal happening in early 2020. Apple long ago turned off the use of Flash for its Safari browser.

Microsoft pointed IT pros to its Group Policy options for handing the Flash browser plug-ins. It includes a policy that will allow Flash on some sites and a policy that will block Flash on specific sites. The DefaultPluginsSetting policy has an option to block Flash on all sites.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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