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The Internet owes a lot to it, but Flash has overstayed its welcome Why Flash Needs to Die (And How You Can Get Rid of It) Why Flash Needs to Die (And How You Can Get Rid of It) The Internet's relationship with Flash has been rocky for a while. Once, it was a universal standard on the web. Now, it looks like it may be headed to the chopping block. What changed? Read More . No company pushes security patches as often as Adobe does — patches that sometimes come as frequently as once or twice a day. How can a piece of tech be that insecure?

Recently, we learned that there was a critical vulnerability in Flash that existed in all versions and platforms of Flash with the only way to protect yourself being to completely uninstall it.

Plus, Flash impedes computer performance 4 Tips to Fix 100% Disk Usage & Improve Windows Performance 4 Tips to Fix 100% Disk Usage & Improve Windows Performance Slow performance can't always be blamed on a lack of processing power or memory. Sometimes your system drive is the limiting factor. Windows 10 and 8 have disk usage issues, here's how to fix this. Read More . Just get rid of it.

Check if you have Flash installed by using Adobe’s Flash player checker tool. If you don’t have it installed, congrats! You’re done. If you do have it installed, keep reading.

To uninstall on Windows: Visit the Uninstall Flash Player for Windows page on Adobe’s website. You’ll have to download the Flash uninstaller, close all open programs, and step through the uninstaller.

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To uninstall on Mac: Visit the Uninstall Flash Player for Mac page on Adobe’s website. You’ll have to download the appropriate Flash uninstaller (there’s one for 10.1 to 10.3 and a different one for 10.4+), close all open browsers, step through the uninstaller, and manually delete two directories.

To uninstall on Linux: Different distros require different steps, but the general idea is to use your package manager (e.g. DPKG for Ubuntu and Debian distros, RPM for Red Hat and other related distros, etc) to uninstall flash. Look for packages named flashplugin-installer or flash-plugin.

Have you uninstalled Flash yet? If not, what would convince you to? Share with us in the comments!

Image Credits: Flash Logo by 360b via Shutterstock

  1. Rich
    February 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I use google chrome and it says flash player is installed as a part of google chrome. Do I need to remove chrome to uninstall Flash player

  2. Roger Oveur
    October 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Flash is a hopelessly buggy plugin that always has vulnerabilities and is basically obsolete at this point. Adobe would do well to kill it altogether. There's really no reason for it now that HTML5 has come along. I haven't had Flash installed on my computer in years and have no problems with YouTube or other video services. If ever I come across one of the few wannabe edgy designers who made their whole site in Flash, I close the tab. Not worth risking exploits and hacks from here to kingdom come just so that Adobe can continue peddling an obsolete product for animations and choppy YouTube clips.

    • Joel Lee
      October 28, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Thanks for sharing, 0x4fffff! It's good to know that there are folks like yourself who are successfully browsing the web without Flash at all. It'll be a few more years before HTML5 really wins out over Flash, and until then people will keep clinging to their Flash, but that day cannot come soon enough. :)

  3. Mike Gilligan
    October 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Uninstall Flash, Now? You've got to be kidding. Instead of putting the pressure on users' to remove it, (effectively cutting us off from 90% of flash based experiences online, WHY Not put the pressure onto Oracle to update & make flash safer.
    I agree with fcd76218,, HTML5 is too far off, too many present sites require flash content to be viewable for their uses/visitors, etc.

    IOW's, fix the current problem & when the best alternative IS available, (globaly), then we can make the move! (& stop putting the frightners on to us til then!).

    • Ihatewindows522
      November 16, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      If not now, then when? You now have the Windows dilemma where you have highly insecure buggy software that dominates the market. There is no incentive to switch when everybody is using it. And if you don't use it, you are suddenly incompatible with the rest of the world. The vicious cycle really is ironic.

  4. fcd76218
    October 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Joe,
    While I agree with you strongly about the need to uninstall Flash, unless you suggest alternative programs to access Flash-based content, your article is pointless.

    Yes, eventually HTML5 and other technologies will replace Flash but that will not happen overnight. Until that happens, we need Flash, no matter how flawed and insecure it is. Flash is like hydrocarbon fuel, it is bad for the environment but until some kind of replacement comes into wide use, we are stuck with dino fuels.

    • Joel Lee
      October 28, 2015 at 12:03 am

      "unless you suggest alternative programs to access Flash-based content, your article is pointless."
      The truth hurts, but you're absolutely right. My bad. I appreciate the honest feedback and I'll try to provide more value next time. Thanks fcd! (Really, no sarcasm.)

  5. Ed Lamaster
    October 23, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Those of us who manage large corporate networks don't really have that option, particularly when we have to support corporate Learning Management Systems. Most eLearning development outputs to Flash. Our standard browser poorly supports HTML5, and upgrading browsers breaks other things that need to be known before updating thousands of workstations. Rewriting/republishing all our eLearning content and testing with new browsers takes a lot of time.

    Flash is indeed dying (for real this time), but for those of us who can't just snap our fingers and make it go away overnight, it would be helpful to talk about mitigation strategies if you can't just uninstall flash "right now".

  6. John Hixson
    October 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I would like to get rid of flash but I am an Amazon Prime Video member and I have to use flash on my laptop to watch. :(

    • Ihatewindows522
      November 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Eventually Amazon Prime will have to switch to HTML 5 or die. Reminds me of the "IE only" sites. As a friend of mine put it during the browser wars, "Would they turn away 10 out of 100 people at a brick and mortar store? How about 20 out of 100 or 50 out of 100? I can't wait until the day NO ONE can access their site and they go out of business because they are too stupid to survive."

  7. A41202813GMAIL ..
    October 23, 2015 at 6:02 am

    My AV Configuration Allows Me To:

    A - Be Warned When Programs Are About To Be Run From The Temporary Folders, And, Also,

    B - Block Any Program Before Being Run From The Temporary Folders.

    If Some Software Installation Crashes, And I Receive The ( A ) Warning, Then I Unblock ( B ) Temporarily - When The Software Is Installed, I Block ( B ) Again.

    I Love Using FLASH Video Streaming Inside IE8, And My Problems With MalWare Appear To Be Gone Since I Started To Do This Procedure A Few Weeks Ago.

    XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

  8. X64.bits
    October 23, 2015 at 3:35 am

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
    Everyone You Need to Uninstall Flash Right Now, Don't wait till tomorrow.

  9. GodSponge (EB)
    October 23, 2015 at 12:33 am

    As far as I can tell you can't completely remove flash if you are using chrome. I uninstalled per the procedure here just to see what content I'd miss, but after uninstalling it, I got a message saying that chrome has it built in.

  10. wingo
    October 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Lazy reporting but probably fulfills the requirement for weekly quota. "Hey everybody do as I tell you, all of these other good folks will tell you why you should do as I say."

    MUO should spend less time thinking up superior, exclusive, and alarmist titles and taglines and put mor effort into telling readers the story .

    I am tired of the headlines telling me what I should do now (usually applies to a very small group of people) or the (choose your number eg 10) things I don't do or know and should be doing now. Arrogant, arrogant, arrogant.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, wingo, and I apologize. As I told Don down below, I'll tone down my headlines going forward.

  11. Michael Weis
    October 22, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Good grief! I am asked if I want to run flash and it's pretty obvious that there is a HUGE amount of content that runs Flash.
    Never using Flash would mean shutting off my access to about 1/3 of the web content I access reguarly.
    I keep waiting for HTML5 to replace Flash, but it isn't happening.
    On my Android phone or my iPad (although it has much less memory than my phone) I can download the app instead of using a browser, but not on my PC which is my primary tool for reading web content.
    Much of life involves cost/benefit tradeoffs and in this case, the balance is clearly in running the risk

  12. Matthew Day
    October 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Malwarebytes anti-exploit provides a useful increase in resistance to attack, would highly recommend using that or Microsoft EMET (but not both!)

    • Mike Dunn
      October 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Malwarebytes doesn't protect you,it only reveals what you are infected with.Use a sandboxing program to stop all malware,including zero day attacks.

      • Gilbert J.
        October 23, 2015 at 12:27 am

        MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit is not the same thing as MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. You should use both as they protect in different ways. Sandboxing is good too, of course.

  13. Mike Dunn
    October 22, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Well,do what I do,and run flash and everything else in Sandboxie. That will stop your zero day exploits.I have Firefox,and have a plugin that restricts running flash on a site by site basis.

  14. Kerry Parkes
    October 22, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    It would be great to be able to uninstall flash but as has been said so many times already too much of the internet still utilizes flash very heavily. It was mentioned that chrome has it built right in(but chrome is now one of the worst browsers to use in my opinion)but it is not the only one that has it built in, Internet Explorer as well as the new Edge browser also have it built right in so unless you go to other alternative browsers you could not uninstall it if you wanted to. And there is something else that no one has mentioned and that is the giant facebook. Anyone that plays a game there requires flash to play anything on there. So unless all of the huge companies start switching over I really don't see any way of getting rid of flash any time soon

  15. DonGateley
    October 22, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    What an utterly absurd and ridiculous (subject to ridicule) article. Don't waste our time with crap like this. The author knows full well why his advice is ridiculous but publishes it anyway.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks for the honest feedback, Don. I'll tone down on the alarmism from here on out. (Really, no sarcasm.)

      • DonGateley
        October 23, 2015 at 12:05 am

        And thanks for the measured response. I don't think your alarmism can be faulted, actually. Flash just presents us a situation where we are between a rock and a hard place. Why? Because Atlantic Monthly.

        There is simply too much valuable content locked behind it as of now to consider forgoing it all as you recommend. My problem with the article is that there is no way you can't know that.

        Maybe you should recommend, instead, that we all send critical comments to the various places that still requiring it telling _them_ to stop using it.

  16. hildyblog
    October 22, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    No. Just NO.

    If anyone (including the author) had clicked through to the BGR report or checked the Adobe site (linked to by BGR but not MUO), you would have found that this vulnerability was patched last week.

    Flash is still too embedded in eCommerce sites for me to live without it but at least Adobe keeps up with their patches.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Negative points for Flash being so vulnerability prone, but you're right, positive points for Adobe being so quick to fix it.

  17. Ethan Xavier Alexander Allen
    October 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Okay, so once uninstalled, what do we replace it with? I mean, is there a Flash equivelant out there that's safe?

    • hildyblog
      October 22, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      There are some browser addons for Firefox and Firefox is working on their own version by some reports. Whether they are more secure or just less subject to attack because of their smaller installed base (like OSX used to be) is something I can't answer. I would guess they are buggier but I haven't tried any of them. Here's a link if you want to try:

      https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1039160

  18. Nikolaj Knudsen
    October 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Excuse me! What an odd article! Uninstalling Flash? Why not uninstall your OS?

    • fcd76218
      October 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      " Why not uninstall your OS? "
      If you are using Windows, that sounds like a good idea. Unlike Joel, I will suggest an alternative O/S - OpenBSD.

  19. 06df19b5
    October 22, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I work for a school. Educational software seems to be based entirely on Flash or Java-- pick your poison. I spend entirely too much time dealing with these two things and while I would love to unistall them, that is not a possibility. To top it off, Apple hates Flash and Google hates Java. We have both Macs and Chromebooks. FFS, stop delivering educational software on the worst vehicle available!

  20. Cutler Cox
    October 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I still play flash games, and no article will get me to uninstall flash ever. Eventually, browsers will stop supporting it entirely but until then, I am not going to get rid of it. So how about we stop posting this constant stream of "Flash is bad, flash is dead, uninstall flash now!" articles on this site. It is getting a little crazy.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      It's our duty to warn and inform. If you don't want to heed those warnings, you're free to do so. :)

      • Knox Siwash
        October 22, 2015 at 8:59 pm

        Right, if people don't want to come to the ballpark, there's no way to stop 'em.

      • Howard Blair
        October 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm

        I still use a few sites (DailyMotion, mostly) and play two or three games that still need Flash.
        I keep it updated regularly, especially when a security warning crops up.
        It's your duty to warn, but NOT your prerogative to DEMAND!
        You'll get Flash when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.

  21. Kevin Dethlefs
    October 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Too many sites use it. While Twitch has HTML5 player, the video itself is still flash... o.O Don't visit crappy sites.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      The quicker we stop using Flash, the quicker websites will stop being complacent and start moving onto HTML5.

  22. Illutian Kade
    October 22, 2015 at 11:54 am

    OR...I could just use NoScript + AdBlock :P

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      This particular security hole leaves you vulnerable simply by having Flash installed.

  23. Phil Nolan
    October 22, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Flash is great, I'm not about to ditch half of the internet just because someone told me to.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Half of the Internet is a bit hyperbolic, unless maybe you've traveled back to the late 1990s.

  24. Tom Willoughby
    October 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I have a decent anti-virus, which should catch any local file that tries to exploit Flash, and I have Flash set as "ask to activate" in Firefox.

    I don't use it often, but there are still reasons to keep it about. Not all websites have switched over to HTML5 yet (Twitch only just made the change, and even then I have to use it in Chrome because it crashes Firefox), and I know for certain that there's a few games on Steam that still use Flash. I just don't think the time for it to die out has come just yet.

    As an aside, what about Chrome users. They use an in-built implementation of Flash that often has the same vulnerabilities. Are you going to suggest that everybody stops using Chrome as well?

    • Jorge Calle
      October 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      A Chrome user can actually just go over to chrome://plugins and disable the flash functionality.

      No need to stop using Chrome if what you want is to eliminate flash usability on your entire system.

    • Joel Lee
      October 22, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      "Are you going to suggest that everybody stops using Chrome as well?" Yes, but for several other reasons unrelated to Flash. :)

      Ultimately, an anti-virus offers little protection against zero-day attacks, which is what this Flash vulnerability is. And as long as Flash exists on your system, you'll be vulnerable to future zero-day attacks. If you want to keep Flash, you can, but it's our to warn you why that might not be a good idea!

      • Tom Willoughby
        October 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm

        Informaing people about new vulnerabilities is fine, but instructing users to uninstall Flash is getting tantamount to clickbait in tech circles. Tech articles should always be about informing users about dangers and solutions, not telling them that they should do x or y. We're all intelligent people here. Anybody reading MUO who still uses Flash (or Chrome for that matter) is doing so for a reason.

        • fcd76218
          October 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm

          Techie or not, some people need to be told exactly what to do.

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