It’s time to kill Adobe Flash Player once and for all. While Adobe Flash has been a popular asset to the web, the software has become the vector of many security vulnerabilities.
Several days ago the breached surveillance company Hacking Team, was able to exploit three unpatched vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player that showed just how insecure the software can be. Yes, Adobe quickly took action to patch the exploits, but it’s an ongoing fight that never stops.
In the past, this could have caused major panic, as Adobe was the software that most websites used to stream video and to offer other services, but today HTML5 has proven to be a great replacement.
Recently, Alex Stamos, chief security officer at Facebook has recommended Adobe to set an “end-of-life date for Flash” because of the latest exploit from the Hacking Team firm.
It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day.
— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) July 12, 2015
After Facebook’s chief security officer recommending Adobe to kill Flash, Mozilla has released a new version of its popular web browser Firefox that blocks Adobe Flash by default. However, the open source company said that it will block Flash from its web browser until Adobe releases a version of the software that isn’t vulnerable, then it will once again enable the plugin by default.
— Mark Schmidt (@MarkSchmidty) July 14, 2015
The fact is that with so many security flaws and the advanced on open standards that have proven to be more secure and better alternatives, today you can browse the internet without the need of the Adobe plugin. As such, you can protect yourself and help reduce the usage of Adobe Flash Player by disabling the plugin in your web browser, which today is a simple task on most browsers.
In this guide, you can find out how to remove (disable) it from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge for Windows 10, and Apple’s Safari — Just follow the instructions below:
Disable Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Edge
On Microsoft Edge, click the menu button and the Settings. Now scroll down, click the View advanced settings, and switch “Use Adobe Flash Player” pill toggle to the Off position.
Disable Adobe Flash Player on Internet Explorer
On Internet Explorer, simply click the menu (gear) button and select manage add-ons. Then from find Showcase Flash Object, and click the Disable button.
Disable Adobe Flash Player on Chrome
On Chrome, type in the address bar chrome://plugins/, simply find Adobe Flash, and click the Disable link.
Disable Adobe Flash Player on Firefox
On Firefox, click on the menu (gear) button, and select Add-ons to access the plugins list. Find Showcase Flash, and select never active from the drop-down menu. If you want to use Flash on certain sites, you can select ask to activate. This will prompt you to enable the plugin on a per site basis.
Keep in mind that if you update Firefox to the latest version, Flash will be disabled by default, until Adobe releases a version of the software that isn’t vulnerable.
Disable Adobe Flash Player on Apple’s Safari
On Safari, go to settings menu, click Preferences, and then go to the Security tab. Select “website settings options”, select Adobe Flash Player, and from the drop-down menu from bottom-right, select Block. Alternatively, like with Firefox, you can also choose the Ask to enable Flash per website.
Now, if you’re a Mac user, it’s worth pointing out that Adobe has worked closely with Apple to enable Safari on Mac OS X to sandbox Flash, which basically allows the plugin to run freely on a restricted environment that lowers the risk of attackers to exploit any Adobe Flash vulnerability.
Remove Adobe Flash Player from Windows
After disabling Flash on your web browser, you probably still have the Adobe plugin installed on Windows itself, to remove completely from your system. On any version of Windows, use the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type appwiz.cpl and hit Enter. This will open the Programs and Features section in the Control Panel, then find Adobe Flash Player, and double-click it to uninstall it.
There you have it folks, I just showed you virtually all the ways in which you can get rid of Adobe Flash Player. After you’re done and keep browsing the internet, you’ll notice that today Flash isn’t really necessary. Yes, there will always be that one website that will require the plugin, but it’s very minimal.
If you want a better internet start by promoting that we don’t need Flash anymore.
Are you still running the plugin? Are you planning to get rid of it? Tell us what you think in the comments below.