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Technology

Can’t get rid of Flash? Microsoft is force installing a patch to remove it

The acceptance of change varies from one person to another. Some look forward to new things, calmly letting go of the past. Others cling to their comforts and lament the loss of the familiar.

Remember Google Talk? The messaging service let Gmail users chat with each other and proved a popular distraction for employees during work hours. Google discontinued the service in 2015 but kept the chat logs. Tap or click here to find out how to revisit your old conversations and delete them.

Those of us who were around for the early internet boom saw Adobe’s Flash Player’s rise. If you were watching videos, listening to music, or playing games in your browser in the 90s, chances are you are familiar with Flash. Security issues and lack of support led to its demise last year, but you may still have the software lurking on your computer. It’s time to let go, and here’s how to do it.

Gone in a Flash

Google and Microsoft no longer support Flash for their Chrome and Edge browsers, and even Adobe itself has dropped the ball. Tap or click here for instructions on removing Flash from your PC or Mac.

Microsoft doubled down on removing the embedded 32-bit Flash Player from Windows in October software patch KB4577586. It was an optional update that, once installed, could not be removed. It was available from the Microsoft Catalog.

Microsoft has now released that same optional update via Windows Update. Testing shows that the update may not be optional, however.

Drop it like it’s hot

Even if you miss it, there’s no reason to keep Flash around anymore. If you’re running Windows 10, you can check if you got the update.

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security > View update history. The list shows updates installed on your computer. You are looking for KB4577586.
  • You can also go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates to see a list of updates.

You can do a manual install if you don’t have the patch.

  • Go to www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Home.aspx and type in the KB number of the update you’d like to install.
  • The update that removes the Flash Player is KB4577586. Type that in and you will be directed to this page with various versions of the update.
  • Use Settings > Systems > About to determine what version of Windows you are running.
  • Locate the compatible patch in the list and click Download and then the .msu file in the pop-up window.
  • When the download is finished, double-click the .msu file to install the patch.

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