Adobe Flash has technically disappeared, Adobe having stopped development on December 30, 2020. This means that none of the major browsers – Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox – no longer support it. You can forget about Flash videos, Flash games, vintage Flash sites – everything.
Why did this happen and what do you do if you really need to access Flash content later?
Why did Flash leave?
Sunsetting Flash was largely a security driven initiative. Flash was once the standard for videos, games, and other web content, but it was woefully vulnerable to exploits, thanks to the way it used memory and other issues. Another issue was its difficulty integrating into mobile technology due to both its tendency to suck energy and its lack of support on iOS and Android.
Keeping mostly desktop software with more holes than a patched and somewhat secure spaghetti strainer was, as you can imagine, a bit of a headache. Once other standards, like HTML5 and WebGL, became more functional and widely supported on desktops and mobiles, the days of Flash were numbered.
Will I still be able to access Flash content?
As of early 2021, accessing any Flash content left on the web will still be possible, but it will take work. Up-to-date browsers are no longer able to load Flash, but truly desperate Flash fans might use an older version of a browser, prevent it from updating automatically, and use it only for Flash content.
Of course, this comes with its own security concerns, so do it at your own risk and take precautions like running it in a sandbox and only visiting trusted sites. Alternatively, there may still be browsers (Firefox / Chromium forks) that choose to keep running Flash in one form or another, so finding one can help as well.
Of course, with Flash effectively off the web, sites that offer Flash-based content are now redundant. If there is Flash content that you really want to save, you will need to use an older version of a browser that still supports Flash, download the Flash (SWF) file, and use a desktop Flash player (like SWF file player) to open it.
However, this approach can be time consuming and technical if you are trying to save all of your favorite content.
The best option you will probably find to access this content is Breaking point, a project in the process of archiving and distributing Flash content from the web.
Thousands of games and animations have now been cataloged and are available for you to download and play at your leisure, so there’s a good chance you don’t even need to manually save the game you dreaded. to disappear. If something is wrong their content list, you can still contribute to the community and add it yourself.
A flash in the pan
A lot of Flash content has already been updated to use a modern standard such as HTML5, WebGL or Unity. If it has not been updated, it has ceased to be usable. There are workarounds for accessing your favorite Flash content (the best of which is Flashpoint), but for the most part the world has moved on.
Another problematic software is Windows itself, so check out our guide on troubleshooting Windows 10 update issues. To fine tune your web browsing, you should also head to our list of the best Chrome indicators.
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