While browsing online in the last few years, you may have seen pop-ups that say “Flash will no longer be supported after December 2020” or “Click to enable Flash Player.” Your IT Manager may also have sent out a notice announcing that Adobe Flash will no longer be supported after 2020. But what does this mean in terms of how it’ll impact you? We take a look at the what and the why of the end of Adobe Flash Player.
Why is my Adobe Flash Player blocked?
Adobe Flash Player has been a popular tool for a long time because it allows us to see and play interactive online content like ads or animations. While browsing online, however, you’ve probably come across one or more of the following pop-ups or notifications while trying to view this type of content:
Why? This is because browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge have stopped automatically supporting Flash content, mostly because of security problems. So the reason you’re getting those errors or pop-ups is because anything you’re trying to look at that was built using Adobe’s Flash Player can’t be shown unless you re-enable the Flash Player in your browser.
What does the end of Flash Player mean for me?
In 2017, Adobe officially announced it would be killing off Adobe Flash Player, stopping all support and updates after December 2020. While there are great replacements for Flash out there, like HTML5, that have plenty of benefits such as better security of information and faster loading times, the end of life of Flash will definitely have an impact on anyone with websites, animations, eLearning materials, ads, or courses that have been built using Flash.
If you’re responsible for any of this content, then that’s why you may have received a note from your IT Manager about Flash end-of-life; anything built using Flash will no longer work after the December deadline. For example, if you have a training video with Flash elements or Flash-created graphics on your organization’s website, they will no longer show up, impacting your users. This means that you’ll need to convert or replace your Flash content before December 2020.
What should I do to prepare for the end of Flash?
If you’re not responsible for Flash-impacted content, but you or your team use the content regularly, you’ll want to get in touch with whomever is responsible as soon as possible, to make sure that your web content, training materials, courses, etc., will still work once Flash is no more. You may need to involve management, writers, designers, your IT department, or external vendors to help with converting Flash to other formats and manage any updates or changes. In the interim, you may also need to “Flash-proof” your browser by disabling Flash Player. If you're responsible for the content, then you’ll need to come up with a clear strategy to identify Flash elements; convert, replace, retire, or refresh those Flash elements before the deadline; select your alternatives; and update your materials and content.
Above all, being prepared before the December 2020 deadline will ensure minimal disruption to you, your organization, and your users.