Macromedia Wiki
Support for Flash expired on December 31, 2020.

Macromedia Flash Player 8+9 icon.png

Flash Player is a deprecated plug-in that allows interactive web animations to be played back within a browser. It gained widespread use in the early 2000s and many sites used it for streaming audiovisual content, movies, and playing games. However, it was also criticized for its security issues and support was phased out of major browsers by the end of 2020.[1]


Flash Player was previously developed by Macromedia, which Adobe Systems acquired in December 2005.[2] At that time, the player was at version 8, in parity with the Flash Professional 8 authoring application. However, it was then rapidly updated over the following years through dozens of software updates to patch various security flaws. Malicious websites and online ads took advantage of this by attempting to trick users into downloading fake Flash updaters to install software viruses, unwanted adware, malware, and spyware that can steal their data.[3]

Release history

FutureSplash logo.png


End-of-life image displayed by deprecated Flash Player plug-ins after January 12, 2021.

In April 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote an open critique of Flash platform to justify his refusal to support the technology on Apple's successful iOS line, which included the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.[5] An Apple engineer later stated that Jobs was offended that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen would not take his phone calls for what he perceived to be "mere engineering problems".[6] Developers of third-party web browsers began to blacklist the Flash plug-in by default due to security issues.[7] In November 2015, Adobe announced that the next version of the Flash Professional authoring application would be rebranded as Adobe Animate (released in February 2016) to reflect the change of product focus.[8]

In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would phase out support for Flash Player by the end of 2020.[9] Support by major browser developers, such as Microsoft, was phased out by December 31, 2020. The latest Flash plug-ins began blocking playback of content on January 12, 2021.[1] Instead, an image would be displayed that would link to an end-of-life notice from Adobe.[10] For enterprise customers that still need to transition legacy Flash content to alternate technologies, such Adobe AIR, Harman International became an officially licensed distributor and enterprise support provider.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Adobe Flash rides off into the sunset by T.C. Sottek, The Verge. 2020-12-31.
  2. Adobe Completes Acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe Systems. 2005-12-05. Archived 2005-12-07.
  3. PSA: There’s a new fake Flash Player installer for Macs, and it’s nastier than usual by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac. 2018-04-25.
  4. A Nostalgic Rummage Through the History of Flash by Wassine Bouhlel, Envato Tuts+. 2010-12-31.
  5. Thoughts on Flash by Steve Jobs, Apple. 2010-04.
  6. Apple engineer reveals the real reason Steve Jobs didn’t allow Flash on the iPhone by Yoni Heisler, Boy Genius Report. 2016-12-12.
  7. Google and Mozilla pull the plug on Adobe Flash: Tech giants disable the program on browsers following 'critical' security flaw by Victoria Woollaston, Daily Mail. 2015-07-14.
  8. Welcome Adobe Animate CC, a new era for Flash Professional by Rich Lee, Adobe Blog. 2015-11-30.
  9. Flash & The Future of Interactive Content, Adobe. 2017-07-25.
  10. Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page, Adobe Inc. 2020-12-02. Accessed 2021-01-12.
  11. Adobe Flash Player EOL Enterprise Information Page, Adobe Inc. 2020-12-07.

External links

Macromedia Flash
FutureSplash Animator · 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · MX · MX 2004 (Pro) · 8 (Pro 8)
Adobe Flash: CS3 · CS4 · CS5 · CS6 · CC   |   ActionScript: 1 · 2   |   Adobe Animate
FlashCast   |   Flash Lite: 1 · 2   |   Flash Media Server: MX (1.5) · 2   |   Flash Player: 1 | 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8   |   Flex Builder   |   SWF