Remove Flash from Windows 10

Flash is Bad

Yep.  It’s a security risk, is being constantly “fixed”, but more importantly is being dropped in all good browsers very soon.  It’s already been dumped by the Chrome browser and with any decent website worth it’s salt moving off Flash to the HTML5 way of doing things there’s no reason to have it on your machine, is there?

However, it’s easier said than done with Microsoft in particular making it difficult, not simple.

Here’s My Method

First

Get rid of Internet Explorer once and for all.  You do this from the old “Control Panel” under “Programs and Features” and the simplest way to get to this is to type directly into the Search box:

turn windows features on or off

Scoot down the list and untick Internet Explorer 11 then hit Okay.

Allow it to do it’s stuff and a reboot if it says so – mine didn’t.

Second

Flash is incorporated into Microsoft’s new browser, Edge (which is rubbish IMHO and I don’t use it, but hey ho!)

  • Go into Edge’s Settings
  • At the bottom of Settings go into Advanced Setting by clicking the handily named button
  • Just untick the Adobe Flash Player and job’s done.
  • Close settings
  • Close Edge and vow never ever to use it!

Third

Uninstall (remove) the flash player using Abobe’s tool, available here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html

It’s pretty nippy and you should have no issues running it.  However, it leaves some dregs in the file system which I personally like to clear up.

Fourth

As detailed here, Microsoft has locked down system files so a simple delete does not work.  It’s a convoluted process that can be better sorted with a batch file.  A comment in the article from r-burt gives a good start – I have just added bits to finish removing the Macromedia folders and trees which have Temp folders inside.

This is the code:

#copied from https://eksith.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/how-to-remove-flash-from-windows-10/#comment-58104 r-burt
# take ownership
takeown /f C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\*.*
takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\*.*
# extend access
cacls C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\*.* /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
cacls C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\*.* /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
# delete
del C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\*.* /Q
del C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\*.* /Q
rd C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
rd C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash
rd C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed
rd C:\Windows\System32\Macromed
del C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerApp.exe
del C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerCPLApp.cpl

#remove Macromedia folders in same way 
#Strangely added here: 
#http://strangelyperfect.tv/20188/remove-flash-windows-10/
takeown /f C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash
cacls C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
cacls C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
rd C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed /S /Q
rd C:\Windows\System32\Macromed /S /Q

You need to copy it into a plain text file, name it something obvious and then change the file extension from txt to bat.  I called my file CleanFlashRemains.bat and you can download it from this link.

When downloaded, right-click on it and run as administrator

Batch File Operation –  quick description
  • Take ownership of files and folders
  • Take control using the access control lists
  • Remove files and directories (folders)
  • My additional bit does the same but removes the Macromedia directory tree – this is the rd /s/q bit, rd= remove directory, /s is the tree bit and /q means to run quietly without user prompts or error messages.  In this way the batch runs without interruptions due to missing files or folders.

Is This The End?

Flash will drip off the face of the planet rapidly and stop mysteriously re-appearing on user’s machines.  I have heard this happens a lot….  Probably something to do with webpage prompts that urge a user to get the functionality back or else the webpage won’t work.

The answer is to stop visiting those websites until they’re fixed.  It’s not the user’s fault.  It’s the website’s fault for insisting on Flash.

Hopefully, this little piece helps a few people.

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