Flash Player updates and advice 2021

by | 20 January 2021

Here is an up-to-date list of information and advice regarding Flash Player use in 2021.

The facts

When is the Flash Player end-of-life (EOL)?
Flash Player end-of-life (EOL) was 31/12/20. This means Adobe will no longer be issuing updates or security patches for the plugin after this date.

Why is Flash Player ending?
In short, it is out-of-date. There are more popular and efficient options available, for example open standards such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly that web browser vendors are integrating into their browsers (more info here).

What will happen?
Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning 12 January 2021 to help secure users’ systems, or in Adobe’s words, ‘a built-in time bomb from versions newer than will display a static icon with an information page link starting on January 12, 2021’.

Clarity and Flash

What does this mean for my programs?
Clear Pronunciation 2 is the last ClarityEnglish program to be upgraded to HTML5. Its release date is set for the end of March 2021.

English for Hotel Staff, Customer Service Communication Skills and a number of other programs are not going to be upgraded, or have no dates set for publication. MyCanada from NAS is under review and a release date for a new version is pending. If you have a subscription to these programs, please see the advice below on how you can run these Flash-based programs in the coming months.

Options for continuing to use Flash-based programs

Running network versions
If you have purchased ClarityEnglish programs to run locally on a network, you will need to find a browser that can run Flash. Then, all your computers can keep running the programs when they connect to your local server. Some notes are given below on how you might be able to do this.

Running Flash online / in-browser
The first option for continuing to use Flash is to use Internet Explorer. This browser is already obsolete and it seems that Microsoft and Adobe are accepting that it can be used to run Flash, perhaps until May 2021. It is not yet known if this is fact or rumour.

The second option is to use an old version of the Flash Player plugin. If you downloaded one more than a year ago and still have it, uninstall your current plugin and install the old one. Adobe can not recommend this approach as the old players have security vulnerabilities, and it will not work with Chrome at all — but Firefox will do this with continual warnings about out-of-date plugins. We are using v32.0.0.233 in our office to look at essential Flash sites.

The third option is to use Microsoft Edge, running an IE mode through it’s Enterprise Mode Site List. You can edit the configuration of Flash Player through a mm.cfg file and use domain-level ‘allow list’.

The domain-level ‘allow list’ will override Adobe’s Flash Player block. However, any use of the domain-level ‘allow list’ after the EOL Date is strongly discouraged, will not be supported by Adobe and is entirely at the user’s own risk. Please see the Flash Player Administration guide (see ‘Enterprise Enablement’ section) for details.

The fourth option is to use a browser called Pale Moon. Pale Moon is an open source browser that split from Firefox in 2009. Download it from https://palemoon.org, it is supposed to be able to keep Flash, and other old programs, running. We know nothing about this browser from a security perspective, however we have tried it on a computer that has strong virus checking and few network links and it seems to work.

Please note that these options are for essential use of Flash Player. If you do not have to use the plugin, please do not. Hopefully, one of these four options will work for you. However, please be aware that these options may not work for everyone.

Contact us

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with your distributor or our support team at support@clarityenglish.com

This post will continue to be updated over time.

(Last updated 1 Feb 2021).

Adrian Raper, Technical Director, ClarityEnglish

Adrian Raper, Technical Director, ClarityEnglish