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Windows 11 Retains Adobe Flash

As of 2022, many Windows devices are shipping with Windows 10 preinstalled, but during the Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE) will detect that a Windows 11 upgrade is available and offer to install it: “Microsoft recommends Windows 11 for your device”. If you select Get It, Windows will go straight to the Windows 11 download once the OOBE process completes.

In this scenario, the Windows Update process does not have a chance to run the KB4577586 update which removes Flash from Windows 10. Consequently, once Windows 11 has installed, the Flash files remain in the Windows folder. Because these are protected operating system files, they can't be removed without manually altering the permissions on the files.

Although Flash is deprecated and unsafe to use, the presence of the files in Windows 11 does not pose much of a security risk. The files are the ActiveX version of Flash, which can only be used in Internet Explorer. In Windows 11, most requests to Internet Explorer will be handed to Edge anyway, so it's quite difficult to actually get Internet Explorer running.

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