How to uninstall Adobe Flash and Internet Explorer

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Must know

  • Outdated apps can be risky to keep on your computer because they don’t receive important security updates
  • Some secure apps are not insistent on updates, so you need to be proactive
  • Adobe Flash and Internet Explorer are important to remove, but there are other common culprits

Not only is outdated software often unnecessary, it can also be dangerous to have it installed on your computer. Programs that can access the Internet, directly or through other programs, need regular security updates to stay ahead of enterprising hackers. Once these updates have been stopped, your PC is widely open to certain types of attacks.

Many applications do not prompt you to update them. That, or you can click “ignore” whenever prompted (we all did). It is a surefire way to create vulnerabilities on your PC.

If you have older apps that you haven’t updated in a while, take a look at their menus and see if there’s an update available. Some applications or software may have been discontinued and should be removed entirely.

Why you should remove Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash was once the video player technology of choice on the web, but those days are gone. Adobe ended support for Flash in December 2020 and not just because of declining popularity. It was more resource intensive than modern alternatives and was already often flagged as a safety risk before it was grazed. Apple ditched it years ago, and most major modern web browsers actively block it by default.

But Adobe Flash lives in a dormant state in the storage drives of many PCs. The good news is, it’s easy to uninstall.

The only downside could be that the interactive features of some older and neglected websites will no longer work. But if they still run on Flash, you don’t want to use them anyway.

How to uninstall Adobe Flash

Adobe has released a special Windows uninstaller for Flash. After visiting the link and downloading the uninstaller, quit all browsers and other programs that use Flash. To be sure, just close any apps you have open.

To run the uninstaller, navigate to your default downloads folder (probably Quick access > Downloads) and double click on the file uninstall_flash_player.exe. If you can’t find the file in your Downloads folder, press the button Start key and type “uninstall_flash_player.exe” to locate it.

Uninstall Windows Flash Search

Follow the prompts and click Yes if you are asked to allow the uninstaller to make changes on your computer.

Click on Uninstall then Ended. After the program is closed, restart your computer.

Adobe-01 Uninstaller

After your computer has restarted, you need to check if the folders below exist and if they exist, wipe off all the files they contain. If they’re not there, don’t worry.

The files are:

  • C: Windows system32 Macromed Flash
  • C: Windows SysWOW64 Macromed Flash
  • % appdata% Adobe Flash Player
  • % appdata% Macromedia Flash Player

Some of these records may be difficult to find. The best way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to open Windows Explorer and type the above into the dialog one at a time, then press Enter.

Why you should remove Internet Explorer

IE logo

Internet Explorer (IE) has been going on for a long time, but Microsoft will start ending all support on June 15, 2022. This means that there will be no more security updates and more and more websites will not work. not with its outdated software. Many are not already doing this. If you’re among the 5.21% of people – according to netmarketshare.com at the end of 2020 – who still use Internet Explorer, it’s finally time to move on.

You can either switch to its replacement, Microsoft Edge, or to another browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Brave. Edge, in particular, has an IE mode that allows older Internet Explorer-dependent websites to run in a modern, secure browser.

But removing Internet Explorer is not as easy as uninstalling a typical program. It is quite prevalent on your system, so you need to turn it off from Windows settings and then restart your computer.

How to uninstall Internet Explorer

Go to Settings> applications, then on the left select Applications and Features. On the right side, click Programs and Features under “Associated parameters”. If you don’t see this option, expand the window.

IE - Windows 10 Apps and Features

On the left side of the new tab, click Enable or disable Windows features. Scroll until you see Internet Explorer 11 and uncheck the box. Click on Okay then Yes at the warning prompt.

IE - disable IE11

A process box will open. Once it says “Windows has completed the requested changes”, click Restart now to restart your computer.

How to activate IE mode on Edge

If you come across an old website that requires Internet Explorer, Edge’s IE mode is easy to turn on.

Open Edge and click on the icon at the top and select Settings. Click on Default browser left and activate Allow reloading of sites in Internet Explorer mode by clicking the slider next to it, then restarting the browser when prompted.

Edge-02 Default Browser Tab

To use this feature on a webpage that requires IE, from the page select the icon> More tools > Reload in Internet Explorer mode. If you have not enabled IE mode, this option will not be available.

How to remove outdated desktop programs

Apps that aren’t somehow built into Windows 10 can usually be uninstalled the same way.

press the Start key and type Add or remove programs then select the result.

In the new page search box, type the name of the app. Select it and click Uninstall.

Uninstalling the application

While you’re at it, scroll through the list of app names and see if there are any that you don’t recognize or need.

java logo

Java

A once ubiquitous web browser plugin, Java has seen a steady decline after a lifetime of security controversies. As with Flash, it is no longer supported by major browsers, so you might as well get rid of it.

quicktime logo

Apple QuickTime for Windows

This once very popular video software is now obsolete and poses a security risk for Windows 10 users. It is still a current and secure application on macOS, but Apple has not supported it on Windows since 2016, resulting in critical vulnerabilities.

VLC logo

VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a fantastic media player which is still supported and its current versions are safe to use. However, it is not insistent on its updates, so many users have older versions and malicious actors know it. If you are using VLC, open the program, click To help so Check for updates. If you have it but don’t use it, you can also uninstall it.

winrar logo

WinRAR

WinRAR is an old-fashioned file extractor program, but it is no longer needed because Windows has this feature built in. This is not so much a security risk as it is an annoyance, as it will regularly invite you to switch from the free to the (unnecessary) paid version. There are niche use cases for WinRAR, but if you have one, you probably already know it. You can safely uninstall it knowing that you will not lose any ability to extract files.

utorrent and bittorrent logo

uTorrent and BitTorrent

Both of these torrent programs have gained a bad reputation thanks to security concerns, and uTorrent quietly installed their own cryptocurrency mining software on people’s computers some time ago. You might as well switch to open source qBitTorrent, which has the added benefit of not having flickering banner ads. And as an open source program, anyone in the community can check to see if they are doing something devious in the background of people’s computers.

Any browser you don’t use

Web browsers are known to be the biggest weak point of any computer. They use a wide range of technologies and access content from all over the world. If you have older browsers on your storage drive, you might as well delete them. Otherwise, a guest user can spot their favorite browser and launch it, not knowing that updates are needed.

You can’t uninstall Edge, but you can at least detach it from your Start menu and taskbar if you’re not using it.


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