Over the past few years, Google has been slowly reducing Adobe Flash usage in Chrome. With the announcement this morning that Adobe will soon stop supporting Flash, Google is following suit and will completely remove the plug-in from its browser by 2020.

Google notes that Flash usage is continually dropping in favor of open web technologies. At the moment, only 17 percent of Chrome users visit a Flash site each day compared to 80 percent three years ago.

For its part, Google has been encouraging sites to migrate to open web technologies that “are faster and more power-efficient than Flash.” Additionally, there are numerous security benefits, as well as increased cross-platform support.

Chrome defaulted to HTML5 last December and began asking users to manually enable Flash on a site-by-site basis. At the time, Google exempted the top sites on the web, but over the next few years fewer and fewer sites will be able to run Flash without users granting explicit permission.

Afterwards, Flash will be disabled by default and then completely removed in Chrome towards the end of 2020.

Google assures that end-users will see few disruptions with everything continuing to work normally up to the cut-off date:

If the site migrates to open web standards, you shouldn’t notice much difference except that you’ll no longer see prompts to run Flash on that site. If the site continues to use Flash, and you give the site permission to run Flash, it will work through the end of 2020.

For developers, the Chromium team has linked to several migration guides for games, media, and advertising still in Flash:

  • For sites that use Flash for gaming, a list of relevant APIs and demos can be found at OpenWebGames.com. We recommend exploring technologies like WebAssembly, which allows for high-performance computing.
  • For sites that use Flash for media, Mozilla’s media migration guide gives an overview of the APIs used to prepare, distribute and play media on the web.
  • Finally, for sites that use Flash for advertising, we recommend switching to HTML ads. Please work with your ad provider directly for this.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com