Saturday, 18 February 2017

Uninstalling Adobe Flash Player using Group Policy - Part 1

"Flash is a spaghetti-ball piece of technology  
that has lousy performance and really bad security problems."

Part 1 is about disabling Flash Player in Microsoft Edge using Group Policy.

What version of Flash player are your users running?

As I am writing this blog post, administrators once again find themselves in a situation that has existed since the introduction of Windows 8.
  1. Microsofts insists on integrating Adobe Flash Player in the Windows operating system.
  2. At the same time, security patches for Flash player that Adobe has already released, are occasionally withheld from Windows users.
The current situation is that Microsoft seems to have called off the February 2017 patch day altogether and Windows Users are stuck with an unpatched Flash Player.

In Microsoft Edge 38.14393.0.0 (Windows 10 14393.693) the Windows 10 Flash version number is 24,0,0,194 when it should be

Check your Flash Player version here:

Disabling Flash Player in Microsoft Edge using Group Policy

Create a new GPO and attach it to the OU that contains your Windows 10 users

Navigate to User Configuration \ Preferences \ Windows Settings \ Registry \

Right click on Registry. Choose New \ Registry Items

Configure the Properties:

Action: Update
Key Path:
SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\Addons

The full path is
"HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\Addons"

The key Addons may not exists and will be created later, when the GPO is applied.

Value Name: FlashPlayerEnabled
Value Type: Reg DWORD
Value Data: 00000000

Review the Group Policy:

Log on to the computer and check the Edge Settings:

Be aware that the user can always re-enable flash in their Edge settings, but the GPO will disable Flash at every login of the user.

This solution is therefore not yet perfect, but only part one of a bigger solution.

In the second part, I will show how to disable Flash in Internet Explorer.

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