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I noticed that Internet Explorer 10 also has Adobe Flash Player built-in (like Google Chrome). So my question is, whether the standalone Flash Player (downloadable at Adobe’s site) is necessary anymore.

After my upgrade from Windows 7, it is still there (and makes regular updates), but I am unsure if it is used by anything.

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The Flash component is used by other browsers that don’t have it built-in as well as some non-browser apps. – Synetech Oct 22 '12 at 21:05
up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you use a browser other than Internet Explorer or Google Chrome (Firefox, for example), and you want to view Flash content in that browser, you still need the standalone Flash Player.

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Adding to William's answer, upgrading from Windows 7 does not remove App's you don't need. All supported Apps & Settings are migrated. If Flash Player is still installed, it does not imply that it is required by the system and that you need to keep it. You are free to uninstall it if you wish (And there is no harm since you can always re-install at a later point). – AbhishekGirish Oct 22 '12 at 15:11
Applications other than browsers (for instance, Steam) might also require the standalone Flash Player. – Indrek Oct 22 '12 at 17:01

Yes, the Adobe Flash player is still used in IE10. What's "built-in" now, is that windows 8 handles the flash updates automatically as part of windows update - instead of dealing with those Adobe pop-up upgrade messages. To prove this, try renaming the flash player directory (c:\windows\system32\macromed\flash), and then visit a web page containing flash content with IE10 (from either desktop or startmenu). You'll get a notice about needing a flash player. This is unlike the Chrome builtin flash player. For example, a recent windows 8 security update installed a new flash player - instead of updating IE10 if it was truly builtin. Update for Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10

If you are still getting those adobe update popups, they are controlled by an adobe service that you might try disabling as an experiment: AdobeFlashPlayerUpdateSvc.

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The answer could be no. That's because Flash is now integrated into touch Internet Explorer. To use this, however, the site has to be white listed. But that's a lot of sites. As a result, the way YOU use your computer might be sufficient to not install a stand along Adobe Flash player.

Windows RT devices will not have a stand alone Flash player, even if they wanted it. That's because it is not written for ARM. The scenario I describe above must be true for them. And, I think as user telemetry comes back to Microsoft, we will find the built in Flash player really does serve the majority of use cases.

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