Microsoft is force installing a Windows 10 update that removes the embedded 32-bit version of Adobe Flash Player from the operating system.
In October, we reported that Microsoft had released the KB4577586 optional update to remove the embedded 32-bit Flash Player from Windows and prevent it from being installed again.
This update was only available from the Microsoft Catalog, and once installed, could no longer be removed. This update marks an end to embedded Flash in the Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows Server operating systems.
Starting yesterday, Microsoft has begun to distribute the ‘Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player for Windows 10 (KB4577586)’ update via Windows Update as what they state is an optional update.
IMPORTANT As part of the end of support for Adobe Flash, KB4577586 is now available as an optional update from Windows Update (WU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Installing KB4577586 will remove Adobe Flash Player permanently from your Windows device. Once installed, you cannot uninstall KB4577586. For more details about Microsoft’s plans, see Update on Adobe Flash Player End of Support.
In our tests, though, the update is automatically installed without your permission and without prompting you first.
Once installed, the KB4577586 update will be listed under ‘Other Updates’ in the ‘View update history’ section, as shown below.
BleepingComputer has contacted Microsoft to confirm if the update’s automatic installation is a mistake but has not heard back.