Adobe says a buggy installer is the reason some people have two different versions of Flash Player on their Windows PCs.
The software house told The Register it had to create an additional build of the browser plugin specifically for Microsoft's Internet Explorer after the version made for other browsers – such as Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Edge – wouldn't install properly for IE.
So, for example, if you have Internet Explorer and Firefox on your machine, you'll have two slightly different copies of Flash that should be functionally the same.
"This [new] version fixed an installer bug that caused a false error dialog to appear on systems that had Internet Explorer running during certain updates," an Adobe spokesperson explained.
Specifically, the update was erroneously telling users that it required admin clearance, while still installing in the background.
To remedy the issue, Adobe posted a new installer with a bug fix specifically for IE. Because of this, the most up-to-date version Flash Player for Internet Explorer is 184.108.40.206, while the Flash Player version for browsers such as Chrome and Firefox is 220.127.116.11.
Here's a table comparing the latest versions for Windows – note that IE on Windows 8.1 and Edge still uses v209:
|Internet Explorer - ActiveX||18.104.22.168|
|Internet Explorer (embedded - Windows 8.1) - ActiveX||22.214.171.124|
|Edge (embedded - Windows 10) - ActiveX||126.96.36.199|
|Firefox - NPAPI||188.8.131.52|
|Chrome (embedded) - PPAPI||184.108.40.206|
|Opera, Chromium-based browsers - PPAPI||220.127.116.11|
|Internet Explorer – ActiveX (Extended Support Release)||18.104.22.1686|
The differing builds have led to some confusion within IT departments. Reg reader Oliver noticed that PCs he was administrating were requiring a second round of patching after the updated IE package was released.
"You can't imagine how hard it is to pull an emergency patch for such releases and how it feels when you are close to done and see there is a new version," he said.
Rest assured, Adobe says, whether it's the IE-specific 22.214.171.124 or the 126.96.36.199 build for other browsers, both patches contain the 52 security fixes from Adobe.
Of course, for those still worried about security risks, there's always the option to disable Flash partially or completely.
Thanks, Oliver, for the tip. ®