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Sometimes when I startup Windows and I'm not connected to the internet, I unexpectedly get a popup from Adobe Flash's auto updater, asking me if I want to download the new update.

How does it know that there is an update in the first place? It hasn't been able to check online, and as far as I know these updates aren't planned either (some are fixes for security risks),

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It knows there was an update because you were connected to the interent in the past. If you were saying the computer never was connected to the internet then its likely one of those "its been 60 days our maintenance release is every 6 days" type deals. – Ramhound Apr 16 '13 at 10:48
Hm okay, but why didn't it ask for downloading the update at that time (when i was connected to the internet) then? It seems pointless to me to postpone the updating for no apparent reason... – poepje Apr 16 '13 at 11:06
I often notice that the check for a new update is only done after a fresh reboot. While the service might download the notification of the update it seems to have some built-in delay to actually notify you. – Ramhound Apr 16 '13 at 11:15
Alright, thanks. – poepje Apr 16 '13 at 11:29
I have been wondering how they did that too. Thanks for the question poepje and for the your answer Ramhound. – Burkhard Aug 20 '15 at 8:36

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