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Is it possible to give users the permissions in a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain to install Adobe Reader and Flash Updates on their Windows 7 machines? Or are they just stuck with calling on the administrator to install them all the time?

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Yes, if you use System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) to publish the updates via WSUS/SCCM.

Then Configure Automatic Updates to Allow Non-administrators to Receive Update Notifications using Group Policy. Limited users will see the updates as below. If you use Automatic Updates scheduling, these updates will install as normal, without user interaction.

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Without SCUP/WSUS, you could publish the update to install on start up, with Group Policy, which would use the system's credentials to perform the install.

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  1. If you do not have access to SCCM to use @jscott's method, but you have a WSUS server, you can use WSUS API to publish the software. There are open-source tools available that make publishing quite easy:
  2. If you do not have a WSUS server you can obtain MSI installers from Adobe and deploy the software by using Group Policy. If you deploy it via Computer Configuration, the installation will proceed in computer's security context and users will not have to have any special permissions.
  • +1, Very good answer and it clarifies what I neglected to mention. I feel this answer deserves more up votes. – jscott Apr 28 '14 at 18:35

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