Enable Flash Only on Specific Sites in Internet Explorer

People hate Flash for various reasons: browser crashes, vulnerability in the add-on that permits an attacker or attacking website to install malware on the PC, lack of support on certain mobile devices or self-playing animated advertisement. When you install an extension such as Adobe Flash in a browser, it is automatically permitted to run on all websites. But one feature that is unique to Internet Explorer 8 and 9 is that it allows the user to restrict the use of add-ons on specific Web sites.

Internet Explorer 8 and 9 allows greater control of where and under what context ActiveX controls and add-ons can run. Add-ons can be managed through the new Manage Add-ons Manager implemented in IE8 and improved in IE9.

To open Add-ons Manager, click on the Tools menu (the gear icon in the toolbar in IE9) and then select Add-ons Manager.

Double click on Shockwave Flash Object or right-click on it and choose ‘More Information’. If you can’t see Shockwave Flash Object in the list, select “All add-ons” from the Show drop-down menu as shown below.


By default, Flash ActiveX control is set to run on all sites, so you will find a * under the approved sites list. Click the ‘Remove all sites’ button to delete the * and close the dialog. This prevents Flash ActiveX control from running for all sites.


Browse to the website for which you want to enable Flash animations. You’ll see an information bar asking for your permission to run the Active-X control. Click the information bar and choose Run Add-on.


Do this on all websites that you want to whitelist. Check the Shockwave Flash Object information dialog box again, and all approved sites should be reflected there.


The white-list data is stored in the following registry location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Ext Stats {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} iexplore AllowedDomains

You can export this key as a .REG file for the purpose of backing up the approved sites list or for deploying it on another computer.


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