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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.

manage-addon-ie

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.

flash-information

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.

run-addon

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.

flash-approved-sites

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.

allowed-domain

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