I don't have adobe flash player installed, and don't miss the flashing ads a bit.

The only thing that annoys me: IE8 keeps asking me "this web site wants to install Adobe Flash Player", and I want to get rid of this question. I don't want to install it, not now, not ever.

So how do I make IE stop asking me about it?

  • Why not just convert to using Chrome or Firefox? Then you can have Shockwave Flash installed, but then you can disable it. Any alt graphic content (like SWFObject stuff) will show up but Flash content will not. – nicorellius Mar 18 '10 at 17:09
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    @nicorellius, actually if he likes IE8 there are ways to get around similarly without the need to change browsers. Changing browsers can be an independent and personal decision. – nik Mar 18 '10 at 17:14
  • @nicorellius the best way to disable prompts for Flash install on Firefox is to disable the default plugin using about:config, not by installing it and then using flashblock. – Broam Mar 18 '10 at 18:15
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    @nicorellius, do you answer windows question with "why not convert to linux/MacOS", too? – Sam Mar 19 '10 at 9:14
  • I didn't know this board was for taking stabs at people. You know as well as I do that the analogy you made is not even close to what I suggested. It is generally well accepted that IE is less secure as a browser (not to mention, not up to the web standards). It was a polite suggestion, no more. – nicorellius Mar 19 '10 at 14:12

In Local Group Policy Editor there is now (as of July 2015) a specific option to disable Flash.

From Start, type "Group policy" and you will see Edit Group Policy in Control Panel. Open it and navigate to: Comnputer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows components->Internet Explorer->Security features->Add-on Management and you will see the magic setting:

"Turn off Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer and prevent applications from...etc"

Double Click it, set to enabled from "not configured" and close group policy. Restart ie or the pc.

Note: There is a similar setting in the "User configuration" tree in group policy. I suppose this can also be a per-user setting.

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  • This is by far the best solution listed for this question. One note, even though the description of the policy states it requires Win 8, it works as expected with Windows 7. It can also be applied with domain group policy to all workstations, provided you have a 2012 or higher domain controller. The necessary options are not available in 2008 or 2008R2 – Butters Jul 17 '15 at 14:45
  • I have Windows 7 Home Premium and there is no such thing as Group Policy in the Control Panel. – kmoser Jul 22 '15 at 18:25

I don't use IE8, but according to this site,

Internet Explorer 8: IE has the Flash block functionality built-in so you don’t need to install any additional plugins to be able to block flash on IE 8.

Also remember, Flash does not pay on 64-bit IE 8 so you won’t be able to perform the following steps on a 64-bit IE 8, they work well on 32-bit IE 8.

  1. Click on “Tools” and “Manage Add-ons”
  2. Click on the dropdown under show and select “All Add-ons”
  3. Click on “Shockwave Flash Object” and then click on “More Information”
  4. Click on “Remove All Sites” button to remove * sign from the approved list of sites
    and click “Close”.

Now whenever you visit a site which flash on the page, you will see a message on top of the browser asking your approval to run the flash plugin. The approved sites will go to the approved list of sites which is nothing but a whitelist of sites.

That is different from your install adobe problem.
In your case, no sites will be approved.
Does that help?

I think with some more tricks, this can be stopped too.
What I am not too happy with here is, you probably end up installing flash and then blocking it... :-(

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  • Well, I knew I could disable it after I install it, but I'd prefer a solution where I don't have to install the flash player at all. Oh, and I'd just exchange one question (install?) popping up with another (allow?). – Sam Mar 19 '10 at 9:15
  • I am hoping there is a way to setup the browser to ignore the question (assume no without asking). Will update if I get the answer. Or, maybe someone here will explain how it cannot be done. – nik Mar 19 '10 at 11:40
  • The built in blocking solution works in blocking flash but it annoyingly causes IE to prompt to run Flash on every visit to a page requiring Flash. Which seems to be 99% of the web, or at least IE thinks so. Stackoverflow sites even prompt for it though I can't see where it's used. – tjmoore Apr 10 '13 at 9:25
  • @tjmoore I know this is late, but flash is (was) commonly use(d) for initiating sockets, managing the clipboard, etc. - things the Javascript API should do but don't (didn't). Flash was that bridging technology, and while you didn't see a flashing advertisement for russian brides, it's very likely you were using some of flashes functional capability as an extension to the site. – Qix - MONICA WAS MISTREATED Sep 12 '14 at 3:04

How to stop the install Adobe Flash popup without having to install the plugin; in IE it can be done by turning the "ActiveX Filtering" on. When it's on, you won't get the following popup:

This website wants to install the following add-on 'Adobe Flashruntime' from 'Adobe Systems Incorporated'.

I'm not sure which version of Internet Explorer introduced "ActiveX Filtering". v10 has it in the Tools menu.

When Active X Filtering is on it seems that IE is literally stripping out any ActiveX calls from the web page. I'm assuming that’s what it does and why it stops the annoying popup.

For any web page that you want an ActiveX control to be available, turn the "ActiveX Filtering" off. I rarely run into any web pages where anything that needs ActiveX is of any importance so having ActiveX blocked is just fine.

You will see an icon indicator come on in the browser if the web page has ActiveX calling code. So, if something in the web page isn't working that you actually care about, then look for the ActiveX indicator. If the indicator is visible then you can try turning ActiveX Filtering off to see if an ActiveX control call is needed for the web page. If so, then you simply remember to have the filter off when you use that web site. For me, I only have one web site that I need to turn the filter off for because I actually need what the ActiveX control provides.

I hate how the Adobe Flash media sucks the life out of CPU resources when browsing the internet so I too refuse to install the plugin. Seriously, it's this kind of garbage that causes computer lay people to throw away perfectly good computers for quad cores.

PS when I absolutely need to see Flash media then I use Chrome since it has a built in Flash media plugin.

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  • What does you hating adobe flash have to do with answering the question? – Ramhound Sep 5 '14 at 19:49

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