Somehow or another, some, but not all, of flash objects now show up as empty rectangles on my browser.

For example, embedded YouTube videos simply don't display. Yet if I go to Youtube directly, the videos play fine.

I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling Flash several times, to no avail.

Any ideas?

  • Have you installed any security software lately? Anything which may block flash applications in IE. Maybe antivirus, a adblocker, browser plugin?
    – Daisetsu
    Jul 14, 2010 at 0:32
  • Nope. Remember - flash works sometimes. It apparently works when the web page is using a <object> tag, but not when it's using an <embed> tag.
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 14, 2010 at 6:08
  • Right, but some browser security plugins will whitelist certain websites for Flash, so that Youtube still works when you're on youtube.com, but not when the video is embedded in another site.
    – Phil P
    Jul 18, 2010 at 1:41

5 Answers 5


I wonder if the problem is not with an overzealous antivirus product, that might be trying to protect you against active objects and cross-site scripting.

This theory can be easily tested by turning off all AV products, firewalls and other security measures for a short while.

  • Perhaps, but since the behavior is specific to IE (Mozilla, for example, works), it's unlikely to be a firewall/AV product. (I'll try this tonight anyway.)
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 19, 2010 at 20:21

You could try using a different web browser to see if it helps in any way. Also try clearing your Flash Cache.




Flash Cache Reset:


If you're using Internet Explorer 8, you made need to use this:


  • 1
    Well, I tried Mozilla, and Flash works there; but I have a number of programs that use IE as an embedded renderer, so I'd like a solution that fixes the browser I actually use all the time. Tried clearing the Flash Cache, to no effect.
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 7, 2010 at 17:06
  • You probably already got this right, but make sure that you've got the version of Flash for IE. In other words, go to the Adobe site in IE to download Flash (Adobe makes a different version for Firefox, Chrome, and other browsers). If you downloaded and installed the Firefox version, it would naturally have no effect on IE. Good luck!
    – jrc03c
    Jul 12, 2010 at 20:23
  • Have you tried installing an older version of Flash?
    – BioXhazard
    Jul 13, 2010 at 14:40
  • Remember, flash works sometimes. For example, if I go to youtube or vimeo directly, it works fine; but if another web page embeds a youtube video, nothing shows up. I believe that it has something to do with <embed> versus <object>, but I'm not sure.
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 15, 2010 at 6:49

It may be an obvious suggestion, but have you deleted IE's temporary files?

I've known that fix some odd and otherwise baffling problems.

  • Tried it; no luck.
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 14, 2010 at 3:22
  • How about compatibility mode - Does that make a difference?
    – Chris
    Jul 14, 2010 at 18:10
  • Nope. Not a thing.
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 15, 2010 at 6:47

First - Uninstall Flash and reboot

Second - In IE got to Tools > Internet Option > Advanced > Reset. Then close IE.

Third - Open IE and download and reinstall Flash.

  • Why the downvote here? I really hate people that will cast a downvote without offering a technical explanation to the contrary.
    – MDMarra
    Jul 13, 2010 at 1:45
  • I think it's because he said in the origional description that he tried uninstalling and re-installing already.
    – Daisetsu
    Jul 14, 2010 at 0:31
  • Right, which is only part of what I suggested. Reseting IE resets the associated BHOs and plugins as well which is where the problem may lie
    – MDMarra
    Jul 14, 2010 at 5:53
  • Uninstalled, rebooted, resetted, reinstalled, and the behavior is exactly the same. Sigh.
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 14, 2010 at 6:04

Some attempts you could try:

  1. In Internet Explorer, go to Manage Add-Ons and check that Flash is enabled.

  2. Disable third party extensions and your virus scanners to ensure that they don't block Flash.

  3. Try to reinstall Internet Explorer again, if it came with Windows you can go to:
    Control Panel > Windows Components and disable the check-mark there, after a reboot, enable.

  4. Check C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash or C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\

  5. Register all flash*.ocx files in above paths like this:
    regsvr32 C:\Location\To\FileName.Ext

  6. Go through http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/191/tn_19166.html
    This has been updated yesterday thus is very up-to-date, if those doesn't work contact Adobe.
    It's probably some kind of bug that we can't fix.

Good luck! :-)

  • I didn't read that Flash sometimes works, but going through all these steps should ensure a proper installation... Jul 16, 2010 at 11:42

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