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Post  SpecialAgentGibbs on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:15 pm

Internet Explorer 9 ActiveX Filtering: Fix Flash, Java And Other Plugins

I have seen several reports on the Internet that users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 have troubles playing Flash videos, Java apples, games and other contents powered by plugins such as Java or Adobe Flash. The reports have emerged after the release of the IE9 Release Candidate and it seems that they are linked to the newly introduced ActiveX Filtering option.

ActiveX Filtering is disabled by default but can be enabled by clicking on Tools > Safety > ActiveX Filtering. One of the easiest ways to find out that it is indeed the ActiveX Filtering that is responsible for broken contents is to enable ActiveX Filtering and visit Youtube. Youtube will notify the user that it is necessary to upgrade to Adobe Flash Player to watch the video. Users who disable ActiveX Filtering can watch the video without following that advice.

Many websites have suggested to disable ActiveX Filtering completely to be able to play games and watch videos again. That however is not the best solution available. While it is working it eliminates the added protection of the security module in Internet Explorer.

How to fix Java and Flash contents in Internet Explorer 9 with ActiveX Filtering enabled

Open Tools > Internet Options and switch to the Security tab there.

Internet Explorer supports four different zones each with their own distinctive security settings. All websites that are not locally accessible are using the security settings of the Internet zone, unless they have been added to Trusted Sites or Restricted Sites.

Trusted sites use less strict security rules by default while restricted sites highly restricted rules.

The idea now is to add the sites that you want to play Flash or Java contents on to the trusted sites. That alone however is not enough as it is necessary to make one small configuration change. Take a look how this is done for Youtube:

Select Trusted Sites from the available zones and click on the Sites button afterwards. This opens a new window with options to add or remove sites from the Trusted sites zone.

All you need to do is to enter in the “Add this website to the zone” form, uncheck “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone” and click on the Add button.

You do that for all sites that you access that make use of Flash, Java or other third party technologies that are added as plugins to Internet Explorer 9.

Once you are done click the close button.

Locate the custom level button and click it.

Scroll down until you find the entry Allow ActiveX Filtering under ActiveX controls and plug-ins. Note that it is enabled by default. All you need to do is to change the parameter to disable and click the ok button to save the new setting.

All Java, Flash and other third party plugin contents are from that moment on playing as usual on all sites that have been added to the Trusted Sites Zone.

And that’s it. It may happen that you stumble upon a new site that is not working properly. Just add it to the trusted sites listing to make it work as well. But be cautious with the sites that you add there as they are having more rights than standard Internet websites that use the standard Internet zone.

One option to change that is to change the custom level of the Trusted sites zone to the default medium-high which can be done in the settings of the zone. Make sure to disable ActiveX Filtering afterwards. That way you use the same security except for the ActiveX Filtering.

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