[HACK] Flash on Any Website in IE10 Metro Browser [WIN 8 & WIN RT]

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Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
Dear all,

As we all know Windows RT/8's IE Metro browser has limited flash support based on a whitelist. However a lot of sites are not (yet) whitelisted and hence do not work as desired. So I did some digging in the whitelist mechanism and found a way to hack it.

Be sure to follow the following steps in respective order:

  • Open Desktop IE10 type ALT --> Tools --> Compatibility View settings. Now UNCHECK the last checkmark which says: "Download updated compatibility list from Microsoft". If you have done this, you will be able to locally change the whitelist without getting overridden.
    WARNING: If this checkbox is checked IE will override your custom whitelist back to default on each rebout, so be sure to uncheck it..

  • The whitelist is named "iecompatdata.xml" and is located in this path (copy + paste in File Explorer or IE10)
    Code:
    %HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\
    (Alternatively open File Explorer and search in C:\ for "iecompatdata")

    As suggested by danchar4, you can open and edit this file directly with Notepad by pressing WIN + R and type:
    Code:
    notepad "%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml"

    All whitelisted flash enabled websites are located in this file inbetween the following tags:
    Code:
    <Flash>
            [...]
            <domain>zumiez.com</domain>
            <domain>zynga.com</domain>
    </Flash>
  • To add a website to the whitelist, all you do is add your desired website inside these tags as follows:
    Code:
    <domain>YOURDESIREDDOMAIN.COM</domain>
    Add as many websites as you desire...
  • Now we are almost done, one last task is to delete browsing histroy. Open IE10 Metro and click WIN+I (to open settings) --> Internet Options —> Delete browsing history

And you are all set and done. Flash is now enabled in IE10 Metro for the websites you have added to the whitelist!


Of course as with any hack, attempt only at your own risk. I am not responsible in case faulty behaviour occurs... That said, it should be fine :)


Kind regards,

Marvin
 
Last edited:

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
Trouble shooting + faq

TROUBLE SHOOTING + FAQ
I tried to do these steps but it does not work on www.website.com...
If the flash content is embedded as an iframe, be sure to also add the domain of the source of the flash content. E.g. be sure to also add the website where the iframe links to to the whitelisted sources, this is what will eventually determine whether flash will be activated or not for this website.

Does this method work for www.website.com?
If 'website.com' uses a standard flash plugin (e.g. if you can view the flash content on a normal desktop with just the standard adobe flash player plugin) it will work with this method. All this method does is activating the built in flash plugin for any website you have added to the whitelist.

I can not find the file "iecompatdata.xml"
If you can't find this file be sure to enable "show hidden files", this folder will show up now. Alternatively you can find it by searching C:\ for the query "iecompatdata", the file will now show up.

I have added www.website.com to the whitelist, but it does not work!
Be sure to delete your browsing history and refresh the page. If it does not work now, please be sure to check if you have added the website correctly (e.g. within <domain> tags).

After I have rebooted my computer, I have lost my custom whitelist!
Make sure you have UNCHECKED the last checkmark in "Compatibility View settings" which says: "Download updated compatibility list from Microsoft". If you have done this, you will be able to locally change the whitelist without IE overriding it automatically.
 
Last edited:
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xirsteon

Member
Feb 20, 2011
40
4
After more thorough testing, I found that a domain with a wildcard will not work i.e.
Code:
<domain>*.com</domain>
Does not allow flash to work on all .com sites... so this solution is out of the window, unless somebody knows if a wildcard in this list is supplied differently. I could not find anything in the documentation regarding the use of wildcards in this list, so most likely its not supported.

Alternatively, we could create some kind of "community" maintained whitelist, where anybody can just add any website and we will then point IE10 to download a whitelist from this community maintained source (instead of from Microsoft).

Thanks so much for this work. I remember u from ur past work on wp7/7.5 on here. Thanks again. I almost called MS lite to return my surface because of this stupidity. Are they like apple or what? Trying to decide what u can do and what u can't is a v.stupid idea and whoever decided this at MS should be fired. If I wanted a prison garden, I'd buy an iPad.

---------- Post added at 12:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:34 PM ----------

Now if I can find an easy way to block the ads ill be really happy. These ads are so invading. I didn't realize how much firefox with adblock was until I had to us IE for the last 3 days. quite annoying as it makes content loading so slow.
 

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
Thanks so much for this work. I remember u from ur past work on wp7/7.5 on here. Thanks again. I almost called MS lite to return my surface because of this stupidity. Are they like apple or what? Trying to decide what u can do and what u can't is a v.stupid idea and whoever decided this at MS should be fired. If I wanted a prison garden, I'd buy an iPad.

---------- Post added at 12:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:34 PM ----------

Now if I can find an easy way to block the ads ill be really happy. These ads are so invading. I didn't realize how much firefox with adblock was until I had to us IE for the last 3 days. quite annoying as it makes content loading so slow.

Your welcome. Glad it was helpful, yes I have been less active due to obligations at the univerisity. If we find a better solution we will let you know.

Some kind of adblocker is also integrated in Internet Explorer. Go to Manage add-ons and then to Tracking Protection. Now download a couple of adblock lists. It is not as good as chrome/ff, but it gets the job done for the most part! :)

And take some time to get used to your new machine, its a beautiful device and only yet people are starting to explore it and develop for it. It will for sure be a highly demanded device and will most likely reach a lot of developer/hacker interest.
 

Digital Man

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2007
318
63
New York
Are they like apple or what? Trying to decide what u can do and what u can't is a v.stupid idea and whoever decided this at MS should be fired. If I wanted a prison garden, I'd buy an iPad

The restriction against other browsers is equally disturbing.

See here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57431236-92/microsoft-bans-firefox-on-arm-based-windows-mozilla-says/

Even Google, who loves to push their own brand name through Chrome, saw the wisdom of allowing the customer freedom.

Lets not forget what, in large part, created Android's success - people jumped ship from Apple because they saw Android as an OS that allowed the consumer as much or as little customization as you want - you want it simple - they present a good out of box experience - you want something more, you can make changes.

We don't need two walled gardens.
 
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GoodDayToDie

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jan 20, 2011
6,066
2,931
Seattle
Eh, that's just the restriction against third-party desktop apps. Mozilla even acknowledges that they could build a Windows Store app, and in fact they're apparently doing that (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57376421-264/coming-in-2012-firefox-for-windows-8s-metro/)... just for some reason they're doing it only for x86. Since Store apps, even for RT, are allowed to use native C/C++ and the compiler supports building them for ARM, I'm really not sure why they don't just recompile it for RT. Yeah, their JavaScript JIT would need to be changed, but they already have a JIT for ARM don't they? That's equally relevant for Firefox on RT in the Desktop or in "Metro" anyhow, so it would be a stupid thing to complain about. In any case, they could just fall back to interpreted JS.
 

davehries

Member
Feb 20, 2010
38
1
Installed Chrome Browser

Eh, that's just the restriction against third-party desktop apps. Mozilla even acknowledges that they could build a Windows Store app, and in fact they're apparently doing that (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57376421-264/coming-in-2012-firefox-for-windows-8s-metro/)... just for some reason they're doing it only for x86. Since Store apps, even for RT, are allowed to use native C/C++ and the compiler supports building them for ARM, I'm really not sure why they don't just recompile it for RT. Yeah, their JavaScript JIT would need to be changed, but they already have a JIT for ARM don't they? That's equally relevant for Firefox on RT in the Desktop or in "Metro" anyhow, so it would be a stupid thing to complain about. In any case, they could just fall back to interpreted JS.

I am not sure if this adds anything to the discussion. I don't own a Windows RT machine, but I was in Office Depot the other day looking at their devices. They had a Samsung ATIV Smart PC on display. So, I messed around with if for a while. I had read that other browsers were forbidden on the RT. I thought, I wonder if Google Chrome will run? So I installed it off the internet and it worked.

My question is this: Is it just the MS RT the locks itself down? Why did the Samsung allow me to D/L and install Chrome?
 

nbates66

Senior Member
Apr 2, 2011
459
258
Launceston
My question is this: Is it just the MS RT the locks itself down? Why did the Samsung allow me to D/L and install Chrome?

the software restrictions should be the same, the other limitation is that you can't just download x86 software and install it on the RT because x86 doesn't run on ARM processors, are you absolutely certain you were on an ATIV tab running Windows RT or just a samsung tablet running Windows 8 with an x86 processor? If it was already possible to install chrome on Windows RT it'd be all over the internet.
 

adiliyo

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2009
1,437
264
Los Angeles
I am not sure if this adds anything to the discussion. I don't own a Windows RT machine, but I was in Office Depot the other day looking at their devices. They had a Samsung ATIV Smart PC on display. So, I messed around with if for a while. I had read that other browsers were forbidden on the RT. I thought, I wonder if Google Chrome will run? So I installed it off the internet and it worked.

My question is this: Is it just the MS RT the locks itself down? Why did the Samsung allow me to D/L and install Chrome?

it's the samsung smart PC running on x86 hardware? (clovertrail or i5) if it is, then it's running full windows 8 and you can install any legacy apps (like chrome/ff) to your hearts content.

not to go off topic too much, but as to the earlier comment about freedom and choice being the reason android gained so much marketshare so fast. it has more to do with the combination of cheap handsets and carrier penetration, at a time when the iphone was locked to one network in the US and blackberry was slowly falling out of the consumer mindshare. yes, people like us who frequent xda might have moved to it because of the openness of the platform, but the mainstream market really doesn't care about that.
 

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
Guys, we are wandering too far off topic. I appreciate the discussion, but please let it be (somehow) related to ways of enabling flash on IE10 on Win RT and 8. The limitations of Windows RT are better to be discussed in appropriate threads :)

Did anybody do an experiment with this compatibility list? Or tried to deactivate it in its entire? A systems admin or IT pro might no some more details on this?
 

xirsteon

Member
Feb 20, 2011
40
4
Guys, we are wandering too far off topic. I appreciate the discussion, but please let it be (somehow) related to ways of enabling flash on IE10 on Win RT and 8. The limitations of Windows RT are better to be discussed in appropriate threads :)

Did anybody do an experiment with this compatibility list? Or tried to deactivate it in its entire? A systems admin or IT pro might no some more details on this?

I added several websites and it worked fine. I'm a bit bummed as I think MS will find a way to over write the xml file in a masquerade windows update. As far as deactivation is concerned, I thought about making a backup of the xml file, and completely deleting the original to see if it works at all. What do u think?
 

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
I added several websites and it worked fine. I'm a bit bummed as I think MS will find a way to over write the xml file in a masquerade windows update. As far as deactivation is concerned, I thought about making a backup of the xml file, and completely deleting the original to see if it works at all. What do u think?

It might work, but I assume it will just deactivate compatibility view in its entire and hence disable flash for all sites. But its worth the try :) Let me know if it works!
 

xirsteon

Member
Feb 20, 2011
40
4
It might work, but I assume it will just deactivate compatibility view in its entire and hence disable flash for all sites. But its worth the try :) Let me know if it works!

Well I created a local account to test this. Backup the file and deleted the original. All the blacklisted sites didn't work. So its not 100% possible yet but I bet there's a reg option or even a security policy (secpol.msc) that will turn this check off completely. Perhaps a bit of poke around will yield some insights. I looked in secpol and didn't find anything. So that leaves the registry up for grabs unless they're pulling that wp hidden / reg lock down thing.
 

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
Well I created a local account to test this. Backup the file and deleted the original. All the blacklisted sites didn't work. So its not 100% possible yet but I bet there's a reg option or even a security policy (secpol.msc) that will turn this check off completely. Perhaps a bit of poke around will yield some insights. I looked in secpol and didn't find anything. So that leaves the registry up for grabs unless they're pulling that wp hidden / reg lock down thing.

i bet its hidden, since if you want to add a developer website to test flash on you will have to create a reg key in a non existing folder in the ie registry settings called FLASH, so I guess thats the hidden folder. But I wonder if it is possible to somehow trace these folders. I personally dont know anything about the entire mechanism behind the comapibility view. I just discovered it by accident by figuring out where the whitelist was located. So far it seems that it does not take wildcards for domains and also shutting down the list in its entire does not seem to work. We can try to add a 'blank' domain but I doubt it will work.
 

dragon_76

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2007
618
100
Chicago, IL
It might work, but I assume it will just deactivate compatibility view in its entire and hence disable flash for all sites. But its worth the try :) Let me know if it works!

More likely is that it will download the default list, or the current list. I don't really see compatibility view as an issue. What you are getting is the ability to use the major Flash-enabled sites without any of the ad sites, built-in as opposed to using third-party solutions.
 

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
I am doing just as instructed. I do not know why it doesn't for me. I tried movie2k.to and myp2p, ibliz. None of them work :(

Make sure you follow each step correctly. It has been tested and confirmed working by lots of people, on both Windows RT and Windows 8. Make sure you delete browsing history.
 

jessenic

Senior Member
Sep 9, 2010
482
313
Alternatively, we could create some kind of "community" maintained whitelist, where anybody can just add any website and we will then point IE10 to download a whitelist from this community maintained source (instead of from Microsoft).

Here you can add sites: http://minecraft.digiex.org/flash/
And here is the list itself: http://minecraft.digiex.org/flash/iecompatviewlist.xml

Working with Nuduaa on a auto downloader script to autoupdate it every now and then on the surface.
 

Marvin_S

Retired Recognized Developer
Dec 8, 2010
883
239
Here you can add sites: http://minecraft.digiex.org/flash/
And here is the list itself: http://minecraft.digiex.org/flash/iecompatviewlist.xml

Working with Nuduaa on a auto downloader script to autoupdate it every now and then on the surface.

Awesome! Now I just have to wait for MS to ship me a damn Surface ;)

If it is done (and there is some automation) I will add it to the first post!

Thank you for maintaining the list. This is great guys... good work!

Does anybody know if Windows RT allows the creation of custom extensions?
 
Last edited:

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  • 18
    Dear all,

    As we all know Windows RT/8's IE Metro browser has limited flash support based on a whitelist. However a lot of sites are not (yet) whitelisted and hence do not work as desired. So I did some digging in the whitelist mechanism and found a way to hack it.

    Be sure to follow the following steps in respective order:

    • Open Desktop IE10 type ALT --> Tools --> Compatibility View settings. Now UNCHECK the last checkmark which says: "Download updated compatibility list from Microsoft". If you have done this, you will be able to locally change the whitelist without getting overridden.
      WARNING: If this checkbox is checked IE will override your custom whitelist back to default on each rebout, so be sure to uncheck it..

    • The whitelist is named "iecompatdata.xml" and is located in this path (copy + paste in File Explorer or IE10)
      Code:
      %HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\
      (Alternatively open File Explorer and search in C:\ for "iecompatdata")

      As suggested by danchar4, you can open and edit this file directly with Notepad by pressing WIN + R and type:
      Code:
      notepad "%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml"

      All whitelisted flash enabled websites are located in this file inbetween the following tags:
      Code:
      <Flash>
              [...]
              <domain>zumiez.com</domain>
              <domain>zynga.com</domain>
      </Flash>
    • To add a website to the whitelist, all you do is add your desired website inside these tags as follows:
      Code:
      <domain>YOURDESIREDDOMAIN.COM</domain>
      Add as many websites as you desire...
    • Now we are almost done, one last task is to delete browsing histroy. Open IE10 Metro and click WIN+I (to open settings) --> Internet Options —> Delete browsing history

    And you are all set and done. Flash is now enabled in IE10 Metro for the websites you have added to the whitelist!


    Of course as with any hack, attempt only at your own risk. I am not responsible in case faulty behaviour occurs... That said, it should be fine :)


    Kind regards,

    Marvin
    4
    Alternatively, we could create some kind of "community" maintained whitelist, where anybody can just add any website and we will then point IE10 to download a whitelist from this community maintained source (instead of from Microsoft).

    Here you can add sites: http://minecraft.digiex.org/flash/
    And here is the list itself: http://minecraft.digiex.org/flash/iecompatviewlist.xml

    Working with Nuduaa on a auto downloader script to autoupdate it every now and then on the surface.
    3
    Glad I was able to help! I'm getting close to the next release of my EnableFlash scripts. They will automatically update the whitelist, while also allowing the use of IE Compat List updates.
    2
    100% MS-blessed and documented way

    For the XML file edit method please use this path - the environment variable makes it universal:
    Code:
    %HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml
    to open the doc for editing cut and paste the following to the command-line or to the Winkey+R run box:
    Code:
    notepad "%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml"

    If you are content testing one site at a time, there is a 100% documented way of doing this:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ie/jj193557.aspx


    To test your Flash content in Internet Explorer 10, add the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Flash\DebugDomain
    where DebugDomain is a string value specifying the domain name as its data. (For example, movies.contoso.com). For example:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Flash\DebugDomain = movies.contoso.com


    Note on the DebugDomain string value:
    •Direct URLs to a page or resource are not supported (for example, contoso.com/xyz). Any value containing ‘/’ is not supported, including: http:// (or https://).
    •Do not use “www.” prefix, which is stripped (for example, www.movies.yahoo.com loads as http://movies.yahoo.com).
    •Only a single domain is supported.


    If you find this helpful vote up and get this added to the first post.
    2
    This seems to work as a wildcard for any website.
    Code:
    <domain>*</domain>

    Where adding .com does not
    Code:
    <domain>*.com</domain>
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