Solving the problem of Flash on Windows RT

Good Afternoon True Believers,

Before we get into today’s topic, a word of warning. I do not recommend you do this on your Windows RT device, and claim no responsibility should you end up with issues. Choose wisely…And think before you jump!

Like many, I was excited about the possiblities of Windows RT and it’s inclusion of Flash in the browser. This enthusiasm was dampened when I tried to open the Varsity Online Magazine … from UWBadgers.com. They use a flash-based player to present the monthly happenings of UW Athletics. To my cygrin, I was unable to view this on my Surface RT, and no amount of fiddling with IE allowed me to resolve this issue.

Upon doing research, it was discovered that Microsoft allows Flash only for whitelisted sites. Really? While I partially understand their attempt at protecting the device from malicious Flash sites, they could have at least included an option like “Hey…this site is not listed. Would you like to add this as an allowed Flash site?”, but that didn’t happen.

So after some searching, I found a developer over at XDA-developers.com that created a batch file that adds websites to the whitelist. It works great. It’s a hack, but you’re not doing anything you couldn’t do by hand. Here’s the link to info on XDA-Developers.com.

It does not allow you to bulk add sites and the process takes about 2-3 minutes in the background, but it’s definitely worth be able to view Flash on sites that are not on the Whitelist.

Word of caution: This disables the automatic update of your whitelists by Microsoft. So if you ever turn that back on or want the most current whitelist, you’ll have to re-add your sites. So I am just keeping a running text file with all the sites I add, and plan to periodically update the whitelist from MS, then re-add my sites if they didn’t make the cut. Also, this will delete your browser cache, history and cookies… So read the ReadMe.txt before running this!

Let me know what you think…

About Michael Bender

Just a geek trying to "share the wealth" with the rest of the world... Michael is a teacher at heart. Coming from a career teaching at a community college and work for 19 years as a system engineer, his passion is for helping people learn the skills necessary to ‘level-up’ their careers, and helping businesses achieve their customer goals. Sharing everything is how he guides his career as everyone wins when you share what you know. Currently, he is a Cloud Ops Advocate at Microsoft. This team focuses on engaging and advocating for Operations-focused communities to the engineering teams in Windows Azure. You’ll find Michael and his #AzOps team at conferences, online, and building great content at docs.com. Michael specializes in Windows Server, Virtualization, PowerShell and Windows Azure. As part of his goal of sharing his knowledge, he has a number of courses published on Pluralsight.com covering PowerShell and Windows Server. He is passionate about the IT Operations community. For the last 8 years, he has led up a global user group called The Krewe.he is the current president and a founding member of The Krewe, a worldwide networking group for IT Pros and Developers. This group provides a global network for the sharing of ideas and solutions for many in the Operations community. For more information, check out The Krewe on Facebook or Twitter.
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