Flash in Windows 8

Starting tomorrow, we are updating Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 and Windows RT to enable Flash content to run by default. On Windows 8, all Flash content continues to be enabled for IE on the desktop.

As we have seen through testing over the past several months, the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life. With this update, the curated Compatibility View (CV) list blocks Flash content in the small number of sites that are still incompatible with the Windows experience for touch or that depend on other plug-ins.

We believe having more sites “just work” in IE10 improves the experience for consumers, businesses, and developers. As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the Web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC. Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience.

Windows 8 Windows RT
Immersive IE Enabled unless on CV list Enabled unless on CV list
Desktop IE Enabled for all sites Enabled unless on CV list

This updates the immersive IE experience on Windows 8, and both the immersive and desktop IE experiences on Windows RT. The update will be made available to customers with Windows Update. The curated CV list applies to IE on the desktop for Windows RT since the most common reason to block Flash is that the site relies on other plug-ins that are not available on Windows RT.

More compatible Web experiences

Our approach to Flash in Windows is practical for Windows customers and developers. For Windows 8, we worked with Adobe to include a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life. Adobe made substantial changes to the Flash player to align with the Windows 8 experience goals. We shipped this optimized Flash component as part of Windows 8, and we service it through Windows Update. IE10 with Flash on Windows 8 enables people to see more of the Web working with high quality, especially compared with the experience in other touch-first or tablet browsers and devices.

When we released Windows 8 and Windows RT we used the IE Compatibility View (CV) list to enable sites to run Flash content compatible with the Windows 8 experience, including touch responsiveness, performance, and battery life. In Windows 8, IE on the desktop runs all Flash content, like it does on Windows 7.

Looking at our engineering experience with Flash and Windows 8 and RT, as developers improve their Flash content, the vast majority of sites with Flash content that we have tested are now compatible with the Windows experience goals. Of the thousands of domains tested for Flash compatibility to date, we have found fewer than 4% are still incompatible, in the most part because the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash. With Windows 8 in the hands of customers and developers, we listened to feedback around the experience of Web sites with Flash.

Developing compatible Flash content

For developers building sites with Flash content, this document posted on MSDN goes into more technical detail about the criteria used to place sites on the Flash CV block list, as well as steps that developers can take to test their content in immersive IE and submit their sites to be removed from the block list. The documentation also includes a best practices guide to help developers, designers, and content publishers create experiences with Flash that play well in IE for touch, responsiveness, and battery life. These best practices complement existing recommendations and tools like modern.IE for authoring touch-friendly HTML5 sites. Also, starting tomorrow, modern.IE enables testing whether or not your site is on the curated Flash CV block list.

For the development community, platform continuity and technology choice are important. Flash in IE10 on Windows 8 and Windows RT provides a bridge for existing sites to transition to HTML5 technologies where it makes sense and at a pace that is right for the experiences they want to deliver to their customers. With today’s update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, consumers can experience more of the Web by default.

-- Rob Mauceri, Group Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Comments (123)
  1. Mark Dykun says:

    Any change for support of Silverlight in IE 10 RT?

  2. Graham says:

    Silverlight, please.

  3. Rodrigo says:

    Support Silverlight too.

  4. iosub says:

    YES! we need Silverlight in Windows RT. Our corporate apps are done with Silverlight.

  5. Sam says:

    So we went from no plugins in IE10  (Therefore killed our projects and moved to a different platform) to Plugins in IE10.  This is why I hate developing with MS.

  6. Brian M says:

    This is excellent news. Microsoft is definitely not the slow moving dinosaur it was 5 years ago–I haven't even heard anybody complain about Flash not working, and yet you guys are moving forward doing the smart thing by enabling it anyway. Way to go! 🙂

  7. Jeff L says:

    Silverlight please.

  8. Mateo says:

    This is great news!

    Thanks Microsoft.

  9. LMK says:

    Yay you finally saw the light, so frustrating having to hack RT to enable various Flash sites. This is how it should've been from the start… You had a great advantage over iOS and you disabled it! Duh.

  10. Zeca says:


  11. JustMe says:

    Why don't you offer a Group Policy Setting for Enabling Flash in IE? So the Pro Users could disable the check list on Modern IE.

  12. LMK says:

    I would vote AGAINST ever including Silverlight support – we want browser plugins to die, not drag on forever. Hopefully lack of iOS support will eventually cause Flash to die off (but in the interim MS's decision is the right one).

  13. Susan says:

    And what about Server 2012?  Does the same thing occur there too?

  14. Laurie says:

    About time. I like playing some FB games and a lot of them require a more recent version of Flash than I have on the desktop version of Explorer on my Surface.

  15. Bart says:

    I'm with the others, I want Silverlight support as well. It's a MS product and I hate it when I as a MS developer, go to a MS website using my MS Surface RT, and I can't do something because the MS designers of the MS website used a MS product called MS Silverlight.


  16. bert says:


  17. Jeff says:

    Great, this is how it should have been from the get go. Well done in FINALLY fixing a glaring error in Windows 8.

  18. Matt says:

    What about supporting flash content in Windows 8 JavaScript & HTML apps? Any plans on that front?  

  19. Robert says:

    I think Microsoft is abandon Silverlight but it's bored for Windows RT because some web services works only with Silverlight.

  20. 🙁 Microsoft should be promoting the use of HTML5/CSS3, etc… not Flash! Flash is old, obsolete, regularly exploited, and NOT something modern websites/apps should be built on!! Supporting Flash is one thing, actively encouraging "Developing compatible Flash content" is a bit of a step too far IMO!

  21. Robert says:

    By Web service I think to Bing StreetSide for exemple.

  22. Luke says:

    Will MS finally fix this stupid/annoying bug: Pinned Favorites in IE10 unpinned when switching Flash video to full screen

  23. Simon says:

    Just checking, but in msie 10 (desktop) I normally either disable flash outright via manage addons, or set msie to ask me via activex filtering. Any comment on how I can disable / prompt for flash in the immersive ui version without fully disabling it in the desktop version?

  24. ianicbass says:

    MS will be saving lots of businesses if Silverlight is supported. So please MS, don't follow others lead but be a leader that will be followed… bring silverlight back!

  25. About flipping time says:

    About flipping time!

    Now enable it in Metro across the board please!

    I still can't believe how epically brain dead it was to ever have taken this decision out of the end users hands!

    I want to see a site that uses flash – Microsoft has NO BUSINESS turning it off by default! And not letting me actually choose if I want to view/use it.

    Worst mistake the IE Team ever made!

  26. rob k says:

    Silverlight support would be even awesome to gain more of a foothold in business.

  27. Linus says:

    Silverlight now, you condescending idiots.

  28. AndyCadley says:

    Good to see practicality finally win out over idealism on this issue. The biggest gripe with IE10 has been the seemingly arbitrary Flash support on sites, that is very difficult for end users to understand. One day we'll have a plug-on free web, but it's just not really there yet.

  29. Saigon says:

    Thanks MS!!!

  30. Niclas Lindgren says:

    Finally a move in the right direction towards what MS always had, user's choice, as most people already mentioned, reconsider SL and make your software stack complete again.

  31. Pino says:

    In a plugin-free web, what option is there to play vector animations like Homestar Runner, Weebl's Stuff, and everything on Albino Blacksheep and Newgrounds? Converting them to MPEG-4 video would bloat them by a factor of ten, and that's not nice to do in this age of monthly Internet transfer caps.

  32. Steven says:

    I actually have the same question as Simon.  I don't yet use Windows 8, but is ActiveX filtering available in the "Metro" IE version?  In desktop IE9, I leave the filtering enabled, except for a handful of sites that I allow ActiveX.  Even if Flash's power usage has been optimized, it's hard to imagine that an animated Flash ad is going to use less battery power than a static image.  (I press Esc to stop those silly GIF animations that some sites use, so even those are just static images once I notice them.)

  33. Mike says:

    What!!!???? So, they support the "other guy's plugin", but still don't support their own plugin… Nice support for Silverlight developers! Yay!

  34. Plerro says:

    @SVG+SMIL with JS-Fallback for IE?

  35. YOON says:

    Many Thanks, MS!

  36. Adan says:

    My wife uses her Surface RT as her primary PC. I love it, because she loves it. I will say though that this Flash restriction was a pain, mainly because she come to me every time a site didn't work, especially if she was trying to run a game for our son. The next reason for her to bother me is special PDFs which allow filling out forms and/or have some type of additional functionality that RT doesn't support. If this is corrected, it will save me a lot of: "But I can't do…."


  37. valerie says:

    user friendly?  I think NOT!  grrrrr

  38. Tak says:

    Why don't you support Silverlight?

  39. Kishor Gurtu says:

    When the ship is sinking, you clutch at every available straw.

  40. Jason404 says:

    Yes, having Windows RT porn-enabled will make it a bit more appealing.

  41. James S says:

    Great news!  This is a better approach, to be sure.  I would echo many others here in also saying that Silverlight support in Windows RT, the modern UI version of IE on Windows 8, and maybe even Windows Phone is a much needed and logical next step.  In my previous job we spent multiple years and multiple millions of dollars building an incredibly complex LOB Silverlight app that even to this date would still be very difficult (maybe even impossible) to do in HTML5/JavaScript.  It's a great shame that Microsoft's own tablet and phone operating systems don't support Microsoft's own (and very fantastic) technology.

  42. Chris says:

    Please allow silverlight for Windows RT as well, we have apps that are required and can't run on RT.

  43. Yuri says:

    Keep up the good work, Silverlight sucks!

  44. Rich says:

    This is good to see, but the continued silence on Silverlight (in the face of obvious demand) is deafening…

  45. Jp says:

    Finally. Whitelist was just crazy and ate away many customers.

  46. Marcus Zorbis says:

    I love the immersive experience that only Adobe Flash provides.

  47. Simone says:

    Silverlight please!!!

    Many Thanks MS!

  48. asdf says:

    Is there any way to uninstall flash in Windows 8 (and I don't mean disable, I mean completely remove)?

  49. ni mei says:


  50. Paco Suarez says:

    Silverlight please!!!!

  51. Laci says:

    We have a large silverlight app and we cannot afford to develop it twice (METRO)

  52. Philip Colmer says:

    Another vote for Silverlight please – your support for Flash is much appreciated but that doesn't help with – at the very least – the number of video-streaming sites that use Silverlight.

  53. Agi Mar says:

    Will this change mean that Flash Content enabled sites display correctly in WebView components of WinRT programs? Any clarification would be great!

  54. Fredrik says:

    Need Silverlight

  55. Xian says:

    Please ENABLE SILVERLIGHT on WindowsRT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  56. Christian says:

    Microsoft commited a dire original sin when the compatibility list was introduced. Never before has any platform provider put policies on an open webbrowser. Not even Apple!

    I loved the old Microsoft and I'm completeley torn apart that this once great company is now essentially lost. I could not trust Microsoft anymore at all with any technology. Microsoft had such great technologies like XNA, silverlight, ado, .NET, etc. and everything might be gone the next month to hunt some short lived fad like ipads. The tiled metro ui which is quite dictator like and cannot even be disabled or controlled with group policies is the last shot, how can any business ever deploy win8 or server 2012????

    How long will .NET and winforms still be supported?

    I'm very sad to see an old friend die of the cancer that this new baby-managers fresh from high school are spreading inside the company. Good bye and thanks for all the great time where you could be relied upon

  57. hatsune says:

    Silverlight, please.

  58. Joe1975 says:

    Silverlight is absolutely required, particular on RT. Otherwise the platform is dead. Silverlight is used by most Video on Demand Companies in Europe: Lovefilm(Amazon); Maxdome; Watchever; etc.

  59. mfsav says:

    It's totally idiotic of Microosft to support a compete technology and not their own.

    Add Silverlight and/or remove Flash.

    Plus ADD HTML5

  60. DJ says:

    Please enable Silverlight also

  61. Pascal O says:

    We need Silverlight too !

  62. AdrianH says:

    Silverlight please. Today!

  63. lars says:


  64. IvanKujundzic says:


  65. CG says:

    WHERE THE FU$#K IS SILVERLIGHT!!!!!!   Microsoft are so FU$#KIN frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Jay says:

    Errrm ok thanks for nothing microsoft, What we actually need is silverlight for RT…..IDIOTS!!!

  67. Tau says:

    Silverlight, please!

  68. clickfinger says:

    Great Flash support! Who needs Silverlight? Nobody

  69. tetsujin says:

    Silverlight please!

  70. Sabine says:

    Thanks, great news.

    Now Silverlight, pretty please!!!!!!!

  71. Remco says:

    As most others: Please add Silverlight! MS put a lot of effort in persuading devs to develope LOB applications using Silverlight. We invested a lot and don't want to have to convert it all to WinRT and lose our Mac compatibility in the process.

  72. aaa says:

    Silverlight&Windows Media Player,please!

  73. Hellenomania says:

    Absolutely one of the best decisions ever made.

    Adobe needs to offer flash reconsider offering flash on Android – Android + MS flash is absolutely going to KILL Apple.

    Bring it on.

    The html5 revolution is still years away – as predicted 3 years ago. So lets get sensible for the next 5 years as we transition – the reality is that javascript is the worst development environment ever considered including modelling clay, sand pits, and finger painting – it is ridiculous. Until there is a single viable alternative to Flash, Unity  and Silverlight which is NOT JAVASCRIPT then flash remains.

  74. Daniel says:


  75. mm says:

    Yes, Flash and Silverlight please, it will massively boost W8 sales; lol

  76. Elizabeth says:

    I am having trouble loading several games in Facebook, and keep getting a error message saying to download the latest, Adobe Flash Player.

    I have Windows 8, and apparently Flash Player is already embedded in Internet Explorer. So what should I do now?  Can anyone PLEASE help me?

  77. sabu says:

    Will wp8 follow?

  78. Wietse says:

    I hope the next update contains the Silverlight player!

  79. ahwc says:

    if you decide to make flash more accessible, at least implement click-to-play and make it the default option.

  80. Scott Roberts says:

    Thank you MS and the IE Team for your work to ensure great user experiences. Ignore the inflammatory self serving comments – the professional developers appreciate your hard work.

  81. Stilgar says:

    Silverlight you hypocrites!

  82. I spent a week of my life trying to install the Adobe Flash Player on the Metro side of the Internet Explorer, with no success.  I spent a day reinstalling Silverlight over and over again, and I couldn't figure out why a Microsoft product wouldn't work on the Metro side of IE10.  I eventually figured out that Media Player, Pandora, and Spotify had to be run from the desktop in order to work properly and run in the background.  I wanted to give the Modern UI a real go, but I always kept getting pulled back to the desktop in order to get half the things to work.  It would have been nice to know up-front that there were no plug-ins on the Modern UI of IE.  It would have saved a lot of grief.  It's nice to see that they are letting a "plug-in" onto the Metro side of IE, and I hope they let in a couple more, like Silverlight as well as getting Media Player, Media Center?, and the Radio programs to be able to play music in the background on the Metro side of things.

  83. Gisabun says:

    @ThetaOrion : Huh? You can't install the Adobe Flash Player from Adobe's web site. They will not work with Windows 8. Microsoft provides updates via Windows Update or the download center.

    If apps aren't made for Windows 8 "modern" interface [there is no such thing as "Metro"!] then you must run it from the desktop.

  84. Igor says:

    silverlight suxxx, forget about it.

  85. Alex says:

    Silverlight please … maybe someone could start a facebook campaign???

  86. Silverlight developer says:

    Sinofsky is gone, bring back the Silverlight

  87. Yop says:

    yeaahhhhhhhh  it's a great news !

    Thx a lot for that ! now i want a surface and test this


    will it run ?

  88. KingNeptune says:

    I second (?!?) the cry for full Silverlight support on Windows 8/RT

  89. Chichel says:

    Can we get the same on Xbox IE?

  90. soliman says:


  91. erik says:

    Silverlight should be built-in into IE10 🙁 It is really a shame that Microsoft does not supports its own technology. Why should developers stay with Microsoft technologies?

  92. MikeH says:

    I am not happy to see this as Steve Jobs was absolutely right in his assessment of Flash. The one thing that constantly pegs my CPU in both Chrome and IE browser..Flash. The one thing that crashes my browsers more than anything else…Flash. The one thing that eats the most memory out of any apps..Flash. The one app that gets more updates than any other…and constantly turns the auto notification back on even when I turn it off….Flash (and the rest of Adobe's crappy apps).

    There is no technical reason to have Flash anymore…move beyond it. I for one will continue to leave Flash turned off.

    PS – Silverlight is not that much better either…

  93. C Johnson says:

    I had to give up IE in Win8 and move to Chrome because flash videos such as on Youtube all showed with 10% of the outer edges clipped, or randomly resized as the video was playing (search for "quantic dream kara IGN" on you tube, try playing it back at full quality, see if it works right for you).

    Sadly, I can find zero solution for this.  I would assume it's a codec issue or something, but Chrome is unaffected.  Sadly, this is a clear example of both how important a plugin can become and how damaging it can be when it goes wrong.

  94. Martijn says:

    1) Why was Flash blocked in the first place?

    2) Why does Microsoft even have control over this, and not Adobe? OR THE USER?

    3) Why is there a difference between desktop and Metro versions of the layout engine?

  95. INETMAN says:

    Leave Silverlight in grave, which it already is.

    Go further with HTML5.

  96. Now please make SILVERLIGHT work in windows 8 they way it should work!!!

    It should not matter if I run in "metro mode" or not or if I am running windows rt or pro, it should be there and availible out of the box.

    I am already using Silverlight app's which work excellent from the perspective of touch as well as battery life, just take a look at some of devexpress' silverlight control and you find components which are FAR BETTER at touch (expecially in lob programs for mixed touch/desktop environments) than the win 8 start menu as well as the majority of the windows store apps I tried so far.

    Just make it easy to disable flash/silverlight and HTML5 features (for html5 I as an end user should have control of if/when video should be played, when my webcam is accessed etc.)

  97. hipolito says:

    porque no puedo

  98. Xin.... says:

    how about server 2012 ??

  99. Xin says:

    how about server 2012 ??

  100. Stephanus says:


  101. stooH says:

    Now all we need is for them to start supporting their own product that they use on their own websites – Silverlight!!!

  102. Alin says:

    This is great news!

    Thanks Microsoft.

  103. sergio.santanna says:

    Silverlight please!

  104. @Silverlight savvy folks says:

    I would point you to http://team.silverlight.net for more information on the future of Silverlight (debate and all).

  105. Stanley says:

    Why are developers complaining about Silverlight? They knew when it started it was a dead end proprietary language/plugin that wasn't going to be supported on all platforms!

    If you picked up the sieve expecting to be able to use it like a shovel you only have yourself to blame.

    +1,000,000 votes against Silverlight in metro

  106. Roy says:

    Farmville 2 on Zynga was working just fine out of the box on Windows 8 RT, but, after this update was applied, it stopped, it never goes beyond the Loading page.  Any ideas?

  107. msheasby says:

    Flash and not Silverlight? Really?

  108. Samurai engineers says:

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

    silverlight please

  109. daniel says:

    me gusta

  110. Mircea says:

    Silverlight too! you caused us too much pain so far!

    start thinking more about your customers…

  111. עאאכ says:


  112. Khun T says:


    How about IE10 on WP8? When will it support embed YouTube vdo?

  113. Pontus says:

    Please support your own plugin (silverlight) aswell!!!

  114. Esset says:

    Now give us Silverlight for Metro and Windows RT!!!

    You can even give a hint to the windowns management that putting silverlight + .net desktop apps on win rt would make it far more

    attractive, especially for business use.

  115. +2^63  votes for Silverlight!!

    Continuing to screw developers using MS software will not do you anything good but will eventually lead to us moving away not only from MS tools but also MS platforms such as IE10, windows (client+server), database.

    Please consider what both customers and developers want and allow Silverlight in Metro and on ARM!

    With the last 2 realeases Silverlight finally become a really good tool for LOB business apps which could run on all supported windows os (but with better performance on the newest OSes). If you just had continued this tradition (and maybe even made slight modification to how scrolling/listboxes in the runtime to make it more touch optimised) we could not recommend lots of companies that windows tablets are a good idea instead having to say that they are no better than ipad.

  116. Do you guys at Microsoft realize how heavily SL is used in the industry for LOB applications? Do you also realize that dropping SL will prevent companies from upgrading to Windows 8 since their business applications are way more important than their operating systems (and office suites for that matter)?

    And honestly, do you expect all software companies to rewrite LOB applications in a WinRT context within the upcoming year? It does not work that way. Do you realize that there are 15+ YO applications still out there? Business critical 15+ YO applications…

    In response to all of you saying that flash is more important than SL, yeah it is, if you look at porn more often than you are at the office or stuck on a delayed transatlantic flight where you really need good OOB functionality to be productive.

    I mean, there is a reason why Windows XP is still widely used in a corporate context, please consider that. The decision not to include Silverlight does not make strategic sense, all it does is keeping companies from Windows 8 and tablets.

    I kept thinking of this when I read the blog post: http://www.youtube.com/watch

  117. muenchris says:

    As a voice for industrial automation LOBs: we want Silverlight as well!

    Flash is all fun and games…but for professionals Silverlight is the way to go

  118. hd says:

    oke dit is echt zo vervelend want nu kan ik niet eens effe een leuk spelletje spelen op me laptop

  119. jos says:

    Since the update i cannot play flash content in ie10 metro, it only works in the desktop version

  120. Joe Fu says:

    Silverlight Please…!!

  121. sanjeev says:

    Thanks to MS for realizing the use of Adobe flash for end user…. much appreciated… we want flash to run in way as it was before  

  122. skr4u says:

    To MS — you just allow flash based app on your app-store and see how fast the number of app will go more than google and apple app store

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content