How to Enable Flash Player for Internet Explorer 2021

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For some reason, I need to continue browsing flash-based application in Internet Explorer (IE) 11, even though I know adobe flash player is end of life (EOL) after 2020. I searched for any possible solution on the internet for a pretty long time, but no one is satisfying.

In this post, I'll mention a possible way to continue browsing flash-based web pages, which is what I'm using now. But before talking about it, you have to know the risk of continuing using flash player which is also unsupported by Windows after 2020. If the solution is workable for you, I'm glad, but you do so at your own risk.

Preparing Environment

Three items that you have to prepare as the following list.

1. Windows 7 Machine

An old machine which contains Windows 7 OS and haven't updated after 2020. If it's a virtual machine, it would be even better.

I know it could be difficult to find such machine described above, you may also consider to have a fresh installed machine with Windows 7 OS for the purpose. Once again, virtual machine is better.

2. Flash player for ActiveX

What file I found on the internet is install_flash_player_ax.exe which may have some other names. Be careful, you should verify the source before using it.

3. Shockwave ActiveX Control

What file I found on the internet is sw_lic_full_installer.exe which may have some other names. Be careful, you should verify the source before using it.

Please don't ask me for above items, you should prepare them by yourself.

Enabling Flash Player

Here are steps to enable flash player for IE 11:

1. Stop Windows Update

For preventing OS from updating, we disabled windows update in control panel. We all know that stopping windows update will compromise the security in your environment, it's at your own risk.

Windows 7 - Stop Windows Update

Windows 7 - Stop Windows Update

2. Install Flash player for ActiveX

Run the file install_flash_player_ax.exe as administrator to proceed the installation. Please note that, your source may not be reliable as you thought, you should verify the software by anti-virus before using it, it's also at your own risk.

Adobe Flash Player Installation

Adobe Flash Player Installation

3. Install Shockwave ActiveX Control

Run the file sw_lic_full_installer.exe as administrator to proceed the installation. Please note that, your source may not be reliable as you thought, you should verify the software by anti-virus before using it, it's also at your own risk.

Shockwave Player Installation

Shockwave Player Installation

4. Test Shockwave Player

To test it, you can go for Test Adobe Shockwave Player.

Shockwave Player Test Page

Shockwave Player Test Page

If you saw the shockwave image in the middle of the page, you have passed the test.

One more flash player test can be found at Shockwave Plug-in Test, Internet Explorer 11 is required to pass the first two tests.

5. Take a snapshot

If it's a physical machine, you should clone the hard disk by tools like Ghost or Acronis to freeze the timeframe.

If it's a VM, you should take a snapshot after enabling flash player in case you lost it again. Furthermore, you can clone the VM to another place for safety.

More considerations

Except for EOL of flash player issues, you should additionally think over your company's periodical vulnerability scanning. A running flash-based application may be assessed as vulnerable.

For example, flash-based EM Express, an useful tools for Oracle DBA to manage databases, which might be assessed as a weakness application, you should turn EM Express off before scanning.

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