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How do I completely uninstall or disable Flash's player/plugin? Pages that link to <a href="http://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=4999" title="Pages that link to How do I completely uninstall or disable Flash&amp;#039;s player/plugin?" rel="nofollow" >How do I completely uninstall or disable Flash&#039;s player/plugin?\

Flash can be annoying for users who have no interest in it at all for the following reasons:

1. If you you don't have the very latest version it will nag you until you do upgrade.

2. Companies are now using Flash for pop-ups which cannot be stopped with conventional pop-up killers.

3. In older computers big movies can eat your CPU.

4. People on dialup connections can struggle with some of the bloated movies that some people produce.

Here's a way to disable flash that won't require any additional software,
but you'll need to be comfortable using regedit:

This method will disable flash in win XP without any pop-up errors, messages, or prompts.

Click Start, Run, type regedit

Go to following dir:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/ActiveX Compatibility

Click Edit, New, Key

Name New Key:
{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (including the {})

Now create new DWORD value inside this key.

Rename this DWORD value to "Compatibility Flags"

Set Value Data to 400 and Base to Hexadecimal.

This may seem complicated but you will see along the way it makes much more sense.

If you want to disable flash correctly without compromising performance this is the way.

To enable flash simply delete the key.

Neel Shah

(rlamb fixed typos in above 2004-08-14)

To quickly disable and enable Flash in Internet Explorer when you want, here is an extension of the above registry edit. Tested with NT4, this should also work in XP and W2000.

Use a text editor (Notepad is fine) to create file:
and enter these 4 lines (the [ and ] should begin and end on one line):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}]
"Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

Save this file and create another file, named c:\flash_enable.reg
and enter these 3 lines (again the [ and ] are all on one line):

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}]

Save this file, and exit the editor.

You now have some choices how you want to run each of the above files: 1. click Start-Run and type C:\flash_disable.reg, or C:\flash_enable.reg, or 2. create shortcuts on your desktop, or 3. create Start menu items to Disable and Enable Flash.

Only choice 3. is explained here for an Administrator on NT windows, so you may need to adapt it for other users or other Windows OS.

Open an Explorer window for C:\WINNT\Profiles\Administrator
(do this by clicking Start-Run and typing "C:\WINNT\Profiles\Administrator") and press the Enter key - quotes are essential here)

Click File-New-Shortcut and enter this line in the Command line field:
C:\WINNT\REGEDIT.EXE /s C:\flash_disable.reg
click on Next and enter this line in the 'select a name for the shortcut':
Disable Flash
Click on Finish and you now have a "Disable Flash" on the Start-Menu.

Do the same for Enable Flash, assuming you want to sometimes see Flash working. Here are the details:

Click File-New-Shortcut and enter this line:
C:\WINNT\REGEDIT.EXE /s C:\flash_enable.reg
click on Next and enter this line:
Enable Flash
Click on Finish and you now have a "Enable Flash" on the Start-Menu.

Now, whenever you want to disable flash without restarting browsers
and without any extra programs running, just click
Start-Menu-Disable Flash
and the menu item will silently and speedily disable Flash!

Similarly for Enable Flash.

(rlamb corrected missing backslashes 2004-08-14)


There appears to be at least one different solution using filtering software - it's site has been the subject of DoS attacks but seems to be getting back on its feet now:

The Proxomitron - Universal Web Filter

Because of the increasing spread of Flash popups other adkillers will start to kill Flash as well so here is a list of ones that currently do that:


Free Surfer


As an update - I have started using the Outpost firewall and it has a powerful set of plugins which allow you to block ads and do other things so it might be possible to use one of these to block Flash movies completely.


There are a few dedicated software solutions.

Firstly, you can try "No! Flash", which is a small tool to disable flashe:
No! Flash - Disable Flash

For people who want to have the ability to turn Flash on and off (block all the rubbish and then enable it for good stuff) then have a look at this:


FlashSwitch - currently avaulable as a time-limited (6 months) version.


Windows users can follow the following fixes:

Guide to Disabling or Uninstalling Flash or How to (temporarily) Disable, Stop, Uninstall, or Un-install Flash

it contains a really nice fix for the nagging (and in the most infamous piece of nagware this has to be a good thing):

Find your Hosts file (it should be in windows/system in 9x or in WINNT\system32\drivers\etc in Win2000, and probably XP and may need to be created with Notepad if it is doesn't exist (make sure that notepad doesn't append .txt to the file) and add this line:

quote: download.macromedia.com activex.microsoft.com active.macromedia.com

Some browser specific fixes (may vary between versions):

Internet Explorer:
Tools >> Internet Options >> Security >> Custom Level >> Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins >> disable
This is a crude fix which will stop a number of other features working - see:

How to Disable Active Content in Internet Explorer

Relevant threads:

Stupid Flash 6 and stupid IE

Relevant links:

How to uninstall the Macromedia Flash Player plug-in and ActiveX control - this information (and the one below) only help you remove the plugin and (I believe) it will still nag you to upgrade so it isn't a great solution to the problem (see above for better solutions).

How to remove the Macromedia Flash Player ActiveX control

Google Directory: Flash: Criticism

Disabling Flash in the Browser? - a big discussion on ways to disable or uninstall Flash (with a lot of different solutions put forward). There is an emphasis on disabling it in Mozilla/Netscape but the solutions are transferrable to other browsers in a lot of cases (this FAQ also gets a mention).


Down with Flashturbators - a newspaper article on the problem of Flash ads.

disable flash on slow computer - a message on the Macromedia forums (currently the only reply is a link here but there may be other relevant posts at some point).

Disable my Flash Player (d/load Vol reasons) - another message at Macromedia.

flash in IE makes high CUP (sic) usage

disable flash ?

Flashy ads

IE6 with Flash Crap

How to disable Flash in IE

Relevant FAQs:

What is Flashturbation?

Can you give me tips for making Flash more usable?

Relevant note:

As of writing this FAQ is number 1 at Google in the search for the terms disable, flash, explorer (which is pretty much the same as how, to, disable, flash, in, explorer) and disable, macromedia. It is 2 for the terms disable, flash and the phrase "disable flash" (we just recently sneaked up from fourth. An update on that - we seem to have slipped back down again - I suspect I have been too clever) and the terms flash, player, pop, ups (up from 18). We are also at number 3 for the terms disable, flash, player and the terms disable, macromedia, flash. Also we are at number 8 for uninstall, flash. Purely by accident we are also at number 10 for kill, flash, movies.

(Edited by: baryonlee on Thu 03-Oct-2002)

(Edited by: Tyberius Prime on Fri 04-Oct-2002)

(Edited by: Emperor on Sat 01-Mar-2003)

(Edited by: neelshah on Fri 04-Jul-2003)

(Edited by: Tyberius Prime on Sat 05-Jul-2003)

(Edited by: rlamb on Wed 12-Nov-2003)

(Edited by: steve_g on Wed 07-Jan-2004)

(Edited by: steve_g on Wed 07-Jan-2004)

I've just added http://www.macromedia.com to the internet restricted sites in IE (Tools > Internet Options > Security > Restriced Sites (click the red icon) > Sites (the button) and add. No more 'security warning' popups so far.

(Edited by: steve_g on Wed 07-Jan-2004)

(Edited by: steve_g on Wed 07-Jan-2004)

(Edited by: steve_g on Wed 07-Jan-2004)

(Edited by: steve_g on Fri 09-Jan-2004)

The fax number for Macromedia is 415-626-0554 (now in my speed dialer). I thought I'd send them the same security warning every now & then (I did a screen capture of it). What the heck, I'm listed as neurotic here, may as well play the part.

(Edited by: steve_g on Fri 09-Jan-2004)

Added backslash characters to delimit registry components for the *.reg files above.

(Edited by: XOR on Wed 14-Jan-2004)

Hmm, they're swallowed when viewing . Maybe they need to be escaped with another backslash...

(Edited by: XOR on Wed 14-Jan-2004)

(Edited by: XOR on Wed 14-Jan-2004)
(Edited by rlamb on 08-14-2004 18:37)
(Edited by neelshah on 11-08-2004 05:28)
(Edited by neelshah on 11-08-2004 05:31)

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