Running Any Flash Sites on IE on Windows RT (or Metro IE on Windows 8)

I love my Microsoft Surface. It’s a perfect device for me. I want a device with all good things about tablet (multi-touch, ebook reader, battery life, light, etc.). However, sometime, I also want to be able to use my favorite mouse for non-touch friendly websites, printer, or copy files from my USB hard disk.

However, it doesn’t support Desktop app (which is ok with me since it comes with Microsoft Office) and IE does not support Silverlight 😦 while it supports Flash for only sites on whitelist.

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I learn a trick today from one email in Windows Developer Show #93 that IE caches flash whitelist locally and you can modify the list!

Here are the steps:

1. Find a file iecompatdata.xml on your machine. The file should be in C:\Users\XXX\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData

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2. Edit the xml file with your favorite editor (e.g., NotePad is available on Windows RT).

3. Locate the </flash> tag, add your <domain/> entries, save, and close the file.

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4. Go back to IE and open setting charm.

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5. Delete Browsing History.

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6. Now refresh your browser, and Flash should work now!

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If you want to make sure that your customized flash whitelist won’t be overwritten by Microsoft update later, you should uncheck “Download updated compatibility lists from Microsoft.” in Desktop IE (Alt+T to open Tools menu and click Compatibility View Settings).

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This trick works on both Windows 8 and Windows RT. Enjoy!

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