How to Disable Flash Ads in Internet Explorer

By Nick Peers

Although Adobe Flash enables website developers to deliver a rich multimedia experience to their readers, many websites use Flash to deliver annoying ads. Flash ads can be displayed in pop-up windows, as well as on the same Web page. Furthermore, some flaws in Adobe Flash can be exploited by hackers. You can block Flash in Internet Explorer 11 by disabling the built-in Flash add-on. Alternatively, you can use ActiveX Filtering to enable Flash for trusted websites. An ad blocker add-on is also useful at blocking all kinds of ads.

Disable Flash in Internet Explorer

Step 1

Launch Internet Explorer 11 in desktop mode, click the gear icon and choose "Manage add-ons" from the menu to display the Manage Add-ons window.

Step 2

Select "All add-ons" from the "Show" box to display all add-ons installed in Internet Explorer and then select the "Shockwave Flash Object" item.

Step 3

Click the "Disable" button near the bottom of the window and then click the "Close" button.

Using ActiveX Filtering

Step 1

Launch Internet Explorer 11 in desktop mode, select "Safety" and then click "ActiveX Filtering" to enable it.

Step 2

Navigate to a page that usually displays ads to test the filtering. A blue crossed circle appears in the address bar and Flash content is not displayed.

Step 3

Click the blue circle and click the "Turn Off ActiveX Filtering" button if you want to display the Flash content.

Enable the Built-in Ad Blocker

Step 1

Launch Internet Explorer in desktop mode, click the gear icon or click "Tools," and then click "Internet options."

Step 2

Select the "Privacy" tab and check the "Turn on Pop-up Blocker" box to turn on the ad blocker.

Step 3

Click the "Settings" button and select the blocking level from the "Blocking level" box. To prevent all pop-up ads, select "High: Block all pop-ups."

Step 4

Click "Close" and then click "Apply" and "OK."

AdBlock Plus for Internet Explorer 11

Step 1

Open the Adblock Plus page (link in Resources) in Internet Explorer 11 and click the "Install for Internet Explorer" button.

Step 2

Click the "Run" button and then click the "Install" button to install the add-on in Internet Explorer.

Step 3

Visit a website to test the add-on. To allow the pop-up Flash ads to display, click the "ABP" icon at the bottom of the browser and choose "Disable on [website]." You can disable the add-on entirely if you click "Disable everywhere."

Tips & Warnings

  • To switch to desktop mode in Internet Explorer 11, click the wrench icon and then click "View on the desktop."
  • If you changed the settings in Internet Explorer and can't remember their default values, or if your browser crashes or freezes periodically, you can reset it. To reset IE, click the "Reset" button on the Advanced tab of the Internet Options window.
  • Changes to Internet Explorer's settings -- especially to the Privacy and Security settings -- may be dangerous and allow hackers easy access to your information and data.