How to: Block Flash ads in Internet Explorer (no add-on/plugin needed!)

It seems that I and 64 other dotTechies use a version of IE.  YAY us. Now the rest of you dotTechies can read this article but I can’t say it will be very useful.

Now while I agree in principle with Ashraf about Ads but at the same time I just can’t stand some!  The ones I don’t like are the Flash based ones that make sounds or expand when your mouse goes over them.  Now being a big fan of using what I’ve got on my system to do what I want, so I found a way to do it using just IE’s own settings.  It’s done using IE’s Zones, which are ways to give trusted site more access then normal sites or not trusted sites less.  What I’ll show you how to do is make it so that not trusted sites can’t run Flash and then I’ll give you a list of sites I found to be serving Flash ads.

First open up Internet Options; either from IE its self or from the Control Panel (I only show from IE).


Once that opens go to the Security Tab.

Options 1

Then select the Restricted sites Zone and click the Custom level button.

Options 2

In the settings, make sure that the following settings are set to disable:

  • Allow Previously unused ActiveX controls to run without promotion
  • Allow Scriptlets
  • Automatic prompting for ActiveX controls
  • Binary and script behaviors
  • Download signed ActiveX controls
  • Download unsigned ActiveX controls
  • Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe for scripting
  • Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins
  • Script ActiveX control marked as safe for scripting

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Now whatever sites we add to the Restricted Zone can’t run Flash. To add sites to the Zone Click on the Sites button on the Restricted sites options

Options 3


The sites I found and blocked are (A ‘*.’ before one of them means that any sub servers are also blocked):

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *

You can add your own to the list but remember that you’re really blocking all Flash on that server, not just Flash ads. So be careful not to block a site that also gives you Flash you want.

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