Windows Server – Enable Flash

KB ID 0000978 


Note: For Server 2016, the process if different, see;

Windows Server 2016: Enable Flash

I upgraded my VMware vCenter server to 5.5 last week, and as soon as I tried to open the vSphere Web Client, I got a polite message asking me to install flash.

Server 2012 Enable Flash Player

I headed over to Adobe to download and install it, and was told that from IE10 it had already installed simply ‘enable the add-on’. Well thats not strictly true for servers, theres a couple of hoops to jump through first.


1. You cant use Flash, unless your server has the ‘Desktop Experience’ feature installed. The quickest way to do this is right click the PowerShell Icon on the Task bar > Run As Administrator.

2. Execute the following command;

Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience

Powershell Install Desktop Experience

3. As directed reboot the server;

shutdown -r 

Powershell Reboot the Server

4. The server will reboot TWICE and it may take a little while.

5. Once back in Windows I suggest you run Windows Update, (to get the most up to date Flash version) >Windows Key+R > Execute the following;

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{36eef7db-88ad-4e81-ad49-0e313f0c35f8}

Windows Flash Update

6. Then my Flash enabled vSphere Web Client, worked as expected.

vSphere Web Client

Additional Problem

You may also have trouble using flash if you have ActiveX Filtering enabled. To turn this off Press Alt+T > Untick ActiveX Filtering.

Disable ActiveX Filteirng

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links


Author: Migrated

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