How to enable Adobe Flash in Windows RT for any website using Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool
Windows RT and Flash can be used together
No Flash on Windows RT?
Microsoft Windows RT was released on 26 October 2012 together with Microsoft Windows 8. There are several differences between Microsoft Windows RT and Microsoft Windows 8 which are discussed in detail here, and is beyond the scope of this article. Very briefly, Microsoft Windows RT is an operating system that Microsoft specifically developed for tablets and other highly portable systems running the ARM architecture. Today, the flagship tablet or device that uses Microsoft Windows RT is the Microsoft Surface Tablet which has gained significant interest from the press and from the public.
While Microsoft Windows RT is great for touch screen devices such as tablets, unfortunately, it also has some limitations. One very annoying and prominent limitation is that Adobe Flash cannot be freely used in the default browser Internet Explorer 10. This does not mean that Adobe Flash is not supported on Microsoft Windows RT, but instead Microsoft has chosen to restrict it such that it may only be used on whitelisted websites that the user visits through the web browser Internet Explorer 10, according to a predefined whitelist that Microsoft controls. In this article, I will show how the tool, Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool, can be used to lift the restrictions imposed by Microsoft on Adobe Flash in Microsoft Windows RT and Internet Explorer 10.
Flash on Windows RT: Does anyone care?
As most of us know and have experienced. Adobe Flash may actually be the single most important platform that made internet video sharing and streaming possible and subsequently led to the extremely successful websites such as YouTube, Dailymotion, and Metacafe. In addition, Flash also enabled subscription video/movie websites such as Netflix, Hulu and various streaming services from TV networks. For those of us who like to play the occasional Flash-based games in our web browsers, for example, those found on Armor Games, the inability to freely use Flash certainly will become a hinder.
For all of the above reasons, a user who truly wants to explore the full potential of his tablet running the Microsoft Windows RT operating system and Internet Explorer 10 will probably not go for very long before he or she will want to lift the restrictions that Microsoft has put on Adobe Flash. This is exactly the reason why it did not take very long before an enthusiast known as TheDroidKid has developed the tool Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool.
Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool: How to enable Flash using it
Using the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool, the procedure to lift the restrictions on Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer 10 and Microsoft WIndows RT is actually very simple and straight forward. The tool itself, as shown in the screenshot below, is command line only and relatively crude, which may scare away some users. However, as described in the procedure below, anyone will be able to use the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool with ease.
Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool to enable Flash
More recommended tips and literature besides enabling Flash on Windows RT
Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool: Walkthrough
Now that we know how the tool looks like I will describe how to use it step by step in the following.
Download the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool from here. (Unfortunately, the developer does not have an own hosting service, hence the tool is hosted in various file lockers online.)
- Extract the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool V1.5.zip file you just downloaded.
- Run the .bat file called Windows RT Whitelist Flash tool.bat. At this point you should be presented by a prompt similar to the one in the screenshot above.
- Type in 1 and hit Enter. This will overwrite the default Flash whitelist in Microsoft Windows RT with a custom list included in the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tooland prevent it from being updated by Microsoft Windows Update routines.
- Next, select option 3, by typing in 3 followed by Enter. This will bring up a prompt where you should input the website address of a website you want to enable Adobe Flash on.
- As an example, type in Adobe.com hit Enter and exit the script through option 4.
Once you have done all the above, simply visit the Adobe Flash website in Internet Explorer 10 to check if everything works as it is supposed to.
If you want to revert to the default settings for Microsoft Windows RT at any point, then simply launch the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool again and use the option 2 which will revert all changes made to the system.
Related articles/tips about Windows RT and Windows 8
- Differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT: Microsoft released Windows 8 and Windows RT at the same day and in a sense they are both classified as Windows 8. Therefore causing confusion among the public. This article aims to clarify and debunk the myths and misconceptions the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT.
- How to boot into and access the safe mode in Windows 8: With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has for some reason decided that normal users should not be able to easily access the safe mode. This article demonstrates 5 different approaches for the users to access the safe mode which is of critical importance to fix and troubleshoot some Windows problems.
Conclusions on enabling Flash with Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool
As described in the above section, enabling Flash on Windows RT on any website using the Windows RT Whitelist Flash Tool is really not very difficult. The question is of course why Microsoft chose to restrict the use of Adobe Flash in Microsoft Windows RT. There are of course many reasons for this, but some of the major reasons are:
- Adobe Flash is notorious for being a CPU hogger, meaning that it deteriorates the battery life of portable devices. This may be in particular annoying when a user visits a website with tons of Flash advertisements that will quickly drain the battery.
- Adobe Flash is notorious for being insecure and a vector of attack for intruders. This is probably a minor issue, as otherwise Microsoft would have recommended its users to not use Flash in all of their Windows flavors. However, this point definitely contributes to the decision to limit Flash on Windows RT.
- Adobe Flash is not as critical as it was a few years back. This is slowly becoming reality. Just a few years ago, Flash was more or less a requirement if the user wanted to access interactive websites and also if the user wanted to watch movies or play games. Today, there are alternatives. For example, the Apple iPhone and iPad have clearly shown through iOS that even without Flash, videos can still be playback using alternative players. This will become even more so with the introduction of HTML5, which, hopefully and most likely, will standardize the video players and codecs supported as implemented directly in the web browsers.
In the end, Microsoft's decision may or may not be justified. However, I believe that the user should have the freedom to do as they please with their devices. For me, it is not about all of the above issues, it is about not letting someone else make that decision for me. I am sure that many other users out there feel the same and I hope that this article does provide them with some help in this matter!