Meaning of message regarding ActiveX control

September 22, 2015 at 13:18:01
Specs: Win 7
After a thorough working over of lots of settings, when I go to any
YouTube page, I get this popup notice:

Internet Explorer blocked an ActiveX control, so this page might
not display correctly.

How can I determine which ActiveX control was blocked and
what it would be used for on that page? I have ActiveX filtering
turned off, but I will turn it on and configure it if doing so will
enable me to answer those questions.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#1
September 22, 2015 at 13:53:37
It is probably Flash Player, if you happen to have HTML5 disabled which is now the prime option.

Go here and try enabling it:
https://www.youtube.com/html5
(towards the bottom).

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#2
September 22, 2015 at 21:39:59
I should have said that the video on each of the pages I tried
did play without any problem. Although many of the still images
representing other available videos were blank.

I installed a version of Flash player from early this year just before
trying out the YouTube videos, but as I said, I also made scads of
adjustments to various settings after a fresh install of Windows 7
Home Premium 64 bit with SP1.

The YouTube page you linked indicates that my browser currently
supports HTMLVideoElement and H.264, but not the other four
thingies, whatever they are. It also says "The default player is
currently used". Flash isn't mentioned. My browser is IE 10.

Does HTML 5 include a video player, or does it use Windows
Media Player to play video? I don't think I got any videos to run
until after I installed Flash, but the problem may have been the
settings rather than lack of Flash.. I haven't installed either VLC
or FireFox yet.

It isn't clear to me if you would still recommend that I click on one
of the links at the bottom of the YouTube page, given the above.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#3
September 23, 2015 at 08:24:15
I have IE 11 and this is what mine looks like, having invoked HTML5 some time back:
http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/hN87w...

I understand that YouTube is now using HTML5 but Flash will still work for folk who are unable to use it or have not switched to it.

If you are not already using HTML5 it might cure your issue on YouTube if you are able to switch to it, but I've no idea how you managed to block your ActiveX control. You could try looking in "IE > Tools > Manage add-ons" (set to show All Add-ons) to see if Adobe is disabled.

EDIT:
YouTube (HTML) opens quite normally using their online player.

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Related Solutions

#4
September 23, 2015 at 09:16:04
I take it that "the HTML5 player" is an add-on which can be
downloaded via the big blue button that I see but you don't
because you already have it. And that this add-on is similar
in purpose and function to Flash, but does not play the same
video formats. So if I want to view a video made for HTML5,
I need to use the HTML5 player, and if I want to view a video
made for Flash, I need to use the Flash player. And YouTube
provides its videos in both formats. Is that correct?

Is Flash an ActiveX control? Is the HTML5 player an ActiveX
control?

I see that "Shockwave Flash Object" and "Windows Media Player"
are now both in the list of add-ons, which was empty when I looked
at it yesterday.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#5
September 23, 2015 at 11:25:39
Re #4. Your first paragraph is spot on, except that HTML5 is built into Internet Explorer so you won't see an add-on listed as such. On YouTube HTML5 is now their preferred format. Some folk have had difficulty with Flash on YouTube recently, which was fixed by switching to HTML5. Flash is gradually being superseded by HTML5 on the internet.

Yes, Flash is an IE ActiveX Control.

I too have both "Shockwave Flash Object" and "Windows Media Player" in the list of add-ons.

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#6
September 23, 2015 at 13:50:44
I know (or at least, believe that I know) that HTML5 is the native
language used by IE 10 and other recent browsers. I am pretty
familiar with HTML 3.2 and somewhat familiar with corresponding
HTML5 tags and syntax. So I know that interpretation of HTML
is the heart of the browser. But I have no idea what connection
there might be between HTML5 and the HTML5 player besides
the name. Maybe the player was sponsored by the same group
which sponsored HTML5? Anything else?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#7
September 23, 2015 at 14:09:56
It comes back to it being coded in, rather than an add-on. This says it all:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzP...
Which is why you get references to whether your browser is capable.

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#8
September 23, 2015 at 16:10:57
If the HTML5 player is built in to IE 10, then why do I need to
"request" it from the YouTube page you linked? The big blue
button says "Request the HTML5 player".

And if the HTML5 player is part of IE 10, then I expect it is an
.exe or .dll that I can find on my Windows 7 drive. Any idea
what its name is?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#9
September 23, 2015 at 17:23:11
It is YouTube that are giving you that choice for running their videos online. I happen to think it is worthwhile but you can stick with Flash if you wish.

HTML5 is not a "Player", it is the coding or language that is built into IE. The selection you make on the YouTube page is to use their newer online player which is HTML5 based.

As the Video in #7 says, previous HTML versions could not handle things like video, so add-ons were used instead. HTML5 is more grown up and can do those things. All that you are likely to find as files on your system will be updated dll's relating to html, Mshtml.dll being one of the likely candidates.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#10
September 23, 2015 at 21:39:51
It isn't clear that my browser is using Flash.

I installed Flash 17.0.0.169 yesterday. It shows as "Enabled" in
the Manage Add-ons window. But this test page ...

https://www.whatismybrowser.com/det...

... tells me that Flash is not installed. This page ...

https://www.whatismybrowser.com/det...

... tells me that JavaScript *is* enabled. Also, ActiveX filtering is
disabled, but "Run ActiveX controls and plugins" is enabled.

Before I re-installed Windows a few days ago, I was able to view
videos on MSNBC. Now I get black. I can view the videos on
YouTube. Before I installed Flash, I could not. But I may have
also changed some setting about the same time. Most of the
setting changes I made were before I discovered that I couldn't
view YouTube videos.

Meh.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#11
September 24, 2015 at 07:47:30
I can't "directly" comment on your links because of-course they show the situation on MY computer when I go to them. They are also from a third party, so it would be best to go check with Adobe themselves for Flash information. Go here where it gives both the version you are using and a table below showing what you should be using:
http://www.adobe.com/software/flash...

Flash 17.0.0.169 is way out of date so it's not clear how you got that yesterday. I trust you got it from Adobe themselves because there are various old versions kicking around the internet. The latest Windows version for IE is 19,0,0,185 (all browsers). If that is not what you have then click where it says "Player Download Center" in the text (blue) just above the table. If you have an alternative browser you will need to do the same from that one too (Flash does not globally update all browsers).

Watch out for unwanted pre-checked goodies when getting Adobe Flash updates. Just uncheck them and you'll be fine.

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#12
September 24, 2015 at 10:00:54
I downloaded the Flash player from Adobe last April.
Just 5 months ago. So except for groceries and junk
mail, it's one of the newest things I have.

To the best of my recollection, I have that version because
Adobe changed something after that one which made it
difficult or impossible to install properly. It worked fine up
until a week ago when I was using all the same programs
I'm using now, including IE 10. But as I say, I altered lots
of settings. So many that I didn't keep track of them all.

The Adobe page you just linked tells me that I have version
17.0.0.169 installed. Unlike the website I linked in my last
post, it says nothing about Flash being enabled or disabled.

Since the version I have worked for me before, I'll stick with
it until I can figure out what is going on.

I see that a .swf video stored on my hard drive that would
always play even when nothing else would is now not playing.
It has a generic document icon and Windows asks me what
program to use to open it. Windows Media Player will play
some .mp4 videos but not others, saying that it might not
support the file type or the codec used. I don't remember
that I had to install Flash or anything else to get that one .swf
video to play, but since it *is* .swf, I guess I must have had
Flash installed. That one video really stood out as *always*
working. I never came acoss any others that were so easy.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#13
September 24, 2015 at 10:14:36
I too have had the odd difficulty updating Flash. I found the trick when this happened was to use the full file download (normal update is just a small link file). Next time the normal updates worked again. You can get the full file here - down the bottom after
item 7:
http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player...
Remember that as often as not Flash is updated to overcome security risks which have been discovered when using Flash online.

As for your swf file, do you have VLC player on-board? That might play it if you set the association - Irfan View is another possibility. If all else fails this will definitely play it, a small (6.5M) stand-alone program file from Adobe which I'm using:
http://www.bannersnack.com/blog/dow...
Select "Adobe Flash Player Projector for Windows" (sometimes known as Flash Player Debug)". You just associate swf file with the program exe you downloaded.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#14
September 24, 2015 at 14:58:04
I have the Adobe Standalone SWF Player, but I know I wasn't
depending on it to play the one .swf video that always plays.
I've had that video since 2010, and I don't recall it ever not
playing despite all sorts of changes to settings after several
installs of Windows. I also have VLC player and IrfanView,
but I know that neither of them was required to play the video.
It seems odd that a change in settings would prevent it from
playing. Since it is a .swf file, and I was playing it from my
hard drive, and the only programs available to play it would
have been IE 8 (and more recently IE 10), Windows Media
Player, and -- probably -- Adobe Flash Player, can you say
what program I probably would have seen when I clicked on
it and played it? Would WMP have used the Adobe Flash
player, so that the WMP interface is all I would have seen?

Oh! Oh! I think I'm getting it! I must have changed some
setting in WMP that is preventing it from using Flash, whether
I'm in IE or clicking on a file on the hard drive! I'll go back and
review the WMP settings!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#15
September 24, 2015 at 15:24:13
Wmp doesn't naturally play swf files. There might well be a way of using WMP with some special codec, although it hardly seems worth the effort.

What did play that swf previously? It must have been playing on "something" when you double clicked it. Whatever it was, that association has got lost but can easily be re-instated using "Open With". You clearly have a choice of programs that will do so, any one of which can be tried out before you form the permanent association.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#16
September 24, 2015 at 21:27:37
Apparently Flash Player *was* playing the YouTube videos.
Uninstalling it made YouTube videos unplayable.

Haven't been able to find a setting yet that fixes anything.

I think I have never successfully used the Adobe Standalone
SWF Player, but never deleted it because I wasn't sure why
it didn't work. I just tried it on two .swf videos that I know are
good, with no joy.

I'm moderately sure that WMP opened and played that one
reliable .swf video when I double-clicked it. I can only surmise
that it used the Adobe Flash ActiveX control to do it, though it
surprises me that I would have had Flash installed every time I
played the video. Installing Flash generally comes late in the
process of setting everything up after a Windows install. But I
didn't try playing any videos this time until after I made lots of
settings changes, and -- I think -- after installing Flash.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#17
September 24, 2015 at 21:35:10
With Flash Player uninstalled, the page you linked in reply #1
still shows exactly the same as before, including "The default
player is currently used."

I keep forgetting to say that the big blue button on that page
which says "Request the HTML5 player" just links back to the
same page it is on. So your very first suggestion seems to be
a dead end.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#18
September 25, 2015 at 07:52:58
WMP most definitely does NOT play swf by default. If they were playing before then something was done to achieve it and not just a setting. If you care to upload your swf file here I will give it a whirl on my computer:
http://www.zippyshare.com/
No account necessary, just copy/paste on here the URL they give you.

If YouTube works without Flash installed then it must already be using HTML5.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#19
September 25, 2015 at 09:37:57
"If YouTube works without Flash installed then it must already be using HTML5"

Maybe you misread my last two posts? I previously thought YouTube
*might* be using HTML5, but the last thing I did was to UNinstall Flash,
and found -- as I said in my last two posts -- that YouTube videos no
longer play. I now get a message saying that I need Adobe Flash.Player
to watch the video. Also, the message I originally asked about stopped
at the same time: I no longer get the message that Internet Explorer
blocked an ActiveX control. So now I know that Flash is or is connected
with the ActiveX control that was being blocked.

But I still don't know why IE was blocking the ActiveX control, or why the
YouTube videos were able to play anyway, or why the videos on MSNBC
won't play, or why my .swf video used to play when I double-clicked it,
but doesn't now. Or how to get HTML5 to use its built-in player.

I doubt you can learn anything very useful from the .swf video, but here
it is -- an advertisement for wireless Internet in Minneapolis:

http://www75.zippyshare.com/v/SAmsk...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#20
September 25, 2015 at 10:19:58
Your swf proved interesting, although I'm not certain what to make of it. I have about 20 swf files (all shapes and sizes) in a folder. I checked and each one of them played fine by double clicking it. They used the Adobe Debug Player. Your swf did not play, just showing the Adobe Debug Player Window with a blank white screen. Next step was to re-associate my swf's with VLC. Yours then worked fine but, wait for it, the other 20 then failed to run. So, surprise surprise, it seems that not all swf's behave the same, either that or there is something weird about my Win 8.1 and VLC. If that is the only swf you have then most likely it will work with VLC. What might happen with any other swf's is anyone's guess.

Not sure where I drifted off to about your Flash Player installed state. Let's recap - have you now installed the latest version and if so do Flash videos now play?

I'm in a tricky position about that YouTube HTML5 setting because I only see the way my computer is set (HTML5) and can't see what you are seeing. If you can get a screen capture of it then bung it on zippyshare and I'll see what I make of it.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#21
September 25, 2015 at 11:53:10
Here is what that page looks like. I had the mouse pointer on
the big blue button, so you can see the URL in the status line
is the same as that of the page itself. I normally have the zoom
level at 125%, but set it back to 100% for this screen capture.

http://www75.zippyshare.com/v/rPlWU...

I haven't changed anything since yesterday. Flash is still not
currently installed. The page in the screenshot was identical
to this when Flash *was* installed.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#22
September 25, 2015 at 12:58:02
Screen shot was useful. The reference to "default player" means Flash, despite them now using HTML5 (confusing). Seems that it will still refer to default player even if Flash is not installed - it's just a request. What "should" happen when you click the button is that the yellow default player writing vanishes and it shows that you are "currently using HTML5 player".

Just did this switch OK on my wife's Win 7 lappy and it was fine. She is on IE11 but as far as I can tell it should be OK on IE10. Something is preventing you switching over. If you are set to "In Private browsing" that might upset it. Alternatively you should be able to install the latest Flash and use that as before.
EDIT:
You should have Flash on-board anyway because some websites still use it.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#23
September 25, 2015 at 18:07:13
Further to my #20 earlier. All my swf's will also play in IE but not yours. So far yours only plays in VLC - same on my wife's Win7. I've not tried IrfanView because it needs an extra codec.

See also added #22.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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#24
September 25, 2015 at 18:48:04
I just installed the latest Flash player. Same behavior now that I had
when I first posted: YouTube videos play, with popup saying "Internet
Explorer blocked an ActiveX control, so this page might not display
correctly." Trying to play .swf files on my hard drive with WMP give a
popup saying "Your current security settings do not allow this action."
When Flash was not installed, I believe the message was that WMP
could not play the file. Videos on MSNBC now show the control bar,
but there is no picture and no indication of anything happening. Last
week before I reinstalled Windows and changed all those settings, I
could play them.

In Private browsing is not turned on.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#25
September 26, 2015 at 00:46:03
Found it.

The Internet Options Security setting for "Script ActiveX controls
marked safe for scripting" needs to be enabled.

That makes the message on YouTube pages go away. It also
allows me to view some or perhaps most videos on MSNBC, but
some still act cranky. A picture and video controls come up, but
they won't play.

When I try to play a .swf video in WMP, I still get the message
"Your current security settings do not allow this action".

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#26
September 26, 2015 at 07:49:09
That is the "Default level" setting (see button) which is best used unless you have some specific need to change something.

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#27
September 26, 2015 at 17:12:47
If there's no indication of what the scripting does or why it is
needed, I'm going to turn it off. Now I now one thing it does.
Although I still don't know why.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#28
September 26, 2015 at 18:06:24
Some bedtime reading here:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/fdcc/arc...

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#29
September 28, 2015 at 11:23:51
Thanks. That took a while to get through, including some of the
pages linked from that one. It helps me understand what scripting
is and how it works.

If you understand it yourself, can you confirm that "scripting" is
basically a synonym for "using"? At least when it comes to web
page use of ActiveX controls? When a web page tries to use an
ActiveX control, it does so via script. When a program on my
computer such as WMP or Word uses an ActiveX control, it is
not necessarily via a script. Is that correct?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#30
September 28, 2015 at 12:46:28
What you said seems about right to me. As for the last bit about WMP or Word then something has to activate the ActiveX control. It just depends how you define "script". Anything from a small batch file to a macro contains scripts (which can combine to form a program).

Your best bet for the detail on this would be the programming forum.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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