How to enable Flash Player on Windows Server 2012 r2

If you are trying to view web pages that contain flash content on Windows Server 2012 r2 then you may find that it does not work. You are then led to a page on the Adobe website tells you that Flash player is already installed on Windows 8 and that you do not need to install it. This post explains how to enable Flash Player on Windows Server 2012.

Message from Adobe Website informing you that Flash Player is already installed on Windows Server 2012 r2   The page then goes on to provide instructions as to how to enable Flash, this basically consists of:

  • Ensuring that the flash player add-on is enabled.
  • Checking that Active-X filtering is disabled.

You will probably find that these instructions do not work for you as flash player is not listed in the Internet Explorer Add-ons.

How to install Flash Player on Windows Server 2012 r2

In order to install Flash Player on Windows Server 2012 you need to install the Desktop Experience Feature. To do this, do the following:

  • Go into server manager.
  • Click add roles and features: Using server manager to install flash player on Windows Server 2012
  • Press next until you reach the “Features” page.
  • Tick the box “Desktop Experience” which is hidden under the “User Interfaces and Infrastructure” feature: Installing the desktop experience to enable Flash player in Windows Server 2012
  • You will then have to accept the installation of some other features to support the installation of desktop experience
  • The features are installed and the server is rebooted: Desktop Experience Feature being installed on Windows Server 2012 r2

Or if you prefer, you can install with the simple but so effective Windows Powershell command:

Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience

The reason I wanted to have access to Flash Player on this particular server was so that I could access the vSphere Web client, which uses flash. Hope this helps someone.

27 thoughts on “How to enable Flash Player on Windows Server 2012 r2

  1. Yeah. That helped. A LOT. Thank-you for taking the time to make this page and for giving such a simple walkthrough, whereas Microsoft wouldn’t provide this info. Funny how they view Flash as a security concern and make it hard to enable when so many commercial interfaces for enterprise software require it.

  2. It really works. I was struggling with it for an hour and tried the steps listed here and it works!!

  3. Thank you so much. I had the same problem, could not access vsphere web client because of flash. This is what I needed.

  4. Also, after you do the reboot, if it’s still not working for you, make sure you don’t have ActiveX filtering turned ON. It’s in IE under Tools > ActiveX Filtering

  5. Fab. I searched the whole internet and finally found this useful article.
    Kudos to you. Me too want to access vSphere Web client using IE

  6. I just wanted to thank you for the very good information you provided. On server it always said to just enable but that never worked. Which means it was misleading. Thanks for your incredibly helpful instructions!

  7. I am having issues installing the feature , it keeps failing . want to install it on Windows 2012 R box, help please

  8. Hey man, thanks for that! Had me stumped for a little while but handy to know! I had to do the same thing, install Flash on a Management Jump Host to access VMware Web Client.

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