Flash, Silverlight, and Shockwave controls blocked in Microsoft Office

For security reasons new builds of Microsoft Office for Microsoft 365 on Windows block activation of Flash, Silverlight, and Shockwave controls. Most users won't be impacted, but for some users this may cause one of the following issues:

  • When you click on an embedded Flash movie in PowerPoint Slide Show, nothing happens even though this worked before.

  • Power View in Excel does not work anymore (because it uses Silverlight). You may see an error message that says "Activate method of OLEObject class failed".

  • Flash content is displayed as a blank page with an X when you click a folder that has the folder homepage set in Outlook.

There are two ways you can unblock these controls. The first is by downloading a small package of registry keys. The second, by manually editing the registry yourself.

Download a package of registry keys

To unblock these controls, click here to download the free package of registry keys. There are easy instructions on the download page to tell you how to proceed.

I'd rather do it myself

Caution: Follow these steps carefully. Serious problems may occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you start we recommend that you have a known good backup of your registry. See this article for more information: How to back up and restore the registry in Windows.

  1. Exit all Microsoft Office applications

  2. Start the Registry Editor by tapping Start (or pressing the Windows key on your keyboard) then typing regedit and pressing enter.

  3. Locate the proper registry subkey. It will be one of the following:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\COM Compatibility\
    (for 64-bit Office, or 32-bit Office on 32-bit Windows)


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\COM Compatibility\
    (for 32-bit Office on 64-bit Windows)

    Note: The COM Compatibility node may not be present by default. If you don't see it, add it by right-clicking the Common node and choosing Add Key.

  4. Add a new subkey with the CLSID of the control you want to unblock as the value by right-clicking the COM Compatibility node and choosing Add Key.










    Note: For Flash you'll need to add two subkeys, one for each of its CLSID's.

  5. Within that new subkey we're going to add two new values by right-clicking the new subkey and choosing New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    • A REG_DWORD hexadecimal value called Compatibility Flags with a value of 0.

    • A REG_DWORD hexadecimal value called ActivationFilterOverride with a value of 1.

  6. Exit Registry Editor and start your application. The control you need should be unblocked now.


For example, to unblock Silverlight in order to get Power View working in Office 2016, 64-bit, on Windows you would locate this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\COM Compatibility\

Note: Remember, if the COM Compatibility node doesn't exist yet you'll need to create it.

Then add a subkey with the value {DFEAF541-F3E1-4c24-ACAC-99C30715084A}.

 In this case, the resulting path is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\COM Compatibility\{DFEAF541-F3E1-4c24-ACAC-99C30715084A}.

To that subkey you'll add a REG_DWORD value called Compatibility Flags with a value of 0, and a REG_DWORD value called ActivationFilterOverride with a value of 1.

See Also

Power View: Explore, visualize, and present your data

Insert and play a video file from your PC or OneDrive

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