Why won't videos play in Internet Explorer?

Many websites use add-ons such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, or QuickTime to play video or audio files. Instead of using add-ons Internet Explorer streams media content using HTML5 and Adobe Flash on compatible sites. If video won't play, try opening the site using Internet Explorer for the desktop.

To open a site in the desktop

  1. On the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer to open Internet Explorer.

  2. Swipe down from the top (or right-click) to bring up the app commands in Internet Explorer.

  3. Tap or click the Page tools button Page tools button, and then tap or click View in the desktop.

    You still might need to install an add-on. Most websites will let you know which add-on is required to let you play media content.


  • If you're using a PC with Windows RT 8.1, add-ons aren't supported by either Internet Explorer or Internet Explorer for the desktop. You won't be able to install add-ons, or play video that requires an add-on.

  • Turn on Compatibility View. Learn more about Compatibility View by reading Fix site display problems with Compatibility View.

  • Make sure you're not using InPrivate Browsing. InPrivate Browsing might block info or add-ons that a video program needs in order to play properly.

Why are webpages blank or displaying incorrectly?

Some websites might appear blank or might not display correctly in Internet Explorer. For example, portions of a webpage might be missing, or colors and text might be incorrect. Some pages might not display at all. If a portion of a page is blank or doesn't display correctly, try one or more of these options:

  • Turn on Compatibility View. You can only turn on Compatibility View when using Internet Explorer for the desktop. Learn how by reading Fix site display problems with Compatibility View.

  • Turn off Tracking Protection for the site you're on. Learn how by reading Use Tracking Protection.

  • Turn off hardware acceleration. To turn off hardware acceleration, open Internet Explorer for the desktop, tap or click the Tools button, and then tap or click Internet Options. Tap or click the Advanced tab, select Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering, and then tap or click OK. You must close and reopen Internet Explorer for changes to take effect.

What if Internet Explorer crashes, stops working, or runs slowly?

Here are a few things to try if Internet Explorer crashes, stops working, or runs slowly:

  • Install the latest updates. Here's how:

    1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
      (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

    2. Enter Windows Update in the search box, and then tap or click Install optional updates.

    3. Tap or click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your PC.

    4. If updates are found, tap or click Install updates.

  • Reset Internet Explorer settings. This will restore Internet Explorer to its original settings, but won't delete your favorites or feeds. Learn how to Reset Internet Explorer settings.

  • Turn off add-ons. Add-ons let you watch videos on sites, but incompatible or out-of-date add-ons might cause Internet Explorer to run slowly, crash, or prevent sites from displaying correctly. Learn how to turn add-ons off by reading Manage add-ons in Internet Explorer.

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