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Troubleshooting Search Errors on Zillow

Error:xxPlease activate scripting in your browser

Scripting must be enabled before you can continue. To enable scripting in Internet Explorer and Firefox, you need to turn on scripting within your browser's "Options" menu. Or use your browser's "Help" menu to learn how to turn on scripting. For other browsers, please see the documentation to determine what setting to change.
After you have enabled scripting, please reload this page by clicking the browser's Refresh button.


Flash Installation Error:
You need the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player.
Download the free Flash Player now!


Or, your search never completes and you get this error message:


Search Timeout Error:
We are
installed or is an older unsupported version

  • Your browser is unsupported
  • Your connection is slow
  • A general time-out failure has occurred


Common Solutions

1. Check if your security software (firewall etc.) is blocking Zillow.
Are you using a software firewall, such as Norton Internet Security?  We've had reports from some users that the firewall software prevented Zillow's search from working.  Try temporarily disabling the firewall to see if Zillow works for you.  Even if it does, please turn your firewall back on, and please enter a comment in the Bugs section of Zillow Discussions. Please include the browser, operating system, and firewall software name.

2. Turn on ActiveX.
If you're using Internet Explorer, make sure you have ActiveX turned on. If it's turned off, it will prevent Flash and our AJAX search functionality from working. To turn it on, open your browser window, click on Tools –> Internet Options –> Security tab. Click on the "Custom Level" button. Then, scroll down to "Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins." Make sure the radio button is "enabled."

3. Yahoo Instant Messenger bug.

Older versions of Yahoo Messenger (an instant messaging tool) had a software bug that caused a conflict with the Zillow Flash. Yahoo! claims to have repaired this bug in a newer version of their software. If you use Y! messenger, please upgrade to the latest version which you will find here:

4. Corrupt version of Microsoft's XML parser.
We heard that some people experience constant search failures and after investigating, we discovered some third-party software installs a corrupt version of Microsoft's XML parser, which is what we use to drive searches through Internet Explorer. You can fix the problem by installing the most recent MSXML4 Service Pack 2.

5. Using a plug-in that blocks Flash applications, such as Flashblock for Firefox

Search does not work if you are using a plug-in that blocks Flash applications, such as Flashblock for Firefox. The solution, if you have a Flash blocking plug-in installed, add as an allowed site under Add-Ons, Preferences.

6. Clear your cookies and cache.
Sometimes clearing your computer's cookies and cache will help repair your search capabilities. 

For Internet Explorer browsers, go to Tools, then Internet Options. Under the General tab, click "Delete Cookies", then OK. Read more about deleting cookies on Microsoft's support site.

For Firefox browsers, click on Tools, and then Options. Go to Privacy, Cookies, and then click on "Clear Cookies Now".

7. Make sure you don't have a bad version of Flash installed.
Try these steps (based on steps found on DevLib) the steps were for a specific version of flash, so I generalized the process (RyanB):
1) Open a DOS / CMD Window: press WIN-R, type cmd, and press enter

2) In the command window, type: cd %systemdir%\Macromed\Flash\

3) Press enter
4) Copy the following string by selecting it with the mouse, right-click, and select copy: @for /f "tokens=*" %a in ('dir /b FlashUtil*.exe') do @(%~nxa -uninstallUnlock)

5) In the command window from step 1, click on the "C:\_" icon in the upper left corner, click Edit->Paste

6) Press enter

7) If you see an error "File Not Found", skip the rest and install Flash as described below.
8) Repeat steps 4-6 using the following string: @for /f "tokens=*" %a in ('dir /b FlashUtil*.exe') do @(%~nxa -uninstallSafeVersions)

9) Repeat steps 4-6 using the following string: @for /f "tokens=*" %a in ('dir /b Flash*.ocx') do @(del %~nxa)
10) Repeat steps 4-6 using the following string: @for /f "tokens=*" %a in ('dir /b FlashUtil*.exe') do @(del %~nxa)
11) If you see an "Access is Denied" error, it means Flash is in use and you must close all apps besides the DOS command window.
12) Reboot the pc, then go to and follow the links to reinstall Flash again.

8. Make sure you're using a browser that we support.

We support:


  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Internet Explorer 6
  • Internet Explorer 5.5
  • Firefox 2.0
  • Firefox 1.5
  • Firefox 1.0

(Note: We are no longer fixing problems that may appear in Firefox 1.0. You are welcome to try using it, but we recommend upgrading your browser to Firefox 1.5 or above.)



  • Firefox 1.5
  • Firefox 2.0

9. Make sure you have Flash installed.

In order to use our site, you'll need to install the Macromedia Flash Player version 7.0 or higher. Please go to the Macromedia site to download it — it's free!

10. Slow Internet connection.
If your Internet connection is slow, there are timeouts in some of the components that might prevent you from getting results. 

11. Improperly registered VBScript DLL.

You might not have the VBScript DLL properly registered. Try doing the following on your Windows machine:

1.    Click Start menu, then "Run..." (shortcut = "WINDOW KEY R")

2.    Type "cmd" and click "enter"

3.    Type "regsvr32 vbscript.dll" and click "enter"

You should see a dialog pop-up that says it registered successfully. Refresh your search and see if that works

12. FireFox: Ad Ons

For FireFox be sure to remove all unsupported Tools->Add-ons and upgrade to the latest for the ones that are supported.  This is especially the case for FireFox 3 that has just come out and does not work with older Add-ons.

It may even be worth uninstalling some Add-ons because a number of Add-ons can break many web sites.  Many web sites do not officially support any FireFox Add-ons.

Still having search issues?

Lastly, if you have a problem and have solved for it and it's not mentioned here, please add it. Or, if you continue to have problems, please jump back into the Zillow Bug Discussions.  The more information you can provide, the more likely we are to be able to diagnose the problem, so please be verbose!  Send your browser type and version (e.g., Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 1.5) and operating system (Windows XP or Mac OS X), and we will try to help diagnose the problem.

By Diane Tuman

Saving changes
  • Last edited October 12 2012

Contributors to this article include: