Appearance of dendritic magnetic flux avalanches in superconducting films, which are associated with thermo-magnetic instability (TMI), very often indicates serious limitations for the ultimate performance of superconducting devices made of type-II superconducting thin films. We demonstrate that the stability can be controlled by a thorough adjustment of samples morphology at nano-scale, which affects internal material parameters. By this, the metal coating, commonly used as for stabilization, becomes redundant. Most importantly, we directly show by the mean of magneto-optical imaging that introduction of nano-scaled disorder dramatically changes the mode of magnetic flux propagation in the superconductors, from uniform motion of individual vortices to correlated jumps of relatively large vortex bundles, revealing the triggering mechanism of TMI. 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.