ActiveX controls are small programs that are used to add functionality to the Internet Explorer browser. They can make a website more interactive by allowing it to have more control over your browser.
Internet Explorer is the only browser that supports ActiveX controls. If you use an alternative such as Mozilla Firefox, you will have to temporarily switch to Internet Explorer to properly view an ActiveX website. If you use a computer that doesn't come with Internet Explorer, such as a Macintosh or Linux-based system, you can download the browser for free.
Research the website that wants to install the ActiveX control. Since these are actually miniature applications, they are capable of accessing your computer and potentially causing harm. Make sure the page is from a source that you recognise, such as a major corporation's website. If in doubt, you can enter the website address into a search engine to see if anyone has raised concerns about the site. If not, it is likely safe to visit.
Open the page that requires the ActiveX control in Internet Explorer. It may take a minute to load, but assuming your computer doesn't already have the control installed, the Information Bar will pop up at the top of the screen, directly beneath the address bar. The control will only be installed once you give it permission to. This is a safety measure to ensure sites cannot simply install any programs they want.
Click on the Information Bar, and a menu will appear. Click "Install ActiveX Control" to continue. A new window will pop up asking you if you really want to let this site install a new control. Select "Yes," and give the browser a moment to process your request. Once it has finished, the website should load the site that required the control to function properly. If it does not, simply restart your browser for the change to take effect.
If you need to uninstall the control at a later time, it can be found in the Add/Remove section under the Windows XP Control Panel.
Only install ActiveX controls from sites you trust.