How to Install an ActiveX That Windows Blocks

Updated April 17, 2017

ActiveX controls are small, downloadable programs that run in Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer downloads ActiveX controls from websites that use the controls on their web pages. Sometimes a control will ask for permission to install. Other times it will install automatically. If your ActiveX security is set to "High," Windows will block the ActiveX control, and the browser will not be able to install it. To unblock ActiveX controls, update your security settings.

Open Internet Explorer. Click "Tools" and select "Internet Options" to access your computer's Internet options.

Click the "Security" tab. You will see four security zones in the "Security Zones" panel. Click the "Internet" zone to highlight it.

Click "Custom Level." This will open the "Security Settings" window.

Locate the section named "ActiveX Controls and Plug-ins." This section contains 11 different ActiveX security options. You will see "Disable" and "Enable" radio buttons under each option. Some options will have an additional button named "Prompt."

Locate an option in the ActiveX section that is set to "Disable." Change its setting to "Prompt" if that option is visible. If the "Prompt" option is not visible, change it to "Enable."

Repeat this process for all other options in the ActiveX section that have a setting of "Disable." When you are finished, all options will be set to either "Enable" or "Prompt."

Click "OK" to close the window. When you visit a site that attempts to download an ActiveX control, Internet Explorer will install it or prompt you for permission to install it.


You will not find these settings controls in other browsers. Internet Explorer is the only browser that uses ActiveX controls. The "Enable" and "Prompt" settings provide the same level of security. If you choose "Prompt," the browser will prompt you before installing an ActiveX control. If you choose "Enable," the browser will install the control without a prompt.

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About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.