My computer won't let me install the ActiveX control

Updated July 20, 2017

Created by Microsoft, the ActiveX framework gives software developers tools to extend the default functionality of certain Windows-based programs. Most commonly used in conjunction with the company's Internet Explorer web browser, add-ons developed in ActiveX are referred to as controls. If you are unable to install ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer, you must adjust your browser's security configuration accordingly. Once you understand the proper steps, performing this change becomes a quick task. With the proper settings enabled, installing ActiveX controls requires only a few clicks.

Open an Internet Explorer browser window.

Click "Tools" in the top menu bar or the "Tools" button on the Explorer bar, and then select "Internet Options."

Select the "Security" tab.

Select the "Internet" icon if you are trying to install an ActiveX control from a public website. If you are trying to install a control from a private intranet, select the "Local intranet" icon instead.

Click the "Custom Level" button.

Scroll through the list of settings until you reach the "ActiveX controls and plug-ins" heading.

Set the "Download signed ActiveX controls" option to "Prompt."

Set the "Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins" and "Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting" options to "Enable."

Click "OK" on each of the next two screens to confirm the changes.

Open an Internet Explorer window and navigate to the site containing the ActiveX control you want to install.

Wait for a light yellow bar to appear near the top of the browsing window. This process generally takes only a few seconds, but may take longer with a larger control or a slower Internet connection.

Click the yellow bar and select "Install ActiveX Control."

Click "Run" or "Install" when prompted to confirm your choice, and then follow any additional onscreen instructions to complete the install process.

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About the Author

Craig Witt has written professionally since 2005 in the public and private sectors as a journalist, marketing copywriter and public relations professional. He most often writes consumer software and hardware how-to articles for eHow. Witt has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Washington.