How to Download & Install ActiveX

By Craig Witt

Developed by Microsoft, the ActiveX framework allows programmers to extend the functionality of software that runs on the Windows operating system. Often referred to as "controls," these add-ons are most commonly used in conjunction with Microsoft's popular Internet Explorer Web browser. They install features not included in the browser by default, such as toolbars, virus detection and multimedia playback. Once you properly configure Internet Explorer's settings, downloading and installing ActiveX controls becomes a very quick process.

Configure Internet Explorer

Step 1

Open an Internet Explorer browser window.

Step 2

Click "Tools" in the top menu bar and select "Internet Options."

Step 3

Select the "Security" tab.

Step 4

Click the "Custom Level" button.

Step 5

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

Step 6

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

Step 7

Set the "Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins" option to "Enable."

Step 8

Set the "Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting" option to "Enable."

Step 9

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

Download and Install ActiveX Controls

Step 1

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

Step 2

Click the yellow bar that appears near the top of the browser window and select "Install ActiveX Control."

Step 3

Click "Install" when prompted to confirm your choice for Internet Explorer. Depending on your Windows version and the particular ActiveX control, you may also have to click "Continue" or provide your user name and password when prompted to confirm your choice for Windows.

Step 4

Follow all additional on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. The exact steps will vary, depending on the particular ActiveX control you are trying to install.

Step 5

Close all open Internet Explorer browser windows. The newly installed ActiveX control will function properly the next time you launch Internet Explorer.