How to Install ActiveX From an Unknown Publisher

By Craig Witt

Microsoft's ActiveX technology allows third-party developers to extend the default functionality of certain Windows programs. Most often used in conjunction with the Internet Explorer web browser, ActiveX controls power many popular add-ins, including Adobe Flash Player, the Facebook photo uploading tool and the Java browser plug-in. If you want to install an ActiveX control distributed by a developer that Internet Explorer does not recognize, you must first adjust your Internet Explorer security settings.

Configure Security Settings

Step 1

Open an Internet Explorer browser window.

Step 2

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

Step 3

Select the "Security" tab.

Step 4

Click the "Internet" icon if you are installing the control from a public website. If the control is located on a private intranet, select the "Local intranet" option instead.

Step 5

Click the "Custom Level" button.

Step 6

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

Step 7

Set both the "Download signed ActiveX controls" and "Download unsigned ActiveX controls" options to "Prompt."

Step 8

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

Step 9

Click "OK."

Step 10

Click "Apply" to confirm the changes and then click "OK" to close the open dialog box.

Install ActiveX Control

Step 1

Open an Internet Explorer browser window and navigate to the webpage containing the ActiveX control you want to install. If the "Information Bar" dialog box appears, click "Close" or "OK."

Step 2

Right-click the light-yellow box that appears near the top of the browser window. It may take a few seconds before you see this option.

Step 3

Select "Install ActiveX Control" from the resulting menu.

Step 4

Click "Install" to confirm your choice and then follow the onscreen prompts to complete the installation process.