Where Is Active X Located in a PC?

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According to Microsoft, ActiveX is the name given to small control programs. These small programs are also known as "add-ons" and are installed when browsing the Internet. ActiveX controls allow the user to see and access multimedia content such as animations on certain websites utilizing ActiveX controls. They can also be installed to help install Internet Explorer security updates (see References).


The ActiveX control files are downloaded and stored to a default folder on the computer hard drive. The default location of the folder is: "Windows\Downloaded Program Files" (see References).


To access the ActiveX files, click on the "Start Menu" located in the lower left of the screen. Click on "My Computer" or "Browse Computer." When the new window opens up, locate the folder titled "Windows." This may be found under the "C:" icon or within the "Systems Folder." Click on one of these icons, scroll through the list of folders and look for "Windows" with an icon of a manila colored folder.

Double-click on this folder and locate the folder "Downloaded Program Files." Click on this folder and scroll through until you locate a folder with the word "ActiveX" in its title.

Change the Download Location

Whenever an ActiveX control program is downloaded from a website, it is sent to the default folder described in Section 2 of this article.

Open the "Registry Editor" by typing in "Regedit.exe" into the "Run" text bar that appears when you click on the "Start Menu." Locate "ActiveXCache" within the registry editor and change the location. You will see a long file name beginning with "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE." You will only need to change the last part of the file name value to the folder location that you want the files to be downloaded to (see References).


Changing the registry keys of the operating system is not recommended by Microsoft and only advanced users should attempt to edit and change system files and registry keys. Internet Explorer uses a default folder to download and access ActiveX control files; changing the registry location improperly can cause issues when trying to access the control files later on.

In fact, support is no longer provided by Microsoft for users attempting to change registry files related to ActiveX as the settings are established by default by Internet Explorer (see References).


ActiveX is not an actual software program. Rather, it is the name given to animation and visualization control programs that certain websites require to access and see the contents of the website. Essentially ActiveX is a type of file programming language. A similar programming file language that allows computers to view certain animations and content is known as Java and JavaScript.