How to Allow ActiveX Controls to Run

by Chris Yokum ; Updated February 09, 2017

Allow ActiveX controls to run while browsing the Internet. Depending on the type of files you’re downloading, you’ll occasionally have to enable ActiveX controls. Without these settings, the application you’ve downloaded may not work properly. With a few simple tips, learn how to allow ActiveX controls to run.

Open an Internet Explorer browser window to make changes to your current ActiveX controls. Click the “Tools” link located at the top of the menu bar. A drop down window will appear with several more options to choose from. Each option will let you change some of the default settings already programmed into Internet Explorer.

Click the “Internet Options” link located at the end of the list. When the pop-up window appears, select the “Security” tab to access the ActiveX controls. There are several zones with multiple security settings. Each zone has preset settings built into it. You can change the settings to fit your current needs. If for some reason you’re not satisfied with these changes, click the “Reset All Zones to Default Level” to change them back. To allow ActiveX controls to run, click the “Internet” zone. The icon that identifies this zone looks like Earth.

Change the security level for the “Internet” zone from the default “Medium-high” zone to “Medium." Slide the bar up and down between the different security zones. The “Medium” Internet zone will allow a lower security environment for your web browsing. To go even further with enabling the ActiveX controls, click the “Custom Level” button. Under the “Settings” menu, look for the “ActiveX Controls and Plug-ins” options. Normally, these settings are disabled to prevent a security risk to your computer system.

Allow the ActiveX controls to automatically run by changing the settings from “Disable” to “Enable.” This can be done by clicking the “Enable” button next to “Allow Previously Unused ActiveX Controls to Run Without Prompt.” After making these changes to your Internet Explorer browser, you won’t be constantly prompted to enable the ActiveX controls. They’ll automatically be allowed without prompting you to manually do so. The changes made in these settings will not take full effect until you close and restart the Internet Explorer browser window.


  • Don’t change your Internet Explorer security settings if you’re uncomfortable doing so.

    Avoid unfamiliar websites that may have corrupt ActiveX controls.

About the Author

Chris Yokum has been writing for various websites for several years. Some of her favorite topics include computers, gadgets, personal finance and technology. She also enjoys researching and learning about new topics on a daily basis. Sharing knowledge with others helps Yokum fulfill her goals as a writer.