How to Restrict ActiveX Controls in Internet Explorer - dummies

How to Restrict ActiveX Controls in Internet Explorer

By Dan Gookin

Internet Explorer automatically installs ActiveX controls from the websites you visit. If you prefer a higher level of security, you can restrict this access. Follow these steps:

  1. In Internet Explorer, choose the Internet Options command from the Tools button menu.

  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab.

  3. Choose Internet from the list of zones.

  4. Click the Custom Level button.

    The Security Settings – Internet Zone dialog box appears.


  5. Scroll down to the section titled ActiveX Controls and Plug-Ins.

    The items organized in the ActiveX section deal with how Internet Explorer deals with various ActiveX situations on the Internet. Each option has two or more settings:

    • Enable: The ActiveX feature works automatically.

    • Disable: The ActiveX feature isn’t allowed.

    • Prompt: You see a warning whenever an ActiveX control is being sent to your computer. At that time, you can choose whether to allow it.

    • Administrator Approved: A User Account Control warning appears when the ActiveX control tries to run.

      The items in the list are set up tightly as far as security is concerned: Digitally signed and approved ActiveX controls are allowed, and you’re prompted for almost everything else. Questionable ActiveX controls are disabled. For an even higher level of security, implement Step 6.

  6. (optional) Beneath the entry Run ActiveX Controls and Plug-Ins, choose Prompt.

    By implementing this optional step, you add a higher level of security to your web browsing. But you also add a level of annoyance: the ActiveX control warning. As you soon can discover, the web pages you use are crawling with ActiveX controls.


  7. Click OK to close the Security Settings – Internet Zone dialog box.

  8. Click Yes to confirm the changes you made.

    If you haven’t made any changes, the Warning dialog box doesn’t appear.

  9. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box.