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What is an ActiveX control?

What is an ActiveX control?

ActiveX is a software component of Microsoft Windows. If you have Internet Explorer, then ActiveX is already installed on your computer. ActiveX controls are small programs, sometimes called add-ons that are used on the Internet. They can enhance your browsing experience by allowing animation or they can help with tasks such as installing security updates at Microsoft Update.

You can decide whether or not you want to download ActiveX controls on a case by case basis. Some websites require you to install ActiveX controls to view or perform certain tasks on them, but there can be potential risks. Cybercriminals may develop their own ActiveX controls and can damage computers if users visit web pages that contain malicious ActiveX software.

When you visit a site that uses an ActiveX control, Internet Explorer asks if you want to install the ActiveX control. You can then choose to install the ActiveX control or learn about the risks. Click Don't run if you do not trust the website and publisher.

Get more information about how to protect yourself when you use ActiveX controls.