Knowing how to enable Active X controls, or how to disable them, can help you maintain your Internet security. Let's take a look at what Active X is, what purpose it serves and how you can control its use.
What is Active X?
Active X is a component object model designed by Microsoft for use on its Web browser, Internet Explorer. Active X controls are downloaded from a Web site onto your browser. Let's say you're viewing a Web page on Internet Explorer that displays a video. If the video is utilizing Active X controls, it's actually being run on your computer, rather than from the server itself. Active X is a framework that programmers can use to create applications, such as video displays, to be run on a client computer.
The advantage of knowing how to enable Active X controls is that they have free reign over the Windows operating system. This makes them efficient. For example, as mentioned above, Active X controls can allow you to play a video right from your Web browser, rather than having to rely on a third-party media player.
So, what's the catch?
The fact that Active X runs on your computer also opens the doors for Web sites to download malicious software. Most Active X controls aren't malicious and require authentication before being able to be downloaded, but, as with anything on the Web, it is best to take precautions.
How can I turn Active X on and off?
If you want to turn certain controls off because they are causing problems, here's how to do it. Open Internet Explorer. From the toolbar select Tools. From the drop-down menu select Manage Add Ons. A new window should open. From this window select "Add-ons that run without requiring permission." Now you should be presented with a list of Active X controls. There should be a box to click to disable/enable whichever ones you choose. When you are done disabling/enabling controls, click OK and close out the Internet Explorer browser. When you re-open it, the changes should be in effect.