ActiveX can be described as a framework for defining software components that are reusable. ActiveX Controls are used for distributing applications over the Internet, via web browsers.

Customized applications used for viewing files, animations, or gathering data are some of the examples. ActiveX allows websites to access your computer in order to display certain types of information.

ActiveX can also serve as a framework for programmers to design important end-user programs such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Windows Media Play, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visual Studio, and other programs that interact with your computer over the Internet. You may have probably noticed that some websites are capable of scanning your computer for viruses, updates, or other specific files. These websites use ActiveX and ActiveX controls. In this article, we will tell you more about ActiveX and we will also mention certain risks associated with using ActiveX controls. You will learn how to use ActiveX controls, and how to disable and delete ActiveX controls if they start causing problems with your computer.

What Are ActiveX Controls

ActiveX controls play an important role in functionality of certain web-based programs. ActiveX controls are building blocks that are capable of interlinking with each other and your computer, in order to display Flash-based templates, animations, drop-down menus, dialogue boxes, command options, etc. ActiveX controls behave similar to the Java programming language, as they are both capable of performing the same tasks. However, Java has less control over a user’s computer than ActiveX controls do, and ActiveX controls operate exclusively in Windows Operating Systems and through Internet Explorer, whereas Java is capable of running in many different platforms. ActiveX controls can be used on Windows-based computers running Mozilla Firefox by using a program called FF ActiveX Host. ActiveX controls can be written and programmed in Visual Basic, Borland Delphi, C#, C++, ATL, and MFC programming languages. An experienced programmer can create ActiveX controls, but anyone who has access to a browser and a computer can work with them.

What’s The Risk?

It is true that ActiveX controls are important for the programs that they run; however, ActiveX controls access your computer, which makes them potential threats to your PC. ActiveX controls can be used together with malicious files, such as viruses and Trojan horses, which can not only harm your computer but can also use/steal data (like passwords, credit card information, and your web history). ActiveX controls can also be used to let other harmful files in, and disable the popup blockers on your computer, allowing certain popup ads to display repeatedly on your browser.

How to Use ActiveX Controls

ActiveX controls are really simple to use, but they are only available on websites that have ActiveX controls embedded. If a website that’s using ActiveX controls wants to access your computer, a security message will appear at the top of your browser and ask you if you want to install ActiveX controls. This message will give you the option to install the ActiveX control, receive information about ActiveX controls, and read about the risks associated with using ActiveX controls. If you choose to install ActiveX controls on your computer, the website will then perform the operation. However, the website may not detect the ActiveX controls the next time you visit the web page. If you need any help with ActiveX controls, you can visit Microsoft website and find a lot of useful information.

How to Deactivate ActiveX Controls

If you haven’t installed ActiveX controls on your computer, the thing is simple: when a webpage asks you to install ActiveX controls, all you have to do is click on “Don’t Run” (you will see it in the information bar at the top of the page). The webpage will load, but it may lack certain features that would have been available if you had installed the ActiveX controls.

If you have already installed ActiveX controls on your computer, but you don’t want them to be there, find “Tools” in your Internet Explorer and then click the “Manage Add-ons…” button. In the “Show” box, click the arrow and select “Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer” and then scroll down the list of Enabled Add-Ons at the bottom of the dialogue box. These are all ActiveX controls. Click on the ones you want to disable and then just click “Disable” in the Settings box at the lower left corner. Now click “Update ActiveX” in the Update box at the lower right corner. See if the ActiveX control appears in the list of disabled Add-ons at the top of the dialogue box and then click OK.

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