Disable Active Scripting in Internet Explorer

A single settings change governs how IE manages ActiveX scripts

Hands coming out of a laptop screen holding a red sign

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Active Scripting (or sometimes called ActiveX Scripting) supports scripts in the Internet Explorer web browser. When enabled, scripts are free to run at will, but you have the option to disable them completely or force IE to ask you each time they try to open.

These instructions apply to Internet Explorer 11, which was introduced in 2013. IE was discontinued in early 2015 in favor of the new Microsoft Edge browser, but IE 11 is still maintained by Microsoft.

How to Stop Scripts From Running in Internet Explorer

The Internet Properties control panel, not IE, controls scripting permissions:

  1. Press Win+R and type inetcpl.cpl into the Run dialog box.

  2. Select the Security tab of the Internet Properties box.

  3. In the Select a zone section, choose Internet.

  4. From the bottom area, under the area titled Security level for this zone, select the Custom level button to open the Security Settings - Internet Zone window.

    Internet Properties dialog box
  5. Scroll down the page until you find the Scripting section.

  6. Under the Active scripting header, select the radio button labeled Disable.

    You can instead choose to have IE ask you for permission each time a script attempts to run rather than disabling them all in one swoop. If you prefer, choose Prompt instead.

    Internet Zone security settings window
  7. Select OK at the very bottom to exit the window, then choose Yes when asked, "Are you sure you want to change the settings for this zone?"

  8. Select OK on the Internet Options window to exit.

  9. Restart Internet Explorer by exiting the browser and then opening it again.