How to Delete Internet Explorer ActiveX Controls

Tutorial on removing ActiveX controls in IE

What to Know

  • Open IE's menu and choose Manage add-ons.
  • Under Show, select Downloaded controls or Downloaded ActiveX Controls.
  • Select the first item: Delete > OK. Close and reopen IE. Continue until the issue is gone.

This article explains how to delete Internet Explorer ActiveX Controls, which sometimes stop IE from working.

How to Uninstall IE ActiveX Controls

ActiveX Controls can be removed from Internet Explorer via the browser's Manage Add-ons window.

  1. Select the menu button at the top-right of Internet Explorer, or Tools if that's what you see there instead.

  2. Choose Manage add-ons.

    Manage add-ons IE menu item

    If there's another set of menus that show up there, select Enable or Disable Add-ons.

    Internet Explorer Manage Add-ons menu
  3. Choose Downloaded controls or, depending on your version of IE, Downloaded ActiveX Controls, from the Show drop-down box.

    The resulting list will show every ActiveX Control that Internet Explorer has installed. If an ActiveX Control is causing the problem you're troubleshooting, it will be one listed here.

    Here's what this screen looks like in Internet Explorer 11:

    Manage Add-ons screen in Internet Explorer 11

    Older versions, like IE 7, look like this:

    Downloaded activex controls menu item in Internet Explorer
  4. Select the first ActiveX Control listed, then choose Delete at the bottom of the window, followed by OK.

  5. Close and then reopen Internet Explorer.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download Edge.

Person deleting Active X controls on a computer
Lifewire / Michela Buttignol

Test whatever activities in Internet Explorer were causing the problem you're troubleshooting here. If the issue isn't resolved, repeat the above steps, deleting one more ActiveX Control at a time until your problem is resolved.

If you've removed all Internet Explorer ActiveX Controls and the issue persists, you may need to selectively disable Internet Explorer add-ons, unless you've done so already.

Determining which ActiveX Control is causing a problem can be almost impossible, so since they're safe to delete (you'll be prompted to install them again if needed in the future), removing them one by one to determine the cause of the problem is a valuable troubleshooting step.

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