This update introduces the out-of-date ActiveX control blocking security feature. This feature keeps ActiveX controls up to date and helps make them safer to use in Internet Explorer. Many ActiveX controls are not automatically updated as new versions are released. It is very important to keep ActiveX controls up to date because malicious or compromised webpages can target security flaws in out-of-date ActiveX controls. By using the out-of-date ActiveX control blocking security feature, Internet Explorer lets you do the following:
Know when Internet Explorer prevents a webpage from loading common but out-of-date ActiveX controls.
Interact with parts of a webpage that are unaffected by out-of-date ActiveX controls.
Update out-of-date ActiveX controls so that they are up to date and safer to use.
Inventory the ActiveX controls that your organization is using.
The Internet Explorer administrative templates were updated with four new Group Policy settings to support out-of-date ActiveX control blocking. You can download the updated Internet Explorer administrative templates here. A fifth manageability setting was later exposed through the registry. You can learn more about this setting here.
It can take up to twelve hours from the time that you configure the feature for it to be fully functional in Internet Explorer.
The out-of-date ActiveX control blocking feature works in the following environments:
Internet Explorer versions 8 through 11 on Windows 7 SP1 and later versions
Internet Explorer versions 8 through 11 on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and later versions
Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista SP2
All security zones except the Local Intranet Zone and the Trusted Sites Zone
For more information about blocking out-of-date ActiveX controls, go to the following websites:
Enterprise administrators are encouraged to review the Out-of-date ActiveX control blocking article on Microsoft TechNet for more information about this feature and the new Group Policy options which can be employed to manage it.
Testing the out-of-date ActiveX controls feature
If your organization has a dependency on outdated versions of ActiveX controls that are being blocked by this feature, you can test the feature by following these steps:
On a test computer, install the most recent cumulative update for Internet Explorer.
Copy the current VersionList.xml file from here to the following location: