With an update today, Internet Explorer will block out-of-date ActiveX controls in 30 days. Old versions of Java will be the first control that will be blocked with others joining in the future. As a result, Internet Explorer 8-11 on Windows 7 SP1 and Internet Explorer (Desktop version) on Windows 8.X, as well as Windows Server versions, will now show a message when you try to launch an applet with an old version of Java saying:
Java (TM) was blocked because it is out of date and needs to be updated.
You may then choose to update or override the warning by clicking the ‘Run this time’ button. The last message captured below is the result of trying to launch an out of date ActiveX program which will also introduce an additional prompt to approve running the program.
Sites in the Local Intranet Zone and in the Trusted Sites Zone would not display the Java control blocking.
Microsoft announced the change last week on the IEBlog. Due to a lot of feedback from users about the short notice, the IE team has decided to wait an additional 30 days before implementing the out-of-date ActiveX control blocking. Microsoft provided new Group Policy Administrative Templates for Server 2003 and Server 2008 R2 or newer to configure the new settings.
The Group Policy settings can be found under Computer ConfigurationPoliciesAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsInternet ExplorerAdd-on Management
- Turn off blocking of outdated ActiveX controls for Internet Explorer
- Turn off blocking of outdated ActiveX controls for Internet Explorer on specific domains
- Turn on ActiveX control logging in Internet Explorer
It would have been an incredible annoyance to many IT Pros to get access to the Group Policy administrative templates the same day the new setting goes into affect. The templates also allow you to log situations that would have been blocked, so you can use this information to prepare your environment before users start receiving unusual messages. Alternatively, Microsoft lists the registry keys that can be used in place of the Group Policy templates on the IEBlog.
Many other browsers have already implemented similar controls. Internet Explorer, however, is usually seen as the Enterprise browser and where many legacy apps are run. Another factor that could lead to increased confusion is on 64-bit versions of Windows, Internet Explorer offers a 32-bit version of the browser and a 64-bit version of the browser. As a result, a computer may also have a 32-bit version of Java and a 64-bit version of Java installed as it is dependent on the browser version, not the operating system version. If you check your program listing after seeing an out-of-date message be sure to check the version of Java that corresponds with your browser.
If you need an older version of Java for a particular web application to run, you may choose to ‘Run this time’ each time to override the warning or add the site to your trusted sites zone under Internet Explorer’s Internet Options.