Internet Explorer 8 Information bar: frequently asked questions

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Here are answers to some common questions about the Information bar.

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Which messages are displayed in the Information bar?

The following table lists the messages that might appear in the Information bar along with a description of what each message means.

Message
What it means

Internet Explorer stopped the previous page from installing an ActiveX control on your computer. Click here to go back and install this software.

A webpage tried to install an ActiveX control and Internet Explorer blocked it. If you want to install the ActiveX control, click the Information bar, and then click Install Software. Because ActiveX controls are potentially hazardous to your computer, you should be certain that you trust the publisher of the ActiveX control before you decide to install it.

Pop-up blocked. To see this pop-up or additional options, click here.

Pop-up Blocker has blocked a pop-up window. You can turn Pop-up Blocker off or allow pop-ups temporarily by clicking the Information bar.

This website is using a scripted window to ask you for information. If you trust this website, click here to allow scripted windows.

Internet Explorer has blocked a website from using a small program (called a script) to display a separate window. Hackers sometimes use scripted windows to mimic legitimate windows, such as login screens, that appear on websites. If you trust the website and want to allow the scripted window, click the Information Bar, and then click Temporarily Allow Scripted Windows. To always allow scripted windows, select the Allow websites to prompt for information using scripted windows check box.

To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options.

A webpage tried to download a file that you might not have requested. If you want to download the file, click the Information bar, and then click Download File. Because files can contain software that can affect the performance of your computer or access your information, you should be certain that you know what the file contains and that you trust its publisher before you download it.

An add-on for this website failed to run. Check the security settings in Internet options for potential conflicts.

A webpage tried to use an ActiveX control or script but your security settings did not allow it.

If you trust the publisher of the ActiveX control or script, you can allow it to run by removing the website address from the Restricted sites list. If the website is not on the Restricted sites list, you can add it to the Trusted sites list. For information about adding a website to your Trusted sites list, see Security zones: adding or removing websites. If that doesn't work, try deleting the temporary Internet files. If you are unable to change these settings, your computer administrator might not allow you to make the change.

Internet Explorer has blocked this site from using an ActiveX control in an unsafe manner. As a result, this page might not display correctly.

A website tried to access an ActiveX control on your computer without your permission.

To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this webpage from running scripts or ActiveX controls that could access your computer. Click here for options.

A webpage being displayed on your computer tried to run a script or ActiveX control. If you want to allow the control to run, click the Information bar, and then click Allow Blocked Content.

This content might not be displayed properly. The file was restricted because the content doesn't match its security information. Click here for options.

Internet Explorer blocked a file from displaying because its actual contents did not match the expected contents. If you want to display this content, click the Information bar, and then click Show Restricted Content. Because showing this content might pose a security risk to your computer, you should be certain that you know what the file will do before you show it.

The previous site might require the following add-on: Name from Publisher. If you trust the website and the add-on and want to install it, click here.

A webpage tried to install an add-on that has a digital signature. This signature lets you identify the publisher of the add-on to decide if you want to install it. If you want to install the add-on, click the Information bar.

Internet Explorer is currently running with add-ons disabled. Click here to manage, disable, or remove your add-ons.

Internet Explorer is running with add-ons turned off. While add-ons are disabled, you can click the Information bar to open Manage Add-ons, where you can choose which add-ons are enabled when Internet Explorer is restarted normally. To restart Internet Explorer with add-ons enabled, click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Internet Explorer.

Intranet settings are now disabled in Internet Explorer by default. Click for more options.

Internet Explorer detected an intranet webpage address, but intranet security permissions are not enabled. Click the Information bar for more information or see Changing intranet security settings.

Your security setting level puts your computer at risk. Click for more options.

Your security settings are below the levels recommended by Microsoft, putting your computer and information at risk from malicious websites. To reset the security settings to the recommended levels, click the Information bar, and then select Fix Settings for Me.

This site requires the following updated add-on: Name from: Publisher. Click here to install it from their website.

An installed add-on needs to be updated. This happens when you upgrade to a different version of Internet Explorer. To update the add-on, click the Information bar.

This web address contains letters or symbols that cannot be displayed with the current language settings. Click here for options.

The web address (or URL) contains characters that cannot be displayed in your current language. To enable another language, click the Information bar, and then click Change language settings. Be cautious when enabling additional languages. Some letters and symbols can be used to mimic characters in other languages, though the website address is different. This ability can be used to impersonate another website for the purpose of identity theft or fraud. Because of this, you should only add a language you are familiar with. For more information, see What are International Domain Names?

This webpage is trying to communicate with your computer using a protocol that your security settings won't allow. Click here for options.

Web browsers and other Internet programs primarily use protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP to communicate. Other protocols exist for special tasks, such as streaming video or sending e‑mail. For security reasons, Internet Explorer restricts some protocols to certain security zones. If you trust a website that is using a restricted protocol, you can add it to your Trusted Sites zone. For information about how to do this, see Security zones: adding or removing websites.

Your web browser has modified this page to help prevent cross-site scripting. Click here for more information.

Often used for phishing scams, cross-site scripting (XSS) occurs when a website injects malicious code into another trusted webpage. The purpose is usually to record data you type into a webpage, such as passwords and sensitive financial information, which it sends back to the malicious website. When you view the infected page, you might not see any difference from the trusted webpage, increasing the potential that your personal information could become compromised. Internet Explorer blocks this malicious code automatically.

To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has blocked this website from displaying content with security certificate errors. Click here for options.

Some content on the webpage was being delivered using a faulty certificate. Security certificate problems might indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any information you send to the website or server. You can click the Information bar to display the content (not recommended). For more information on certificate errors, click the Information bar, then click What's the risk.

What is the Internet Explorer Information bar?

The Information bar is the place where Internet Explorer displays information about security, downloads, blocked pop-up windows, and other activities. It is located at the top of the webpage.

Picture of the Information bar
Internet Explorer Information bar

When will I see the Information bar?

If Internet Explorer is still using its original settings, you'll see the Information bar in the following circumstances:

  • If a website tries to install an ActiveX control on your computer or run an ActiveX control in an unsafe manner.

  • If a website tries to open a pop-up window.

  • If a website tries to download a file to your computer.

  • If a website tries to run active content on your computer.

  • If your security settings are below recommended levels.

  • If you access an intranet webpage, but have not turned on intranet address checking. For more information, see Changing intranet security settings.

  • If you started Internet Explorer with add-ons disabled.

  • If you need to install an updated ActiveX control or add-on program.

  • If the webpage address can be displayed with native language letters or symbols but you don't have the language installed.

  • If your security settings won't allow a specific protocol.

  • If Internet Explorer has prevented a cross-scripting attack.

How do I use the Information bar?

When you see a message in the Information bar, click the message to see more information or to take action.

Can I turn off the Information bar?

Yes, you can, but we don't recommend it. If you do want to turn it off, you have to turn it off for each type of message.

To stop the information bar from blocking file and software downloads

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.

  3. Click the Security tab, and then click Custom level.

  4. Do one or both of the following:

    • To turn off the Information bar for ActiveX controls, scroll to the ActiveX controls and plug-ins section of the list, and then, under Automatic prompting for ActiveX controls, click Enable.

    • To turn off the Information bar for file downloads, scroll to the Downloads section of the list, and then, under Automatic prompting for file downloads, click Enable.

  5. Click OK, click Yes to confirm that you want to make the change, and then click OK again.