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HOWTO add your network camera to Internet Explorer’s Compatibility View

Internet Explorer logo over a cogWhen you’re setting up an IP camera or NVR, some devices require a browser to pre-configure your camera. For many devices this means using Internet Explorer and the ActiveX plugin.

This setup can be frustrating if you can only see a white screen.

Using a video recording and management system can allow you to view and configure devices in some situations. There are still occasions when you can only change your settings through Internet Explorer (IE), especially with the lower-end cameras on the market.

Let’s take a look at how to set up Internet Explorer to allow ActiveX controls. However, we advise against this for security reasons, but acknowledge that some reputable manufacturers still insist on forcing camera config through ActiveX.

Setting up IE to view your IP camera

This should work for all IP cameras of any brand. If you are logged into your camera in IE and see nothing, this will most likely work for you.

This guide shows you how to set up Internet Explorer 11 to allow ActiveX controls. This will allow your camera or other network device to display and function correctly.

1. Enabling Compatibility View

To resolve this issue, your first step is to enable your browser’s compatibility mode. By turning on this plug-in you’ll be able to see your camera live view pages correctly.

In the main menu select the cog icon (or ‘Tools’ for older versions of IE).

Click on ‘Compatibility View settings’

Screenshot showing where you can find compatibility view settings in IE11

This opens the settings dialogue.

2. Adding your camera address

Next add your camera’s IP address (or domain) to the list of websites to be opened. The settings dialogue will open with the current website or camera already visible as you can see below.

Screenshot of adding an ip address

You’ll notice an option to ‘display intranet sites in Compatibility View’. If you only have a few cameras leave this unchecked.

3. Installing ActiveX

Once you close the dialogue the browser will behave like an earlier version of IE. So, a dialogue asking you to install ActiveX from your camera should be visible at the bottom of the screen.

ActiveX download appearing at the bottom of a screen

Hit allow and you’ll see you’re browser reloading.

4. Enabling ActiveX

Check that you’ve enabled ActiveX, by clicking on the gear, then internet options, then the security tab.

Click the trusted sites tick and open the sites dialogue box.

Where to find sites in trusted sites

Add your URL as a trusted site and it’ll appear in the ‘websites’ list. Uncheck the option to require server validation.

Remember to add both your internal and external IP addresses as trusted sites if necessary.

Adding a URL to trusted sites

Next, you’ll be taken back to the security tab. Click on the ‘custom level’ button, which takes you into another dialogue box.

Enable all ActiveX controls.

Enabling ActiveX in security settings

That’s it! You should now be able to see the login screen of your device.

Viewing multiple cameras

If you want to view multiple cameras enable the option to display sites in Compatibility View. This is useful if you have a lot of cameras to view or configure. You can use different browser tabs to set up different cameras.

Please note this will affect all websites viewed through the IE browser. You can deselect this option later, if necessary.

Edge browser

Microsoft’s Edge browser behaves more like Firefox or Chrome and does not support plugin technologies like ActiveX. It doesn’t even support Microsoft’s own Silverlight player.

However, most cameras have a live view for viewing video, which is often displayed by default. Accessing configuration settings should be OK in most cases.

Where you require plugins to access your settings you will need to use the Internet Explorer 11 browser.

Microsoft has left IE11 on Windows PCs for just this reason. Compatibility View settings are in IE 11 but are absent from Microsoft Edge. Search your Windows PC for ‘Internet Explorer’ if you don’t see the icon.


One other small thing to note is that dialogues can sometimes take a while to show. After visiting your camera’s home page just wait a minute at least before assuming that nothing is happening.

The wrap up

Congratulations, you should now be able to remotely pre-configure your IP device, having enabled Compatibility View and installed ActiveX.

It’s worth checking which browser you need to use, as some camera work on Chrome for example. It’s also worth considering an upgrade of this older camera technology to something more modern and secure. You can view our ip camera range here.

Published on April 22nd, 2014 by Kevin Bowyer

14 Responses to “HOWTO add your network camera to Internet Explorer’s Compatibility View”

  1. FJC says:

    Works great. Now I can stream to You Tube, and other sites. Thanks.

  2. Gigan says:

    Is it possible to watch two (or multi) cameras output on one IE web page ?

  3. A J M says:

    Awesome! I just upgraded to windows 10 and had issues viewing my camera system and thanks to the this site everything works again! Thank you so much!

  4. Bad One says:

    How come nobody else told us about this? GREAT!

  5. John says:

    Perfect, easy solution after banging my head against the wall. Thanks!

  6. Arvind Gulati says:

    Absolutely brilliant , many thanks for this . All great ideas or solutions are simple .

  7. Ron Barr says:

    Using CMS client and when I open cameras and start viewing it works for about 2-5 min before it stops running, compatibility tries to find a fix but never does. I am running Windows 10 on 64 bit. Wish I could post picture of of error. App works without flaw on my cell phone. Camera are Onvif brand & are connected via wifi. Thanks

  8. Dennis Kochan says:

    Hello… I've got the latest updates for Windows 10 and my browsers… they don't look like the screen images you have in this example. Could you please update?


  9. Diz says:

    Fabulous, after a few frustrating years I can again use IE for my cameras. Cheers.

  10. Jeff says:

    Thanks, your information was great ,im back to having a live view

  11. Angelo says:

    Wonderful! Thank you. Finally I can search again not just be in live view!

  12. John says:

    Awesome, Thank you

  13. lee says:

    Thank you so much it worked.

  14. mohammad says:

    thank's alot.