Listing All Registered ActiveX Controls

Environment: Visual C++ 6.0.


This code is meant to illustrate how to use COM in order to retrieve a list of all the registered ActiveX controls in your system. The demo application (see screen shot above) displays the names of all located ActiveX controls in a listbox.

Source Code

//Initialise COM libraries
CoInitialize (NULL);

//The Component Category Manager implemented by System implements 
//this interface
ICatInformation *pCatInfo=NULL;

//Create an instance of standard Component Category Manager
HRESULT hr=CoCreateInstance (CLSID_StdComponentCategoriesMgr ,
                             IID_ICatInformation ,
                             (void **)&pCatInfo);

//Increase ref count on interface
pCatInfo->AddRef ();

//IEnumGUID interface provides enumerator for enumerating through 
//the collection of COM objects

//We are intersted in finding out only controls so put CATID_Control 
//in the array
CATID pcatidImpl[1];
CATID pcatidReqd[1];

//Now enumerate the classes i.e. COM objects of this type.
pCatInfo->EnumClassesOfCategories (1,
                                   pcatidReqd ,

//Enumerate as long as you get S_OK
CLSID clsid;

while( (hr= pEnumGUID->Next( 1, &clsid, NULL ))==S_OK )
 BSTR bstrClassName;   //Get the information of class

 //This is what MSDN says about the parameters
 USERCLASSTYPE_FULL     The full type name of the class. 
 USERCLASSTYPE_SHORT    A short name (maximum of 15 characters) that 
                        is used for popup menus and the Links dialog 
 USERCLASSTYPE_APPNAME  The name of the application servicing the class 
                        and is used in the Result text in dialog boxes. 
 OleRegGetUserType (clsid,USERCLASSTYPE_FULL,&bstrClassName);
 CString strControlName(bstrClassName);
 //Add string in our listbox
 m_list1.AddString (strControlName);

//we are done so now release the interface ptr
pCatInfo->Release ();

CoUninitialize ();

The program first intialises the COM libraries. Then it creates an instance of standard component category manager

HRESULT hr=CoCreateInstance(CLSID_StdComponentCategoriesMgr,
                            (void **)&pCatInfo);

IcatInformation interface provides the information about COM classes and categories. IEnumGUID interface provides enumerator for iterating through the collection of COM classes. Then we enumerate the controls with a call to EnumClassesOfCategories.As we are interested in only controls We fill the array with CATID_Control.Next we enumerate through the collection ,get the class name And put it in the listbox.


Download demo - 11 Kb


  • Great article.I was jst wondering whether the same thing would be possible in c#?

    Posted by shashank_v1 on 09/28/2005 07:28am

    Im doing a project in C# and i would like to know if i could list all the activeX controls on the system using C#.I donno if C# has all the inbuilt functionality that c++ has with regard to ActiveX and COM.

  • Retreive the Control properties just by having the name

    Posted by Legacy on 09/15/2003 12:00am

    Originally posted by: Hajer

    Hi All,

    I created two activeX controls. the second references the name of the first control, i want to insert those controls in the same application form (VB for example), and i want that the second activex could search for the control correspoding for the name i references, then retreives all the matching properties.

    Best Regards.

  • list all the properties of a control.

    Posted by Legacy on 04/18/2003 12:00am

    Originally posted by: pathman

    This is very cool. Is it possible to list all the properties of a specific activeX control?

  • How can I get other control's Iunknow interface point in the same container?

    Posted by Legacy on 09/17/2002 12:00am

    Originally posted by: peter

    How can I get other control's Iunknow interface point in the same container?

  • Controls ok but dll's ?

    Posted by Legacy on 10/30/2001 12:00am

    Originally posted by: arkam

    Your code is great but how can i retrieve ALL the ActiveX registered on my computer (and not only controls) ?


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