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What Are OCX Files?

OCX files are found throughout your computer. No matter where you go in the system, you will find that they are scattered throughout the computer, but what exactly are these files and why do they exist all throughout your computer? In short, OCX files came about as Microsoft tried to develop different ways to allow programs to share data. Sharing data is important to ensure that programs are able to run efficiently. If each program needed a copy of all the data that it used to run, there would be a great deal of duplicate data on your system, eating up your hard drive space and causing your computer to run slowly.

OCX files were developed to the Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) concept that was developed my Microsoft. They are a part of the Component Object Model (or COM) system that has been used for the past several decades to link together parts of the Windows system and build modular applications. In many instances, OCX files are simple a Dynamic Link Library, or DLL file that has been renamed with the .OCX extension.

Developers use OCX files to help speed up their development time. OCX files contain user controls (the part of the program that users actually see and interact with.) This way they can create their controls once and use them in multiple programs, or even distribute the OCX files and allow other developers to use their hard work. OCX files can also be used as a part of hardware drivers, telling, for example, a graphics driver to render a particular part of the window only in black and white or to enable or disable certain ports on the computer. Using OCX files in conjunction with the hardware drivers allows them to be far more powerful than they would be otherwise.

OCX files have been succeeded in modern software development by ActiveX, although they are still used in many parts of the system. Microsoft has remained dedicated to ensuring backwards compatibility, and OCX files show exactly how dedicated they have been. Although they have stopped using this technology themselves for their new programs, Microsoft has continued to support it and is using it in areas of their operating system.

Because they are still used by many programs, it is important to make sure that the OCX files on your computer do not become corrupted. If essential OCX files are corrupted on your computer, then you may experience many unexpected crashes and computer glitches. If you find yourself in this situation you may find that you need to restore some of these essential OCX files in order to restore your computer to a proper state.

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