On commissioning, Active was assigned as leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla with the Harwich Force, defending the eastern approaches to the English Channel. In 1915 she was reassigned to the Grand Fleet, and on 31 May-1 June 1916 she took part in the Battle of Jutland. She survived the battle and later that year was assigned as leader of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth. In 1917 she was at Queenstown and later that year was deployed in theMediterranean. She survived the First World War and was sold for scrapping on 21 May 1920.