The current study investigated attentional control through active inhibition of the identity of the distractor. Adapting a Stroop paradigm, the distractor word was presented in advance and made to disappear, followed by the presentation of a Stroop stimulus. Participants were instructed to inhibit the distractor in order to reduce its interference. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that the distractor precue facilitated Stroop color naming by reducing Stroop interference. Experiment 3 demonstrated beneficial effects of the distractor precue when congruent trials were introduced. Experiment 4 showed that the distractor precue benefit was observed when the cue and target were in different forms. Experiment 5 indicated that if the item used as the cue became the target, naming it took longer in order to overcome the inhibitory effect. Experiment 6 demonstrated that the benefit of the distractor precue was not observed when the cue was uninformative. Finally, Experiment 7 demonstrated that active inhibition required working-memory resources to operate. This study suggests that the best explanation for the distractor precue benefit is the active inhibition account.