Hyperlink Restrictions in Outlook

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There is no shortage of Outlook users who report opening an email and clicking on a hyperlink only to get an error message telling them the link is restricted. Understanding the meaning of hyperlink restriction, the causes and available options can help in determining which solution to use to eliminate it.


  • Hyperlink restriction error messages usually are a variation of this message: "This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator."


  • An employer often places restrictions on computers for security purposes so hackers and viruses cannot damage the computer. The error message displays if the restrictions have been implemented. If the employer has not placed the restrictions, most of the time the error occurs after an upgrade from one version of Microsoft Internet Explorer to a newer one. A registry key has been corrupted or is missing. The error also may occur after uninstalling the Google Chrome and Firefox Web browsers. Uninstalling the browser may take a registry key. A rendering and editing program can alter or take a registry key, which will cause the error.


  • Solutions to computer problems are not always a "quick fix." They often involve trial and error by going down a list of possible solutions. For errors that start after a Microsoft Internet Explorer upgrade, make sure Microsoft Internet Explorer is set as the default Internet browser and reset the Web settings through the Internet tools options. If resetting the Web setting fails to solve the problem, recreate and install the registry key, "KEY_Local_Machine\Software\Classes\htmlfile\shell\open\command." For error messages received after uninstalling Google Chrome or Firefox or the installation of a rendering and editing program, a change to the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes.html" may be required.

Tips & Warnings

  • Solutions involve making changes to the registry keys of the computer. This needs attention to detail and precise completion of any recreation of the registry keys. A Windows Registry backup should be created before changing any registry key. Incorrect changes to the Windows Registry can create more problems and lead to a trip to the computer store.



  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

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