Hyperlinks are not working in Outlook

Applies to: Outlook 2016Outlook 2013Microsoft Outlook 2010


Assume that you set Internet Explorer as your default browser in Windows. When you click a hyperlink in Microsoft Outlook, you receive one of the following error messages, depending on your Outlook version:
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.
Your organization's policies are preventing us from completing this action for you. For more info, please contact your help desk.


To resolve this problem, follow these methods in order. Check whether the problem is resolved after each method.

Method 1: Install an easy fix automatically

To fix this problem automatically, click the Download button. In the File Download dialog box, click Run or Open, and then follow the steps in the easy fix wizard.

  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you're not on the computer that has the problem, save the easy fix solution to a flash drive or a CD, and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

For Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003

Method 2: Reset Internet Explorer settings

Method 3: Export and import the registry key from another computer

This section is intended for advanced computer users. For help with advanced troubleshooting, ask your system administrator or contact Microsoft Support.

Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

Note Use this method only if the earlier instructions for each browser do not work to resolve this problem.

Step 1: Export the registry key from another computer

  1. On a computer that does not encounter this problem, select Start > Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then select OK.
  3. Locate, and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\htmlfile\shell\open\command
  4. On the File or Registry menu (depending on your operating system), select Export.
  5. Note the location where the file will be saved. The registry file can be saved directly to the hard disk or floppy disk.
  6. Type a unique file name, and then select Save.
  7. Exit Registry Editor.

Step 2: Import the registry key

  1. Copy the exported registry key to the desktop on the problem computer.
  2. Double-click the .reg file.

    You may receive the following message:

    Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

    Adding information can unintentionally change or delete values and cause components to stop working correctly. If you do not trust the source of this information in C:Users\<yourlogon>Desktop\regkey.reg, do not add it to the registry.

    Windows 7

    Are you sure you want to add the information in drive: location file was copied to\file name.reg to the registry?

  3. Select Yes OK.

Step 3: Verify that the String (Default) value of the "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \.html" key is "htmlfile"

  1. Select Start Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then select OK.
  3. Locate, and then click the following registry subkey:HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \.html
  4. Make sure that the value of the String (Default) is "htmlfile". If it's not "htmlfile", right-click (Default), select Modify, input htmlfile in the Value data box, and then select OK.
  5. Exit Registry Editor.