You cannot redirect users of earlier versions of Outlook to download the Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer in an Outlook 2003 IRM-protected message

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
Consider the following scenario. You manage users who use different versions of Microsoft Outlook. Users of Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 may send e-mail messages that are protected by Information Rights Management (IRM). If a user tries to open an IRM-protected message in an earlier version of Outlook, the message is not opened. Additionally, the user receives the following message:
You have received a message with restricted permission.
Open this item to read its content.

If you are not running Microsoft Office 2003 or an e-mail application that supports messages with restricted permission, you can view this message by downloading the Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer from
In this scenario, you may want to redirect users to an intranet location to download the Rights Management Add-on for Microsoft Internet Explorer.
This problem may occur because the IRM message that a user of an earlier version of Outlook receives is not customizable in Outlook 2003 to redirect your internal users to an intranet location.
To customize the IRM message that is displayed to users of earlier versions of Outlook, apply hotfix 915491. Then, enable the hotfix to customize the message that you want to appear when these users experience this problem.

How to obtain the hotfix

This issue is fixed in the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 2 Hotfix Package that is dated March 15, 2006. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
915491 Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: March 15, 2006

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

To enable this hotfix, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Outlook 2003.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  4. After you select the subkey that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String Value.
  5. Type DownlevelText, and then press ENTER.
  6. Right-click DownlevelText, and then click Modify.
  7. In the Value data box, type the text of the IRM message that you want to be displayed to users who use earlier versions of Outlook. Then, click OK.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
outlook2003 outlook2k3 ol2003 ol2k3 digital rights management drm

Article ID: 915745 - Last Review: 01/16/2015 09:15:52 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003

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