How to Fix Outlook Hyperlink Restrictions Error

When you click a hyperlink in Microsoft Outlook or other Office applications, you may receive one of the following errors, depending upon the version of Office installed.

Your organization's policies are preventing us from completing this action for you. For more info, please contact your help desk.
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

outlook hyperlink error


The above hyperlink errors are caused by broken .html file association or HTTP or HTTPS protocol association. For instance, if you’ve associated .html file type with Notepad++ or any other non-browser application, the above error occurs when clicking on hyperlinks from your Office application.

Also, Outlook requires an open\command registry key under the file association key referenced by .html.

Fix for Outlook Hyperlink Errors

To resolve the error when clicking on a hyperlink in Outlook or any other Office application, follow these steps:

Step 1: Reset the default web browser

Resetting the default browser fixes the problem. To do so, use Default Apps to select a different browser as the default. Then revert to the original browser to set it as the default. This fixes the browser file association settings (e.g., .HTM, .HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, etc.) automatically.

For Windows 10

  1. Open Settings → Apps → Default Apps.
  2. Under Web browser, select a browser from the list.
    outlook hyperlink error - reset default browser
  3. Repeat the same, but select your preferred (original) browser this time.

Switching the default browser back and forth will resolve the file association issues.

For Windows 8 and earlier

  1. Click Start, and click Default Programs
  2. Click Set program access and computer defaults
  3. Click Custom, select your Web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer), and click OK
  4. Close and re-open Microsoft Outlook.

Step 2: Fix .HTML association settings using registry:

If resetting the default web browser doesn’t fix the problem, fix the default file class data for .html file type using the registry. It’s because Method 1 may not fix this particular registry setting.

  1. Copy the following lines to Notepad.
    "Content Type"="text/html"
  2. Save the file as “html.reg
  3. Double-click html.reg to apply the settings.

This method fixes only the .html file class settings. Whereas, the procedure listed under “Step 1” fixes most of the per-user association settings.

Using Notepad++?

Alternately, if you’re using Notepad++, make sure you have not associated the .htm and .html file types with Notepad++.

  1. Open Notepad++ elevated (Run as administrator)
  2. From the Settings menu, click Preferences.
  3. Select “File association.”
  4. Remove .htm and .html from the list of “Registered extensions.”
    outlook hyperlink error - notepad++ association settings
  5. Click OK and close Notepad++.
  6. Restart Outlook or your MS Office application.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

25 thoughts on “How to Fix Outlook Hyperlink Restrictions Error”

  1. Thanks so much! I’ve been trying to repair this for weeks! I’ve been in the reg, all through IE, ran Outlook for XP3 compatibility…. everytwhere! This solution works! Instant repair. Thank you thank you thank you!!! 😀

  2. ditto Cathy & Evie’s comments – had tried various tactics & spent quite a bit of time researching the problem but no luck, so thanks a million for this fix!! 🙂

  3. I have had this problem in outlook for months and cannot get it fixed. Try every suggested solution, nothing.

  4. Tried your method but had no luck. I have Windows 7 Home Premium and Outlook 2010. Very frustrating bug!!!

  5. This solution does work, I’d never had Chrome on my Windows 7 system (as this appears to be the main cause of this problem for most people) but one day I just discovered no Hyperlinks worked in any of my MS Office 2007 applications.
    I had tried “every solution known to man” and then every one suggested from within Google’s search results…. nothing worked, weeks and weeks turned into months.

    Persevere with this solution and you will find success.

    When I move the selected Radio button selection from ‘Use my current Web browser’ to the ‘Internet Explorer’ option (I noticed that the ‘enable access to this program’ option box was ticked – although it was “greyed out” – I got sidetracked by this and felt that here lay the route of MY problem – ignore this fact and just click ‘Okay’.
    It may also be worth ensuring no MS Office Programs or IE Explorer windows are open at the time you do this.

    Believe me, I have over 20 years experience (right back from MS-Dos 5 / Windows 3 days) and I could not get to the bottom of this particular instance,” Well Done” indeed for the enlightenment,
    (and alowing me to keep what little hair I have left, on my head and not in my hands).

    Alan Carby

  6. Alan:

    This is my problem also. I did have Chrome and removed it. Chrome does not work well with some of the dtabases I use for work so I have deleted it but I still cannot get any of the hyperlinks to work. I have gone through this process several times and each time I go back to check on the defaults the Internet Explorer button is not checked. Any suggestions?


  7. Thank you for this post! I recently had a Java update that installed Google Chrome as the default brower. When I changed my browser back to IE, I couldn’t open links in Outlook anymore.

    This fix helped me greatly!

  8. I’ve gone through this procedure four times and it has not worked for me. In fact, everytime I go back to the”custom” area, the change I made does not seem to have become permanent. What might I be doing wrong. I’m not very happy with Java for doing this to me!

  9. this is not enough for remove this prooblem”Fix Office Outlook Hyperlink Restrictions Error”,because i have done this but my issue not fix.

  10. From What I understand, Chrome, on installation, changes some registry keys and can cause problems when removed unless manually reset. I have not looked too far into this yet, but I believe that would be the root of the reported Chrome issues.

  11. Seriously? that was it? I have looked high and low for a solution and found nothing but these complicated means to resolve it, like editing my registry etc etc. this solved my problem in the simplest way.


  12. Dear Ramesh:

    I tried your solution but it did not work.
    History: I had Google Chrome and TORCH. Started getting a tsunami of ads for TORCH apps. Decided to uninstall Google Chrome and Torch. And instantly acquired this problem on Microsoft Outlook mail – inability to open hyperlinks. Except for the timing, this event could be unrelated?

    Message: This operation canceled on account of restrictions on this computer.



  13. In my case the problem was probably caused by installing and uninstalling Chrome.

    The Custom System above doesn’t solve the problem.

    In one person’s case the settings weren’t changed permanently.

    I was also expecting a category for Office 2007 but there wasn’t one.

    My problem is hyperlink within Word 2007 won’t open up a web link despite the hyperlink is highlighted.

    I deleted the unsaved Word 2007 document, and then created another document with an hyperlink after reading Alan Carby’s message, and it still doesn’t work.

    Ramesh must be aware that it doesn’t work properly why doesn’t he supply a proper solution?

    MY PC: Office 2007, Windows 7 HP 64 bits, Internet Explorer 10 with Google as the home page.

    Microsoft’s Window Technical person verified that hyper link on a browser works properly but not within; Word 2007 and Outlook 2007’s Account Settings\Data Files\Data Files\Open Folder

    Gives the error message, ‘1. This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator’.

  14. It is probably a waste of time people leaving messages without stating which; hardware and software with versions they are using to give an indication why does some PC’s work and others don’t work.

  15. Solved (hopefully) error message, which relates to 2 different problems:

    ‘This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.Please contact your system administrator’

    The only method which has worked:

    SOLUTION: Copy and Paste into a Browser (Internet, Google, Firefox etc)
    but not Chrome – I used Internet Explorer 10 (latest version (Tools\About Internet Explorer) with Google as the home page (Tools\Internet Options\General Home Page).

    It appears that Google Chrome probably actually hijacks default settings, which includes Outlook (including my version 2007).

    I used the Windows 7, Fix it for Me version, because I have Windows 7 operating system version. It is a wizard just follow the instructions and before you know it the problem should be solved (hopefully).

    I, Wasted far too much time solving;Hyperlink & opening data folder within 2007;Outlook & Word


    Outlook wouldn’t open Data Folder
    ‘This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.Please contact your system administrator’

    2 Microsoft(MS) Tel. Support Staff; Outlook&Office gave up-wanted £65sterling-remote viewing (access to my PC)=£65×12=£780-rip-off

    Download (save (optional maybe) and run): Microsoft Fix It Diagnostic and Repair Tool, which is Microsoft’s own official website and application, which at least 2 of their staff didn’t advise me about.

    This solution should actually work for virtually everybody.

    I have tried numerous other methods, which included (resetting defaults probably didn’t work whether: Set your default programs or set program access and computer defaults used),which didn’t work

  16. This worked for me. After uninstalling Chrome I got the “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” error message. After much reading I decided to use your suggested fix. Worked like a charm. Thank you.

  17. Toshiba Laptop Satellite L-505, W7, Outlook 2007.

    Selecting the “Set program access and computer defaults” fix I selected IE as the default browser and Outlook as the default mail program as well. You MUST exist both Outlook and Word (in my case those programs were both open and neither would allow me to use hyperlinks) after you make your selections.

    The fix worked; initial tests with Outlook and Word were successful.

    I prefer Firefox so I will be loading that next and then seeing if that works.

  18. I am running Windows 10 – 64 bit, full install, Latest update. I have used MSOffice 2003 with out incident for a couple of years. Lately however, when using Outlook, I double click on a Hyperlink and all I get is ‘This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your System Administrator ” any assistance you can offer will be graciously received.

    • @Michael: Resetting the default web browser via Default Programs as in the article should work. Yes. It works in Windows 10 as well.

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