Unable to open links from Outlook due to restrictions

A very common question comes up often in the Microsoft forums:

When clicking on a hyperlink in an e-mail, I get this Message : “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” I get this message every time that I attempt to use the hyperlink. I am the administrator on this stand alone computer. How do I deactivate this feature so that I activate hyperlinks ?

This is not an Outlook error. The most common cause is a corrupt registry key in Internet Explorer. The registry key found at
HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Classes\htmlfile\shell\open\command is either damaged or corrupt.

To fix it, try resetting Web settings in Internet Explorer. If this does not resolve the issue, set IE as the default browser following the steps in Set Program Access in Control Panel. If you use a different browser as your default, you need to set IE as the default until you verify the links work in Outlook.

If you uninstalled Chrome (or Firefox) and then received the error, follow the instructions below

If you received this error after uninstalling any application that takes over the HTML open command (including, but not limited to, Chrome & Firefox browsers) you may also need to change the HTM/HTML association in the registry.

  1. Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.html
  3. Right click the value for the .html key and select Modify…
  4. Change the value from “ChromeHTML” to “htmlfile” (or from FireFoxHTML to htmlfile)

Repeat these steps for htm and .shtml keys if they exist. You may also want to check the .xhtml and .xhtm keys.

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