How to fix the links that don’t open in Outlook 2016 and earlier versions

A lot of users experience the problem when trying to open link (hyperlink) from within Outlook email. Most affected users reported that this particular issue occurred after a major Windows 10 update or after they completed the upgrade from an earlier version of Windows to Windows 10.

After trying to replicate the problem and reviewing the various user reports, it seems that most of the time the problem is caused by the default browser or from a poor Office installation. Although Link cannot open in Outlook is mainly encountered on Windows 10, it is also reported on Windows 7 and Windows 8 (8.1), especially with Windows Office 2010.

If you’re struggling with the same issue, this article will provide you with the best troubleshooting instructions capable of solving the problem. Please follow the methods below in order until you encounter a problem that fixes it for you. Let’s get started!

Method 1: Repair your Office installation

First, make sure that the problem isn’t caused by a bad Office installation. Sometimes your Microsoft Outlook program might crash due to a problem or poor Office installation.

Here’s a quick guide on how to fix thelinks that cannot be opened in Outlook by repairing your Microsoft Office installation:

  1. PressWindows key + R to open a Run box. Next, type “ appwiz.cpl ” and press Enter to open Programs and Features .

  2. The programs and features inside, scroll down through the list of apps and locate the Microsoft Office associated with the version of Outlook that is giving you the problem.
  3. Right-click on your version of Microsoft Office and select Change .

  4. In the Microsoft Office Repair window, select Repair toggle si Continue .

  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to start the repair process and wait for it to complete.
  6. Restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved at the next boot.

If you still cannot open the link (hyperlink) inside Microsoft Office, continue with the next method below.

Method 2: Change the default web browser to Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge

Since this particular issue is usually caused by the default browser, you may be able to resolve the issue by changing the default browser.

As it turns out, older versions of Outlook are known to refuse to open hyperlinks when the default web browser is not set toInternet Explorer (IE) or Microsoft Edge. Most of the time, problems of this type are encountered with Microsoft Office 2010 or lower using 3rd party browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, etc.).

Note: If you’re using a third-party browser and you don’t want to switch to the integration option, skip straight to Method 3.

If you are using a third-party browser as your default, here’s a quick guide on how to change your default browser in an attempt to resolve the “unable to open Outlook links” issue:

  1. PressWindows key + R to open a Run box. Then, type ” control ” and press Enterto open the Control Panel.
  2. Inside Control Panel , click Default Programs.
  3. Inside the Default Programs , click Set your default programs .

  4. In the Default Apps window, scroll down to theWeb browser section and click on the app that is currently set as default. Next, choose Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer from the list.

  5. When you change the default browser to Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, restart your computer.
  6. At the next startup, open Outlook and see if you can open the links from it. If the issue is still not resolved, continue with the next method below.

Method 3: Update Firefox to the latest available version (if available)

If you’re using Firefox as your default browser, you may want to double-check if you’re using the latest version available. There was an error with Firefox version 58 triggered by the Outlook.com layout that caused links to become unable to open. Because the problem is pretty old by now, Mozilla has resolved this issue with a hotfix included with Firefox version 60.

Note: If updating to the latest Firefox build is not an option (due to extension incompatibility or other issues), skip straight to Method 4.

Here’s a quick guide on how to make sure Firefox is updated to the latest version:

  1. Open Firefox and click the action button in the top right corner.
  2. From the task menu, go toHelp> About Firefox.
  3. If a new update is available, click theRestart button to update Firefox and wait for the browser to restart with the latest build.

  4. Click Yes at UAC (User Account Control) related to theFirefox Update Software.
  5. After you manage to update Firefox to the latest version, please restart your computer.
  6. At the next startup, see if the issue has been resolved by clicking the link inside Microsoft Outlook. If you still can’t open the hyperlink inside Outlook or this method isn’t applicable, continue with the next method below.

Method 4: change Firefox Settings (if applicable)

If you are using some add-on that is incompatible with the latest version of Firefox, you may not be inclined to update to the latest version available. Luckily, there is another workaround that will make the links reusable even without updating to the latest build.

Some users have managed to make the links reusable in Outlook by modifying Firefox settings. Here’s what you need to do:

Note:Keep in mind that the steps below apply only to Firefox versions older than Firefox 60. If you have Firefox version 60 or later, you will not be able to proceed to step 4.

  1. Open a new tab inside Firefox.
  2. In the navigation bar at the top, type or paste “about: config ” and press Enter.
  3. Click I accept the risk   to enter Firefox’s Advanced Settings .

  4. Use the search box at the top of the Advanced settings list and type “stylo”.
  5. Next, double click on layout.css.stylo-blocklist.enabled and change the default value from False to True.
  6. Then double-click onlayout.css.stylo_blocklist.blocked_domains and set the default value to live.com .
    Note: If you use Office 365 instead of live.com to view your messages, use office.com (or office365.com) instead of live.com.
  7. Close and reopen Firefox to see if the issue is resolved. If you’re still having the same issue, continue with the next method below.

Method 5: Change the .html and .htm values via Registry Editor

Your organization’s policy may also be responsible for preventing you from opening the link. Some users have managed to resolve the issue by changing the values of .html and .htm values through Registry Editor.

There are two ways you can follow to do this. You can create a self-repair registry and run it to run all modifications at once or you make modifications with the help of an elevated Command Prompt. Please follow any instructions that seem more prone to being summoned to you:

Create one. REG file

  1. Right click on an empty space on your desktop and chooseNew> Text Documentand name it whatever you want.
  2. Open the newly created text document and paste the following text inside:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  3.  Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT  .html]
    @ = "htmlfile"
    "Content Type" = "text / html"
    "PerceivedType" = "text"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT  .htm]
    @ = "htmlfile"
    "Content Type" = "text / html"
    "PerceivedType" = "text"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT  .shtm]
    @ = "htmlfile"
    "Content Type" = "text / html"
    "PerceivedType" = "text"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT  .shtml]
    @ = "htmlfile"
    "Content Type" = "text / html"
    "PerceivedType" = "text"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE  SOFTWARE  Classes  htmlfile  shell  open  command]
    
    @ = "" C:  Program Files  Internet Explorer  IEXPLORE.EXE  "-nohome"
  4. Once the code is in place go to File> Save As and change the extension from .txt to .reg and hit the Save button.

  5. Navigate to the location where you previously saved the file and double-click on it to open it. Then, clickYes at the UACpromptto allow the application to make the necessary modifications in your Registry files.
  6. Restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved the next time boot up.

Use elevated command prompt

  1. Press Windows key + R to open a Run box. Then, type ” cmd ” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command command prompt as administrator.

    cmd

  2. Inside the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the following commands and press Enter :
     REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER  Software  Classes  .htm / ve / d htmlfile / fREG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER  Software  Classes  .html / ve / d htmlfile / f
    
    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER  Software  Classes  .shtml / ve / d htmlfile / fREG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER  Software  Classes  .xht / ve / d htmlfile / f
    
    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER  Software  Classes  .xhtml / ve / d htmlfile / f
  3. Close Command Prompt and restart your computer. See if the issue has been resolved at the next boot.