Fix "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer" Outlook, Word or Excel error.

On a user’s computer the following error appears on Outlook program when the user tries to open any HTML link (hyperlinks) that contained on an email message: “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator”. This strange error happens on a computer that the user already has administrative privileges and on every MS Office document (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) installed on his computer, that contains links.

After some research I found that the above error show ups, in cases where you haven’t setup correctly a default Internet browser in your system, or when the file associations & handlers are not correctly registered, or may corrupted inside Windows Registry.

To resolve “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer” error in office programs (Outlook, Word or Excel) follow the steps below:

How to solve “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions…” when opening HTML links in Outlook, Word or Excel.

Step 1. Set your default Internet browser in Control Panel.

First make sure, that your favorite browser is assigned as the default browser to handle hyperlinks. To do that:

  • In Windows XP, go to Start > Control Panel and open Set Program Access and Defaults.
  • In Windows 7: go to Start & open Default Programs.
  • In Windows 8: Press the Windows  Image-201_thumb8_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb  + R keys to load the Run dialog box, type Default Programs & press Enter.
  • Click the Set program access and computer defaults option and expand Custom.
  • Choose the default Internet browser to open hyperlinks (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) and choose OK.*

* Note: If the default browser was already the one that you want, choose another browser and then try to open Outlook links.

operation has been cancelled due to restrictions

  • Now open Outlook and try to open a hyperlink. If the problem occurs continue to Step 2.


Step 2: Change HTML association in registry.

  • Open Registry Editor: To do that:
    • Simultaneously press “Windows” + “R” keys to open the RUN window.
    • In “RUN” window “Open” box,  type: regedit
    • Press Enter.
  • At the left pane, press the “+” sign and navigate to this subkey:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.html
  • Now double-click at the (Default) String at the right pane and set the value data to htmlfile .
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  • Perform the same operation and modify the Default string Value to htmlfile in these subkeys:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.htm
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.shtml
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.xhtml
  • Close Registry editor and restart your computer.
  • Try to open hyperlinks.

That’s all folks! Did it work for you?
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