Subscriber Polly wrote me to ask about a problem she was having with Microsoft Outlook:
When I try to open a link in my office outlook it refuses to do so and a message comes up…"this operation has been cancelled due to restrictions on this computer. Please contact your system administrator."
I have had this computer since May and until a fortnight ago everything opened as expected. I am the only person using this laptop and I am the administrator according to control panel.
Please can you tell me how this has happened without me knowingly changing anything and how can I get back to normal service.
At the same time as this happened office outlook also changed how my email is seen by recipients incorrectly using capital letters in the address and therefore if return button is used I don’t receive it.
Thank you very much
First, I wrote back to Polly to tell her that it might be caused by one of several things that might have changed.
Her antivirus, antispyware or firewall program might be "protecting her." Microsoft did something similar in Windows XP Service Pack 2 — they put in an "anti-phishing filter system" that filtered out all links in Outlook emails.
Did she reinstall Microsoft Office 2003 recently, or Windows XP SP2?
At that point, that was all I could guess based on the information she provided — she didn’t provide critical debugging information such as which version of Windows she was using, which service pack was installed, and which version of Outlook (the program giving her a problem).
I have no idea on her second problem, regarding capital letters in email addresses. If that’s actually the problem, either her mailservers or her recipients’ must be exceedingly stupid (or misconfigured). Mailservers have been accepting capitals or lower case or mixed case (case insensitive, rather than case-sensitive) for years.
After my initial email to Polly, I found that I already had written an article that appears to directly address her problem. I wrote again to Polly to tell her.
I found this one as I was working on my website conversion later that day — it seems to match her problem, if she’s running Outlook 2007.
Email Links Don’t Work in Outlook 2007