A user got this error today when trying to click on a hyperlink in an email in Outlook 2003 on a Windows XP machine:
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.
As far as I can tell from Googling this error message, it seems to occur because of either a missing or incorrect value for the registry key HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Classes\htmlfile\shell\open\command.
Microsoft’s Knowledge Base article KB310049, which is entitled “You receive an error message when you click a hyperlink in Outlook”, has a supposed “fix” for this error message. That article instructs you to run Microsoft Fix It 50388. However, when I ran the Fix It on the user’s computer, it had no effect (yes, I did reboot as instructed by the Fix It). Thinking it was a user-permissions issue because the user is not an administrator, I re-ran the Fix It using the “Run As” feature. Again, it seemed to have no effect, even when run as Administrator.
Googling a little further, I found the article This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect. From that article, I got the idea to reset the user’s default browser to Internet Explorer (it was previously Firefox) using the Internet Options settings in Control Panel
Unfortunately, it still had no effect!
Finally, I decided to temporarily make the user a local administrator on his computer (Control Panel…User Accounts). Then I again reset his default browser to Internet Explorer. This time, it worked!
After resetting his default browser to Internet Explorer, I changed it back to Firefox and removed the user from the local administrators group.
It seems that setting the default browser to Internet Explorer fixes the registry setting that was causing the error.
If this tip helped you, please leave a comment!