What to Do If You Cannot Open Links in Emails

If you cannot open links in emails, chances are good that you're not alone. Many people have problems opening links in Outlook, Outlook Express or even Web-based emails. Fortunately, it's a relatively easy problem to correct once you know what's causing it.

Add the sender to your "Safe" list.
Whether you're using a Web-based email or some desktop email program, your email probably has a "safe" list of people whose emails are always counted as safe to view. Some interfaces do not display links or images, or they do not enable you to click on links or images, if the sender isn't on your "safe" list. If you know you can trust the sender, follow your email provider's instructions to add the sender to your safe list, and you should be able to access links and images.

Check any popup blockers you have installed.
Some popup blockers also prevent your Web browser from opening windows to view links when you click on them. This is typically an issue in emails, but it can also be an issue if you attempt to click on a link in your Web browser that tries to open in a new window. Check your popup blocker settings, and find out if it prevents your browser from opening new pages. If it does, you may need to disable your popup blocker temporarily when you want to open links, or do a Web search to find a workaround for this issue.

Find out if your email provider supports HTML emails.
Not all email providers offer support for HTML emails. If your email provider doesn't support HTML, links may show up as text, just like any other text in the email, instead of a clickable link. If this is the case, you may have to copy and paste the link into your browser's address bar, or you may want to find out if your email provider has an option you can turn on to support HTML emails.

Try turning off your anti-virus program briefly.
Some anti-virus programs may prevent you from opening links you click in emails. Some viruses also follow email links, so this can register as dangerous or as virus behavior. If you've tried other fixes and had no luck, try briefly turning off your anti-virus program, just long enough to try clicking a link that has been sent from a person you trust and that goes to a Web site you trust. Make sure you turn on your anti-virus program again immediately, or you'll leave your computer vulnerable to attack. If it is your anti-virus program that is preventing you from opening links, contact the manufacturer or visit support forums to find a workaround.

Make sure HTTP is associated with a Web browser.
Depending on which operating system you're running, you'll have a different way to complete this step, so consult your OS documentation for specifics on associating HTTP with a Web browser. Typically, you'll go to a File Type menu, and select URL: Hypertext Transfer Protocol to view settings. Click on the Advanced option, go to Open and select the Edit functionality. You can see the Action with which this option is associated.

You want to make sure that HTTP is set to open with your Web browser. If there's no path to your Web browser, or if the path is incorrect, browse to your Web browser software and select it. This tells your computer to associate HTTP commands with your Web browser, and it should cause it to open email links in your browser.

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