Read time 3 minutes

Summary: Discovering Blocked Links in Outlook: Uncover why links in Outlook emails get blocked and how to address this issue. This article offers insights into Outlook’s security measures and provides solutions to unblock links, ensuring a seamless email experience.

Applies to: Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition

At times, you may receive an HTML message with multiple links, but when you attempt to open these links, a dialog box appears, asking you to associate an executable file with the link.

When you examine the source, you’ll notice that the URL is prefixed with the word ‘BLOCKED.’ Here’s an example of the source with the ‘BLOCKED’ prefix:

<A title= href=”BLOCKED::”>Office Online</a>


Outlook employs several security features, and this is one of them. Typically, when URLs are copied from one email to another, Outlook adds the ‘BLOCKED’ prefix to the URL.

When you send a link in a message using the ‘Send a Link by E-mail’ feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook includes the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) attachment or link within the message. However, Outlook restricts users from accessing the URL attachment or link in the message.


You may be able to control this by adjusting the ‘Blocked External Content’ setting in Outlook 2003. To make this adjustment, follow these steps:

  • On the Tools menu go to Options, then Security,
  • Open Change Automatic Download Settings menu
  • Or click on the Infobar of a message containing blocked content and select Change Automatic Download Settings.
  • Automatic Download Settings

Other possible solution is deleting BLOCKED from the URL. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  • Open the message in the Internet zone.
  • Delete blocked:: from the beginning of the URL in the address bar.

By following the methods mentioned above, you can open and view links within any HTML message without any interruptions.

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