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

There are times when you receive a HTML message containing various links but when you try to open these links a dialogue box appears and prompts for associating an executable file with the link.

When you will look at the source you will find that the URL is prefixed with word BLOCKED. Following is the example of the source with prefix BLOCKED:

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


Outlook uses various security features and this is one of them. Usually when URLs are copied from one email to another, Outlook prefixes BLOCKED in the URL.

When you send a link in a message by using the Send a Link by E-mail feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) attachment or link is included with the message in Microsoft Outlook. However, Outlook blocks the user from accessing the URL attachment or link in the message.


You may be able to control it by adjusting the blocked external context setting in Outlook 2003. To adjust the blocked external context setting, 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.

Using above mentioned methods, links contained in any HTML message can be opened and viewed without any interruption.

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