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Email Link Problem

By sbrager ·
A friend called to say that when he clicks on a link in an Outlook Express email, nothing happens. It used to open up IE to the link's destination.

He's using WinXp Home w/SP2. Also I created a shortcut on his Desktop to open a website other than his home page. No problem.

My 78 year old friend relies on me for resolving his computer problems as well as training.

Any suggestions of what the solution is and/what might have caused it?


Stan Brager

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Wouldn't be a security feature?

by Jim_P In reply to Email Link Problem

Have you checked under the Security Tab in Options page of Outlook Express to see if there is anything stopping html links being opened within emails?


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This could be due to a number of issues

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Email Link Problem

and a lot depends on the type of link. But before we get there you should tell your friend 'NEVER CLICK ON A LINK IN AN EMAIL' if you must open it, highlight it, hit 'CTRL' + 'C' open the browser, place th cursor in the URL address winfow and hit 'CTRL' + 'V' this will past the link as SHOWN, not as embedded.

Way to many nasty surprises are hidden in embedded code inside links in emails.

Now possible causes of not working.

1. Security feature in Outlook Express, set to not allow auto opening of links - I have never seen this setting but I'm told some of the latest versions have it (I stopped using OE years back).

2. Security setting in MSIE not allowing links opened from OE.

3. The file association setting may be messed up.

4. The link requires your system to have some special plug in to run, eg Java, Active X commands, ASP or the like - and the system does not have them.

5. (High probability) He has a firewall or good Anti-Virus software on the system and the link does have malicious code, it got detected and shut down by the firewall or AV software.

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Email Link Problem

by sbrager In reply to This could be due to a nu ...

Thanks for the suggestions, Deadly. I've cautioned him about opening links.

1. His version of OE doesn't have the setting you mentioned.

2. I'll check the security settings in IE. However, I've never seen any connection between OE and IE except under the programs tab in which you can choose which email program to open within OE.

3. Which file associations would affect a link within an OE email?

4. The test link we're using ( is harmless and doesn't require, to my knowledge, any special treatment.

5. You're right, he does use the MS firewall. The firewall is set to ask for permission to open a questionable link. No such permission has been asked.

OE used to work with links until recently. The only change was when he decided to change from Firefox (I had setup for him) back to OE.



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In the file associations you need to check

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Email Link Problem

what files are used for the OPEN command for these file types .htm .html .hta as a minimum. You may also want to check some like NONE: URL MAIL etc

The file associations are found in

My Computer >> Tools >> Folder Options >> File Types

This sounds like the file associations may still be set to FF but it is no longer installed, thus can't open.

The reason you don't click to open links in an email is that it can show as while the URL hidden behind it is what you see in the email is what the code has been told to show you, but the actaul URL can be anything. This is especially true with the default setting that show HTML mail as if viewed in a browser, hiding the real code.

If he's really stuck on wanting something that looks a lot like OE and MSIE then instead of going to Thunderbird and Firefox you can look at an intermediate option of Avant ( and Foxmail ( Avante is a security overlay for MSIE that needs and uses the MSIE engine, but adds many easy to use security features. Foxmail is a free English version (Chinese company) mail client very similar to OE. I have a friend 70+ who learnt how to use MSIE and OE, but I was able to teach her to use these two programs, after she found FF and TB to much of a change.

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