FIX: “Locate Link Browser” Popup When Clicking on Links in Outlook 2003 on Windows 10

While most people are completely accustomed to using newer versions of Microsoft Office programs such as Outlook, many still prefer to use vintage versions such as Outlook 2003, even with Operating Systems that are as advanced and latest as Windows 10. However, the problem here is the fact that Outlook 2003 was never meant for Windows 10 and, officially, Windows 10 only supports Outlook 2007 or later. While Windows 10 users are completely capable of using Outlook 2003 thanks to Compatibility Mode, it is not uncommon to see Outlook 2003 err and malfunction on Windows 10.

One of the most common problems that come with the use of Outlook 2003 on Windows 10 is the inability to click on a link to a website or webpage within the application and have it opened in Internet Explorer, resulting in a popup that says “Locate link browser”, basically meaning that Outlook 2003 has no idea what application it should use to open the link.

Even if a user affected by this issue points Outlook 2003 to the Internet Explorer application via the “Locate link browser” popup, however, when the affected user clicks on a link within Outlook 2003, Internet Explorer is indeed launched but the user is met with a blank page or their homepage instead of the page that the link points to. This happens because Windows 10 lacks a certain CommandID within its registry that Outlook 2003 uses to correctly process and open links.

Thankfully, though, this problem can be fixed quite easily, and the following are the two solutions that you can use to fix it:

Solution 1: Upgrade Outlook to a newer version

The entire root of this problem is the fact that Outlook 2003 is too outdated an application to use with Windows 10 and wasn’t originally intended for the OS. Thankfully, though, there have been a number of versions of Outlook that have come after Outlook 2003, each of which is completely compatible with Windows 10.

That being the case, simply upgrading Outlook to a newer version is enough to fix this problem. In order to upgrade to a newer version of Outlook, you are going to have to uninstall Outlook 2003 and then purchase and install a newer version of the program. While it is true that you are going to have to become accustomed to a whole new version of Outlook should you choose to use this solution, it is also true that this solution is extremely effective at getting rid of this problem. Upgrading to any version of Outlook that came after Outlook 2003 will suffice, but if you’re looking for guidance, Outlook 2007 is just the right balance between modern and classic.

Solution 2: Add the missing CommandID to your computer’s registry

If you’d rather keep Outlook 2003 and fix the problem so you can correctly open links in Internet Explorer through Outlook, don’t worry as that too is possible. If that is what you want, all you need to do in order to solve this issue is to add the missing CommandID that is causing this problem to your computer’s registry.

However, before you do that, you are going to need to point the “Locate link browser” popup to Internet Explorer, if you haven’t done that already. In order to do so, you need to:

Launch Outlook 2003.

Click on a link within Outlook 2003 to trigger the appearance of the “Locate link browser” popup.

Point the popup to a file named exe. This file can be found in one of the following locations:

C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer on 32-bit versions of Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer on 64-bit versions of Windows

Click on OK.

Once you have pointed the “Locate link browser” popup to the application file for Internet Explorer, you can move on to applying the fix for this issue. In order to apply the fix, you need to:

Open the Start Menu.

Search for “notepad”.

Click on the search result titled Notepad.

Paste the following into the fresh instance of Notepad:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\htmlfile\shell\opennew]

@=”&Open”

“MUIVerb”=”@C:\\Windows\\System32\\ieframe.dll,-5731”

“CommandId”=”IE.Protocol”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\htmlfile\shell\opennew\command]

@=””C:\\Program Files\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe” %1″

“DelegateExecute”=”{17FE9752-0B5A-4665-84CD-569794602F5C}”

Click on File > Save.

Open the dropdown menu in front of Save as type and click on All files.

You can name the file anything, as long as it has a .REG For example, fix.reg will do just fine.

Once you have named the file, decide where you want it to be saved and click on Save.

Close all open applications, navigate to where you saved the .REG file and double-click on it to launch it. If you are prompted to confirm the action, confirm it.

As soon as the file has been launched, the missing CommandID will be added to your computer’s registry. You need simply restart your computer and check to make sure that the problem has indeed been solved once it boots up.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

FIX: “Locate Link Browser” Popup When Clicking on Links in Outlook 2003 on Windows 10

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