FIX: Operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect

Not too long ago, countless users of Microsoft products such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and more importantly, Outlook, started receiving the following error whenever they clicked on a hyperlink inside the programs to open the link in a browser:

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

This error was quite surprising for most users because they themselves were the primary administrators of their systems. Furthermore, there is absolutely no reason for the opening of hyperlinks inside Microsoft programs to be restricted on any computers. Many Microsoft users were baffled by this issue, causing quite a lot of uproar in the Windows community. The cause of this error is quite simple – issues with the internet settings of affected computers. Thankfully, solutions to this issue are also as simple as the issue itself, and the following are all of the known solutions that you can use to fix this problem:

Solution 1: Reset Internet Explorer’s settings.

In most cases, simply resetting Internet Explorer’s settings fixes this issue. To do so, you need to:

Hold the Windows Key and press ‘R’. Type ‘inetcpl.cpl’ and click ‘OK’.


Navigate to ‘Advanced’. Click on ‘Reset…’ under the ‘Reset Internet Explorer settings’. Check ‘Delete personal settings’ and then click on ‘Reset’.

operation cancelled due to restrictions - 1

Click on ‘Close’. Now, hold the Windows key and press ‘R’ again. Type ‘ncpa.cpl’ and click ‘OK’.

Go to Programs, then click on ‘Set Programs’ under the Internet programs. Afterwards, click on ‘Set Your Default Programs’.


In the list of programs, locate and click on Microsoft Outlook, and then click on Set this program as default. Scroll up and locate and click on Internet Explorer, and then click on Set this program as default. Click on OK. Close Internet Explorer and see if the issue has been fixed.


“Solution 2: Import fresh registration files from a different computer”,

Before you try this solution, make sure to create a system restore point. Should something go wrong, you can restore it to the point you created. Please follow the steps here to create a restore point. On a different computer, one that is not affected by this issue, press the Windows Logo key + R to open ‘Run’.

Type in regedit and press Enter,

Navigate to the following directory in the left pane:


Click on the ‘Command’ subkey located under ‘Open’.

Click on File/Registry in the toolbar at the top.

Click on Export.

Save the .reg file (registration file) with a suitable name.

Copy the .reg file to a removable storage medium such as a USB flash drive and copy it onto the computer affected by this issue.

Double-click the .reg file after it has been copied to the affected computer to merge it with the computer’s registry and apply the changes. If prompted to do so, click on Yes to confirm the action.

Solution 3: Download a ‘Microsoft Fix It’ tool.

If you’re not one to meddle around with sensitive parts of your computer – especially its registry – or simply don’t want to do a lot of work, it is highly recommended that you download a Microsoft Fix It (a utility) designed by Microsoft specifically to fix this issue. To do so, simply go here and download the appropriate version of the Microsoft Fix It for the version of the Windows Operating System that you are using.

Solution 4: It’s Time to Switch and Make Life Easier and Less Expensive.

Since the issue lies with Office Programs, it would be best to switch to alternatives that work without any issues. For Outlook, you can use Thunderbird; for Office Applications, you can use Apache Open Office. Both of these software applications are free to use. In my opinion, they are extremely reliable, with almost all features that are built into Office. They include alternatives for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and so on. Additionally, they are automatically compatible with files created and worked on with Office Apps.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.