Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Can't Use Hyperlinks.

Can't Use Hyperlinks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2018)

Holly entered a hyperlink into her Excel worksheet tutorial for a computer class. It appears active, but when she clicks on it, a box appears that states the following: "This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." Problem is, this is Holly's home computer; there is no administrator except her.

There could be a number of different reasons why this is happening. First of all, you should understand that there is an administrator for your home computer—it is you. In fact, most newer computers include two account logins automatically: one for you as administrator and one for you as user.

So, the first solution is to log out of your system and then log back in using the administrator account. Then display the Run dialog box and enter GPEDIT.MSC into the dialog box, as the command to run. This displays the Group Policy Editor, where you can examine the policies on your system and figure out which one may be causing your problem.

It is also possible that the problem is related to a conflict between browsers on your system. If you have multiple browsers installed, you may need to force Windows to recognize one of them as the "default" browser. Here's an easy way to do this if you are using earlier versions of Excel:

  1. Select Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Click Programs.
  3. Click Set Your Default Programs.
  4. In the Programs list, select the browser you want to be your default.
  5. Click Set this Program as Default.
  6. Click OK.

If you are using Excel 2016 or a later version, follow these instructions:

  1. Type "Control Panel" (without the quotes) in the search box.
  2. Click Programs.
  3. Click Default Programs.
  4. Click Set Your Default Programs. Windows displays the Default Apps window of Settings.
  5. In the Default Apps list, select the browser you want to be your default.
  6. Windows asks you to choose an app. Select the desired app from the list.
  7. Windows updates the selected browser as the default browser.

Restart your computer and check to see if the links now work. If they still don't work, you might check out some articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. These articles may be particularly helpful:

https://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310049
https://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=216583

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8445) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Can't Use Hyperlinks.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Freezing Worksheet Tabs

If you have a lot of worksheets in a workbook, you may wonder if you can "freeze" the position of some of those worksheet ...

Discover More

Unique Date Displays

Need to print an elapsed date in a strange format? It's easier to do than may appear at first glance. Here's a discussion ...

Discover More

Pulling Access Information into Excel

If you have a lot of data stored in Access databases, you may want to get at that information using Excel. There are a ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Pasting HTML without Hyperlinks

Excel allows you to copy information from the web and paste it into a worksheet. Problem is, the pasting could take some ...

Discover More

ScreenTip for an Image

You can configure images in Excel so that if someone clicks on them, a macro is executed. You cannot, however, have a ...

Discover More

Opening Sites in a Browser

You can store all sorts of information in a worksheet, including Web addresses. If you want to open those addresses in a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.