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. ...

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