How to Unblock Links in Microsoft Outlook

Updated July 20, 2017

Normally, you can click on a link in an Outlook message to follow it, but sometimes links in messages are blocked. In some cases, they are blocked because Outlook thinks that the message is a suspicious one and that the link may not be safe. There are also reports of rare instances where Outlook mistakenly blocks a link that was copied and pasted into the original message.

Regardless of why a link is blocked, you may still want or need to unblock that link so you can follow it. There isn't one approach that is guaranteed to work, but there are a few options you can try to follow a blocked link.

Adjust Outlook's Junk Mail filters. You can adjust Outlook's security levels to increase or reduce the likelihood that it will treat a particular message as suspicious. You may be able to get it to unblock the link long enough for you to follow it by reducing Outlook's security level temporarily.

Adjust Outlook's Automatic Download settings, which are found in the Trust Center of Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010. You can uncheck "Don't Download Pictures Automatically in HTML Email Messages or RSS Items" to temporarily unblock the link.

Paste the link outside of Outlook. Right-click the blocked link in Outlook and a shortcut menu appears. Click "Copy Hyperlink," then open a new browser window or tab and paste the copied link into the address bar of the browser. Look for the characters "BLOCKED::" (without the parentheses) in the hyperlink and delete them. Press "Enter" to have the browser follow the link.


Outlook usually has good reasons to block a link. Unblocking and following links that Outlook has blocked can lead you to suspicious or even dangerous websites.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Outlook
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About the Author

Based in Morris County, N.J., Bill Mann has written more than 12 technical books since 1993. His titles include "I Want My MP3" and "How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007." Mann holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.