Do you need help fixing the “This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect” error on your computer?

If you are getting an error window that says “This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect. Please contact your system administrator.” when you click on a hyperlink in Outlook or another program and now you’re wondering who put a restriction on your computer and when, don’t worry.  This error occurs typically after a faulty uninstallation of a third-party web browser such as Google Chrome, when the uninstall breaks the connection between your hyperlinks and your default web browser, and now your computer is trying to open those hyperlinks with a program that’s no longer installed on your computer.  The fix for this is pretty simple, so read on for the how to instructions…

How to fix the “This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect” error…

this operation has been canceled How to fix the

“This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.” Error message

If you’re seeing an error message like the one above when you click on a hyperlink, the culprit 99.9% of the time is a faulty uninstallation of a third-party web browser.  Although the third-party web browser may have uninstalled properly from your computer, your computer now doesn’t know to look for a different web browser when trying to open a hyperlink.

In order to resolve this issue, you have a few options.  Your first plan of attack, and also the simplest, would be to open your Internet Explorer (or whichever web browser you wish to use as your default) and reset the default settings.  To do this in Internet Explorer:

  1. Select Tools from the menu bar
  2. Select ‘Internet Options’
  3. Select the ‘Advanced’ tab
  4. Click ‘Reset’ under the ‘Reset Internet Explorer Settings’ field

Once you’ve reset the settings in Internet Explorer, close the program, restart your computer, and try clicking a hyperlink that gave you the error message before.  If you are still getting the “This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect. Please contact your system administrator.” error message, then you’ll have to try a different method for resolving the error.

If you are using a Windows computer, Microsoft has created a “Fix It For Me” utility which you can install on your computer, and it will automate the repair process for you.  The link for this utility can be found in Microsoft’s knowledge base article on this topic.

For those of you who wish to not use this Microsoft utility, or if you’re experiencing a similar issue on Mac – your best bet for resolving this issue without having to edit critical system files, is simply to re-download and install the web browser you previously uninstalled, then be sure to set your prefered web browser as the default web browser.  Once you’ve made the association between any hyperlinks and your preferred web browser, you can again uninstall the web browser you do not want.

Hopefully that last section made sense to you, as the process is much simpler than trying to explain it.  If you found that to be confusing at all, please either leave a comment here, or send me an email and I’ll be happy to work with you further on this!

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- By Jim Sabellico