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Links in HotMail emails are often disabled to protect you. I'll look at how to enable Links in Hotmail, and how to work around it even when not enabled.

Links are not active when I receive an e-mail in Hotmail. How can I unsubscribe to a mailing when the "click here" does not work?

HotMail's trying to protect you.

As you know, there's a lot of bogus email out there that includes links to questionable, if not downright harmful, content. HotMail disables links from senders that it doesn't recognize.

So, the trick of course, is to help HotMail recognize the senders you trust.

Or, if you want to live life on the edge, disable the feature completely.

Near the top of the message containing the disabled links, you'll probably see a message like this:

HotMail Disabled Links Warning

Hyperlinks are considered "internet content".

What might not be obvious is that the two statements at the end are click-able:

Enable all message content (once) - click this and the links will be enabled within this message until you close it. So if it's a newsletter you're trying to unsubscribe from (hopefully not mine!), you'd click this, then go click on the unsubscribe link.

Never disable content from this sender - click this and links (and images) from email sent by this sender only will always be enabled. If you subscribe to a newsletter, this is how you might enable its content for this, and subsequent issues.

Now, you can, if you like, turn this feature off completely, but naturally I don't recommend it. Among other things, "internet content" includes images - meaning that items called "bugs" can be included in HTML formatted email that are fetched when you open the email. This can tell the sender that you did, in fact, open the email. In the case of spammers, it tells them that their email has reached a real person and is worth sending even more spam to.

To turn it off, click on the Options link in the upper right of your HotMail screen:

HotMail Options Link

Then click on Mail in the menu on the left:

HotMail Options Menu

Click on Mail Display Settings:

HotMail Mail Options

The, finally, select the setting you want for Display Internet Content:

HotMail Display Internet Content Option

"...this copy/paste technique is the safest of all, because it also bypasses any attempts to disguise URLs..."

Note that for email HotMail considered junk, you'll need to explicitly mark it as "not junk" before links are activated.

With that in mind, there's one more technique that's safer than activating anything, or marking anything you're not totally sure of as "not junk".

For many links, "copy / paste" works well.

Here's a bit of a message displayed in HotMail with the link disabled:

Click on this link example

Now, by clicking, holding the mouse button down, and dragging across the URL in that message to select it, I can then right click on the selected link and click on Copy:

Click on this link with context menu

Having copied that link to the clipboard, you can now go up to the address bar in Internet Explorer and paste it in:

Pasting into Internet Explorer

Resulting in:

Pasted into Internet Explorer

In general this copy/paste technique is the safest of all, because it also bypasses any attempts to disguise URLs - links that look like on thing but take you to something else entirely - which is extremely common in phishing scams.

Article C2769 - August 25, 2006 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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13 Comments
John Dossey
August 26, 2006 6:09 AM

Excellent advice and instructions about Internet content in Hotmail. I hve been a 10-year usr of Hotmail, and I learned a few new things from this article myself. Thanks for the good advice. I agree with you COMPLETELY.

Jorge Aguilar
August 29, 2006 8:23 PM

Yesterday I sent a complain about Hotmail links arrived dead in my account and in Gmail arrived active... But I did not the reason. Thanks Leo...

niraj sherchan
August 31, 2006 6:54 AM

dear sir,
i have a problems in my e-mail address is digitalniraj@sherchan.com .problem likes my e-mail works is msn messager but my inbox doesn't work same e-mail address.

kylie
September 11, 2006 1:33 AM

i want to make an email address but i do not know what to call it i am asking if you could give me some ideas

Hamza
September 13, 2006 7:06 AM

i have not pc and my job is hard because i have also no time ..........
Hamza Memon
Thanks

lama
November 14, 2006 8:45 AM

why website hotmail is forbidden - error 403 ?

sarah
December 7, 2006 5:38 AM

can you please get bebo unblocked in schools! thanks

taleb
June 5, 2007 1:28 AM

Dear Friend

I was sutpid waking up at ana early morning , I received a messaage from aa friend which has been held in the Junk Emails, but Hotmail asked me if I have to mark it sfe or unsafe , and I clicked on the wrong '' marke as unsfe " And I los he messge , I would like to ge it back ,; is thaat possible ? nad How?

thank you

Leo A. Notenboom
June 5, 2007 9:18 AM

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Not possible. Read this article for more:
http://ask-leo.com/messages_deleted_on_hotmail_can_i_get_them_back_somehow.html

Thanks,

Leo

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John Connell
November 29, 2007 4:52 AM

In Hotmail Live there is no way to change "mail display settings." How can I activate my links in outgoing messages?

D-Rock
November 29, 2007 2:38 PM

Thanks Leo for the most informative and easily understandable computer instructions I've ever seen!

marlin hughes
May 17, 2009 2:28 AM

HELP! I want to make a link with my children, but it keeps rejecting my request!

steve
June 3, 2011 7:32 AM

using yahoo email,firefox,xp
when trying to send link for e mail i am directed to a hotmail page.i use yahoo e mail.

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