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Links in HotMail emails: why aren't they active?

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.

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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.

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13 comments on “Links in HotMail emails: why aren't they active?”

  1. 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.

    Reply
  2. 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…

    Reply
  3. 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

    Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply

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