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Why Can’t People Click on Links I Send Them?

Question: Hi, Leo. Thanks for your extremely helpful advice with regard to everything. I have a Gmail account and I often feel like sending important newsletters to my friend. Each time I do that, however, none of my friends are able to click any of the embedded links (such as the ones that say, “click here”). I’d like to know why I’m not able to forward any such newsletters when I do so through the Gmail basic HTML or mobile interface – and why the same newsletter can successfully be forwarded through the desktop clients?

I’m at a bit of a loss as to why sending via an internet-based email program would be different than a desktop email application in this regard. Ultimately, the forwarded email message is the same.

But I have several ideas that may affect what’s going on here.

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Forwarded email and links

Preventing people from clicking links is essentially a security measure. You have to remember that there’s so much malicious email out there that most email programs and even email providers try to protect people from clicking unsafe links. Sometimes, email providers and programs can get overzealous, but what they’re doing is not that bad an idea.

Ultimately, what the recipient of an email actually sees depends on many things.

  • The links themselves can cause problems: how they’re coded, what they look like, and where they say they go (and where they actually go).
  • The email service that your recipient uses can block links. Your recipient may need to adjust either their security software or their email program and the options that determine what can and can’t be clicked.
  • Mouse & HandGlobal settings such as “Always allow me to click on links” may be unchecked. Sometimes, it’s a per-user setting so that the recipient can say, “Whenever I get an email from this sender, enable the links because I trust where this email came from.” This fix can be as simple as a click when they see a message or adding your email address to their contact list.

Unfortunately, this issue of disabled links in a forwarded email has me puzzled. Something not strictly related to the email content is what’s causing the recipient’s email services and email programs to consider this message (and the links in it) questionable.

Remember that this is out of your control. Links aren’t clickable because the email program at the receiving end either doesn’t support clickable links or is protecting their user from something that that email program thinks is suspicious. I’d probably check with the recipient and have them double check their settings.

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5 comments on “Why Can’t People Click on Links I Send Them?”

  1. When I ‘Send a link by E-mail’ in Internet Explorer, my email program, Windows Live Mail, does not put a carriage return after the link. Without the carriage return, the link is unclickable. With a carriage return, it works.

  2. When I send people a link in an email, I always give the full url, and don’t hide it in html (“click here”). If they can’t click the url, they can copy it to the browser line and get the stuff.

  3. I’m attaching hyperlinks on excel, which open fine until i try to send the spreadsheet through email.
    when the hyperlink is clicked a comment comes up saying the link cannot be opened or something along those lines.
    I’ve gone through all the settings to make sure everything is as it should be and everything is good and it should allow hyperlinks etc but still no success when sending through email.

    please help and this would really impress the customer i’m trying to send it to and save a lot of time.

    • You need to think through locations for those links. For instance, if it’s pointing to “C:something-something” then it is locating the file on your computer. It will locate it just fine for you. But on the receiving end that computer will try to look for the file on its own C drive… and then nothing will be found.


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