How to remove "friendlier link" formatting in Outlook?

Occasional Contributor

In April, Microsoft introduced "friendlier" links when linking to a file in OneDrive or SharePoint.


I can see how this is useful for 1:1 or 1:few emails with these type of links, as it also helps check permissions. We have templates we use for companywide messaging, and this styling does not work with those and there doesn't seem to be a way to make it go away. Anyone figured out a workaround yet? I have tried what is mentioned in the article, but that just makes it show the long ugly SharePoint Online link, not a shortened hyperlink text like "click here" without any styling. The worst part is the grey highlight on these links.

3 Replies

@Natalie Swallow 


We had this problem in our heavily styled email templates. I haven't seen a way to remove the formatting, but if you use the right click options to Paste (Keep Text Only): a little clipboard icon with "A" in the lower right corner. That just puts in the text of the link and applies zero formatting, but that's probably not the desired look.


I don't think this was tested a lot with emails that have lots of CSS formatting. Every link pasted in the email automatically goes into the gray background formatting and just messes things up. If you can contact your O365 tenant admin, they could probably start an incident ticket with Microsoft.

@Natalie Swallow Hello, we have also struggled with this new feature and the way it has affected our company wide email communications and templated newsletters. Fortunately, we found a simple solution by updating the text styles. 


Select your (not so) 'friendly link' and navigate to the format text styles pane. It should by default automatically have 'smart link' detected. Right click and 'modify'. You should then be able to fully customize the styles to match your standard hyperlinks. If the smart link style is not automatically selected, you will need to expand the styles options, show all styles, and manually select 'smart link'.


This solution will not fix any access issues and you will still have to manually remove the small icon. Hope this helps!


The way I get around this (and to note, this also gets rid of the little icon) is: 1. Right click on on the link 2. Click "Show Full URL" 3. Right click on the full link 4. Click "Edit hyperlink" 5. In the "Text to display" field put the link text you want.

Then if you want to remove the grey highlight: 1. Select the whole link 2. On the "Format Text" tab select "Styles" (you may have to click on the little thing in the bottom-right corner of the styles section to expand it) 3. Click "Apply Styles" 4. Select "hyperlink" 5. Then edit the font/size etc. to suit (in the usual way rather than in the styles thing).

Bit of a faff but it works for me :)