What does ForceShellExecute?

Copper Contributor

Hi guys,

we got that error, where you can't open a certain link from a word document. 

The solution might be to set the registry key "ForceShellExecute". 

What exactly does this setting? Are there any concerns about security? 


My research in the internet ended with lots of results that this key is solving the problem, but I didn't found an answer to my question.


Thanks in advance.

7 Replies
What version of Office are you using? Does the issue affect all links in all documents, or just links or just one link in a particular document? Do you get an error when you use CTRL+Click on a Link or does nothing happen? Sometimes I find it is necessary to use CTRL+Click twice on some links.

Try running an On-line repair of the Office installation as detailed in the Knowledge Base article at:

we're using Microsoft Office 2016. So far it affects Word-Documents as well as Excel-Documents. The weird thing is, that it only affects websites with .asp ending.
The error message says: Unable to open: example.com. Cannot download the information you requested. Copying the link inside the browser manually does work. Exporting the Word file into a pdf is another workaround to get that link working.

I tried the On-line repair, but that didn't fix the problem.
Can you provide examples of the links with which you have the problem?
What internet Browser do you have set as the default under Windows>Settings>Apps>Default apps>Web browser.

Here, with Google Chrome as the default there was no problem accessing that website after pasting the URL into 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Word in Microsoft 365.
I'm using Mozilla Firefox and tried Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer as well. All with the same negative result.
We're using a proxy for internet connections -maybe thats affecting the problem? But if so, why does another page like google.com work?
I found the following as a possible solution: https://superuser.com/questions/1375679/microsoft-word-unable-to-open-https-link-within-document
Does anyone know, what this registry key is doing? I'm concernd that it might affect our network security.