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Hyperlink not working in Outlook and Word due to CCleaner registry modification


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Problem Description
Problem occurs when a link is clicked on in Word or Outlook (possibly other MS Office apps).  Instead of opening the default browser and going to the URL, the following message is displayed:  "Your organization's policies are preventing us from completing this action for you. For more info, please contact your help desk."

Cause
Registry HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> .html (and .htm) should be htmlfile.  It was CCleanerHTML.

Resolution
Change registry HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT  .html (and .htm) from CCleanerHTML back to the correct value of htmlfile.

Note:  CCleanerHTML was not seen in registry until the user type was switched from Standard to Administrator.  (If someone can explain this, it would be greatly appreciated.)

 

CCleanerHTML in registry.png

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Thanks for all of the detailed information, and for providing the screenshot.

I am curious if this is happening as a result of the CCleaner Browser changing file associations for the Administrator account on your system.

To confirm, do you have the CCleaner Browser installed on the Administrator account, or was it ever installed in the past?

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I have uninstalled CCleaner, so I can't tell you now.  This did happen on 2 computers in a small office of about 10 people.   Both users are Standard, not Admin users.  Updates would have been done either by running the install with Admin authority, or when logged into the Admin account.

If CCleaner Browser WAS installed, it was not intentional, and would have been done in the last update.  The hyperlink problem just recently surfaced. 

I might have missed the  option to uncheck it.   In  the screen shot of the CCleaner installation (attached here), the Browser option is opt in (default) to install on the first screen.  If one assumes that selecting the  'Customize' option would allow them to bypass additional software installs, the CCleaner Browser would still be installed.

I understand that providing a free version makes it necessary to bundle software to cover your costs, but doing it in an increasingly secretive and unexpected way to improve the number of unwanted installs, especially when it ends up causing multiple hours of debugging, is something I want to avoid.  I will not be using CCleaner in the future.

 

 

 

CCleaner install.jpg

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The offer as shown in that screenshot does not exist in that form since October of last year.  Did you download that image from an old website?

Offers for CCleaner Browser, or any other Piriform/Avast product, are now shown on a seperate page with very clear Decline/Accept buttons. like this:

image.png

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I agree.  That screenshot was sent to me.  I just ran the current install and, as you indicated,  there was only an option to Decline/Accept the AVG install. 

It is still a mystery to me how/when the registry was updated, replacing htmlfile with CCleanerHTML.   Do you have any ideas?  CCleaner Browser was not even part of the latest install.  

Thank you for trying to help me understand this.

 

 

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Not sure when it happened but it indicates that at sometime a user (using the admin account) installed CCleaner Browser and it was made the default browser, probably as part of the install process.
They may have done it by mistake and quickly deleted/uninstalled the CCleaner Browser hoping that no one would notice rather than admitting the mistake and asking for help?
They may even have aborted the install process, (or shut down in a panic), part way through but after it had modified those reg entries?

Seting a browser as the default browser will change those reg entries.
Changing/reseting the default browser in Windows settings should change the affected reg entries again.

To answer your question from above - CCleaner Browser wouldn't show in the reg entries for another user account as that other account would have a different default browser.

As an example my default browser is set to Firefox, and that is what those reg entries show:

image.png

 

You may want to check other file associations on the affected machine(s), for the affected account(s).
Depending on just when it was done PDF's in particular were known to get associated with 'preview' versions of CCleaner Browser during an install, so that when double clicked they opened in the browser.
That no longer happens when installing the browser now, but if the install was done some time last year then it may have happened.
https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/54685-update-no-more-pdf-file-association-changes/?tab=comments#comment-309014

 

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I would be the one who has access to the Admin account.  I have done quite a few CCleaner updates recently on different computers, but don't remember seeing any evidence that the CCleaner Browser was installed.  

What confuses me is
-  hyperlinks worked from the Admin account (registry was htmlfile)
-  hyperlinks did not work from Standard account  (registry looked OK - was htmlfile)
-  when account was changed to Admin (temporarily), hyperlinks still did NOT work, but the registry was now CCleanerHTML.  I changed CCleanerHTML to htmlfile, and this fixed the hyperlink problem.

It is as if the registry was being read from cache when Standard user, but when it was changed to Admin, the registry was physically changed. 

I hope I have explained this correctly, but the main point is if I did not change the user to Admin, I did NOT see CCleanerHTML, which explained why hyperlinks were not working.  

 

Thanks for you help

 

 

 

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Sorry I haven't got a clue why it should change like you describe, unless the admin account was showing an old registry entry and swiching accounts and then back refreshed it?
That seems unlikely though.

Just a thought, have you double checked to see if CCleaner Browser is still installed on the machine?
What is now set as the default browser for the admin account?

Second thought, it is a Chromium based browser and I know from experience that Google Chrome itself can be a pig to completely remove from a machine.
As you say you have uninstalled CCleaner itself then it might be worth searching the registry to see if anything else 'CCleaner' is still hanging around in there.

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Removing non-Microsoft 3rd party browsers from a system usually in my experience details having to set the Microsoft browser as the default - even after uninstalling a 3rd party browser because they leave many crumbs behind and one of the biggest issues is their file associations, and pretty much all of them act like that.

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I will search the registry and let you know.

Is it possible that a registry update is held in memory and overrides the actual value, pending an update (since the registry update requires admin privileges)? 

Thanks for helping me try to understand what happened. 

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2 hours ago, babble fish said:

Is it possible that a registry update is held in memory and overrides the actual value, pending an update (since the registry update requires admin privileges)?

I don't know but that is a very interesting question; especially in light of this weeks 20H2 update.

We know that Micrisoft are doing things on your computer in advance of updates (to make the update itself faster) so maybe recording registry values is a part of that?

If MS update records your registry last week and then you change it what will show in the reg editor when you open it this week?

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