How can I apply KB Article 280680 to Office 2007/2010?

In the beginning, there was KB Article 218153 – “Error message when clicking hyperlink in Office: ‘Cannot locate the Internet server or proxy server’ “. And it was good. This KB Article contains a registry key change that implements the ‘ForceShellExecute’ key to resolve the problem in the title of the article. But the fix has an unfortunate side-effect – it can render you unable to follow a hyperlink that points to an Office document. And for that problem KB Article 280680 was written. This article, “Cannot follow hyperlink to Office document” applies to Office 2003. But can this article apply to Office 2007 and 2010?

The answer is, yes it can. The registry keys in the article are split using the following convention:

Excel.Sheet.5 – applies to Excel 95

Excel.Sheet.8 – Applies to Excel versions 97 through 2003

Excel.Sheet.12 – Applies to Excel 2007 and 2010

So to make this article work for Excel 2007 and 2010 you would follow these directions:

1.Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

2.In Registry Editor, browse to the following subkey:

For Excel 2003 – modify the following registry key:


For Excel 2007 and 2010 – modify the following registry key:


3.In the shell key, double-click Default, and then type OpenDDE in the Value data box.

4.Right-click the Open key and click Rename. Type OpenDDE.

5.Right-click the Shell key, point to New, and then click Key.

6.Name the new subkey Open.

7.Double-click Default in the Open key, and then type Open without DDE in the Value data box.

8.Right-click the Open key, point to New, and then click Key.

9.Name the new subkey Command.

10.Double-click Default in the Command key, and then type

“<installation path>\Excel.exe” /f “%1”

 Where the installation path by default is

 Office 2010

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE”

 Office 2007

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE”

 Office 2003

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office11\EXCEL.EXE”

 If you are on a 32-bit operating system, remove the (x86) from the path above.

Comments (2)

  1. Trupen Modi says:

    Good to see the Technet blogs. I worked with Will on fixing this issue for our organization and the steps above are accurate.

  2. Aaron Lawrence says:

    For me, the original article 218153 does not work on Office 2010. Excel still tries to open links itself, before passing to the default browser. Any thoughts?

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