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Error Inserting HTML Signature in Outlook

When inserting a signature into an HTML email message you receive the following message:

  • “Your current security settings prohibit running ActiveX Controls on this page”

… although the signature appears correctly.

This occurs when you create a signature using the Advanced Edit function under Tools, Options, Mail Format, Signatures. The signature is then edited using Microsoft Word which inserts a reference to active content (“Smart Tags”) in the resulting file and this is blocked by Outlook when inserted.


  • Do not use the Advanced Edit function when creating the signature.

  • Disable Smart Tags in Microsoft Word by going to Tools, Options, Save and disable Embed Smart Tags. (However, not all formatting will appear correctly.)

Manual Editing

The signature can be manually edited as follows:

  1. Close Outlook.

  2. Click Start, Run, type %APPDATA% and click OK.

    The contents of the Application Data folder appears.

  3. Double-click Microsoft.

  4. Double-click Signatures.

  5. Right-click Signature.htm, where “Signature” is the name of the signature.

    Choose Copy.

  6. Right-click and choose Paste. A backup file will be created.

  7. Right-click Signature.htm and choose Open WithNotepad.

  8. Press Ctrl-F and enter object. Choose OK. The cursor will be moved to a section which contains the following:

    <object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object>

  9. Delete this section, taking care not to remove any of the text before or after.

  10. Close Notepad and choose Yes to save when prompted.

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