Best Practices for Using Microsoft Outlook from a Sales Perspective

How to Insert a File Hyperlink in an Outlook Item

Place your curer in the notes/body field of the Outlook item (in the thumbnail example below, we are using an Outlook journal entry). Unless the item is an email, on the item menu bar select Insert/File and the Insert File window will open.

Use the browser to find the file that you would like to insert a hyperlink for then select it and click the drop down arrow to the right of the Insert button (lower left hand side of the Insert File window – see thumbnail below).

Insert File Hyperlink in Outlook Item

Select Insert as Hyperlink from the Insert button drop-down menu and you will see a link appear in the body of your Outlook item. If you click on the hyperlink, the file will open.

If the item is an email then you should select Hyperlink directly from the email Insert menu as shown in the thumbnail below:

Hyperlink Option on email Insert menu

The Insert HyperLink window will now open:

Insert Hyperlink Window

Use the LookIn drop down window to navigate to the shared drive, intranet or extranet where you have the document stored and then select the document from the list box and click the OK button.  Your hyperlink will now appear in the email body.
The great thing about inserting Hyperlinks instead of the file itself is that you will always get the latest version of the linked file and a hyperlink takes up a lot less storage space in your Outlook Mailbox than an actual file.

This post was written by MistyKhan and published on November 9, 2007 in the following categories: How-To's. You can leave trackbacks on this post at this address. To follow the comments on this post subscribe to the RSS feed.


I was pleased to find this after a couple of hours casting around looking for a streamlined way to insert a file:// link into an email.

I’m using Outlook 2003, and it just seemed amazing to me that I was effectively having to type the link manually, without the help of a browse facility.

So having found this, I now realise that the facility is available to rich text format emails, but not to html format which I normally use. However, once the link is created, the format can be changed to plain text and then even on to html, and the link still works! Is there a shorter way?


Hi, Dave!

For an HTML email you want to use the Insert/Hyperlink menu item and you should be good.



  • Daveluk
  • 13:19
  • October 16, 2008
  • 1.

What happens if the ‘Insert as Hyperlink’ option is missing form the drop down option? I have tried this and have only got ‘Insert’, ‘Inset as Text’ & ‘Insert as attachment’.

Where has the other option gone?

Did you click the down chevrons at the bottom of the drop down menu – it may not have been fully extended. Also, was your email in HTML mode as opposed to rich text?

  • Mark
  • 13:45
  • November 13, 2008
  • 2.

There were no down chevrons at the bottom and the option doesn’t show in either Rich text or HTML mode??

This is an odd one as it occurs on a PC which is set up the same as lots of others and the problem doesn’t appear to be happening anywhere else. I suspect it could be a user profile problem but I’d rather not reset the whole thing if there’s a simple setting that has changed/needs changing in the registry.

Without knowing more specifics it is hard to say, but this could be a security setting issue. You might try checking the properties of the document for which you are trying to insert the hyperlink or if you have had the same result with more than one document, look at the security settings of the folder. If this is a company profile, your administrator may have implemented security protocols that are blocking the hyperlink feature.

  • Mark
  • 13:45
  • November 15, 2008
  • 3.

This is a company setup and I am the local administrator! I’ve never come across this problem before. There are no settings that I can think of that would cause this to happen to one person and not anyone else. He is trying to link to the same doc that everyone else can link to but the option just aint there. His only alternative at the moment it to create the hyperlink in Word and then copy paste it into the email.

It’s a nice technical challenge that I’m sure has a simple solution (you know how it is) and I’ll get to the bottom of it eventually.

Thanks for your comments so far.

  • Mark
  • 15:55
  • November 15, 2008
  • 4.

In Outlook 2003 HTML mail, when I type
it automatically hyperlinks when it is followed by enter or space

Thank you for your comment. That method works great for an internet link in an email, but this post references file links for files on an internal server or on your computer within other Outlook items type such as journal entries.

  • name
  • 13:54
  • June 8, 2009
  • 5.

I just fixed this almost exact issue with a co-workers pc. Under Tools-Options, choose Mail Format. Make sure the message format is Rich Text. Hers was HTML. After I changed it, the Insert as Hyperlink showed up in the drop down. Hope this works for you.

Brett, thank you for your comment. This option works great for emails, but will it also work for journal entries, appointments, etc.? Thanks again, Misty

  • BB
  • 14:26
  • July 2, 2009
  • 6.

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