ActiveX Error in Microsoft Outlook Signature Blocks

Signature files in Microsoft Outlook can pick up an aggravating ActiveX error, which I have associated with editing the signature file in MS Word but may also have other causes. A little edit to HTML source file will chase the message away without compromising the formatting of your signature file. Here's the Error Message:

One or more ActiveX controls could not be displayed because either:
1) Your current security settings prohibit running ActiveX controls on this page, or
2) You have blocked a publisher of one of the controls.
As a result, the page may not display correctly.


The Solution:

Start by opening the folder that contains your signature files.

  • For Vista:
    • %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures
  • For XP and Windows 2003:
    • %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

Copy the appropriate line, click Start > Run, then Ctrl–V or otherwise paste the text onto the Run line and press Enter.

You'll see 3 versions of your signature file (in .htm, .txt and .rtf formats). Open the .htm signature file in Notepad or your preferred text editor (never in a Word Processor such as MS Word.) Then go to Edit > Find and type in “<object”.

You're looking for a line of code that resembles the following:

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

Just remove that <OBJECT tag, everything from <OBJECT to /OBJECT> and save the file.

Optionally, to make sure that the ActiveX object doesn’t come back you can make the file read only (In Windows Explorer select the file and Right-Click > Properties > Read Only), but this might limit your ability to edit your signature block from within Outlook, so I'd wait and see if this fix holds before I do that.

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