Links in Army Enterprise Email

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This will probably be useful to only a few people, but maybe it will help someone who is frantically searching the internet for an answer.

Roughly a year ago, the Army changed its email service to an Exchange Enterprise system. The old address, which I have had for years (decades?) forwards to the new address, which I never can seem to easily remember. It seems, though, that links in forwarded emails are stripped out for security purposes. This is not a problem if the url is visible in the message, like this:

http://google.com

One can simply copy and paste the url into the browser. If the link is embedded into text or a graphic, though, there is nothing to copy. Any link seems to go to

https://web-cols01.mail.mil/owa/UrlBlockedError.aspx

This makes it impossible to retrieve the original linked URL.

The problem that I had was with the Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP), which sells copies of Microsoft Office to military members at a very low price. For various reasons, I don’t like using Office, but it’s what the military uses, and I occasionally need it. Of course, to verify eligibility, the email had to be sent to a .mil address, and the link couldn’t be opened. I tried forwarding the email to a Gmail account, but the links were still broken.

The solution was to select “Options” for the message, and forward it as an attachment to Gmail. The links were still broken, but broken in a way that the original URL could be retrieved. After forwarding as an attachment, the link to Google would be

blockedhttp://google.com

Just copy the link, paste it in, and delete the word “blocked” before pressing the enter key.

It only took two months to figure that out. It might be better if I’d simply learn the new Enterprise address.

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