Restrictions in effect: why Adobe is wrong to install Chrome by default

Last reviewed on April 13, 2013

Instructions to fix this error message can be found at This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect

I know I'm not the only person who is totally frustrated with software companies that decide to push other software on us. They do it because they get paid for every instance they install and they make a lot more money when the user is required to opt-out because very few people will opt-in. It's wrong in every way.

I went off on WinZip and AVG a few months ago because an update installed the AVG toolbar. AVG deleted my browser homepages and made itself my default search engine and home page. I never expected an update to a program I purchased to install junk software automatically and force me to waste an hour of my time removing the junk they installed. I deselected AVG when I first installed WinZip and updates should honor my selection, or better yet, never offer to install added software.

Now it's Adobe's turn for a lashing for installing Chrome as opt-out option with Flash updates.

I was curious as to why visitors to my "Restrictions in effect" page doubled overnight, to nearly 10,000 a day, and many people leaving comments were blasting Google as evil. Then I updated Flash and found out it was installing Chrome by default. I installed the update manually and had the opportunity to deselect it (I had to cancel the install and start over because I saw Chrome was selected by default a split second after I hit OK.)

Bad Adobe installs Chrome by default

The problem with installing Chrome by default (besides the fact that if someone wanted Chrome, it's not hard to find) is that the installation sets Chrome as the default browser and the annoyed user immediately uninstalls it without realizing they should set their preferred browser as default first. When the default browser is uninstalled, the registry keys are messed up and clicking hyperlinks in Outlook results in this error message:

"This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator."

Home users find the error message especially confusing because they don't have an administrator.

I usually blame Microsoft for not handling the uninstall of default programs better, but Adobe is wrong for making the user deselect a checkbox if they don't want Chrome, and Google is wrong for configuring Chrome as the default browser when it is installed instead of waiting for the user to choose to open Chrome.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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