Fixed the ‘Content could not be displayed because S/MIME control was not available’ error

When using Outlook Web Access (OWA) in Internet Explorer, you may encounter the “S/MIME control was not available” error. Because of these problems, users cannot open e-mail or download attachments.

The error seems to occur on systems that do not have S/MIME installed. However, in some cases, the error can also be caused by improper Internet Explorer settings or permission issues.

If you are also a victim of this error, here are some troubleshooting steps to help you fix the “S/MIME control is not available” error on Windows 10, 8, and 7 systems.


What causes the “Content cannot be displayed because S/MIME control is not available” error?

What causes the "Content cannot be displayed because S/MIME control is not available" error?

The list of possible causes is fairly well known, and users have used these causes to determine what actions to take to fix the problem. Take a look at the following list to show your scenario and apply the correct method to fix the problem.

S/MIME does not recognize Internet Explorer 11 as a browser: This scenario usually occurs after an upgrade and can be easily fixed by adding the OWA page to trusted sites or by looking at compatibility.

S/MIME is not installed correctly: If it is not installed at all or if there is something wrong with the installation, make sure you install it correctly.

S/MIME does not have administrator rights to run Internet Explorer: Some of its features may not work correctly if Internet Explorer is not run as an administrator.


How do I fix the “Content cannot be displayed because S/MIME control is unavailable” error?

How do I fix the "Content cannot be displayed because S/MIME control is unavailable" error?

Install S/MIME

First of all, if you have not installed S/MIME, it may not work and display an error message. Also, if you have updated your operating system, the update may interrupt the installation or reset some settings.

To fix the error, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook Web Access and connect to the client.
  2. Click the Settings button in the upper right corner and then click Show All Settings.
  3. Click Settings, then go to the S/MIME tab and click Download S/MIME Control.
  4. Once downloaded, run it and complete the installation by following the instructions on the screen.
  5. When your browser refreshes, you will see the message “This website wants to run the following add-on”. Simply right-click and click “Run on all websites”.
  6. In the security alert window, click Run.
Add OWA to Trusted Sites and use the compatibility view

This is one of the most effective methods of fixing the error – S/MIME control is not available. Adding OWA to Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer avoids many problems and the compatibility view can make it compatible with different versions of the web browser and OWA.

  1. Launch Internet Explorer and click the gear icon to select Internet options.
  2. On the Security tab, click Trusted Sites -> Sites.
  3. Paste the OWA site into the new window and click Add. Turn off the server validation required (https:) for all sites in the area.
  4. Go back to the home page, click on the gear icon, and select compatibility display settings.
  5. Paste the same link under “Add this site” and click the “Add” button.
Uncheck the “Internet Options” section.

Internet Explorer has an option that may cause the S/MIME control to be unavailable. You can uncheck it to solve the problem.

  1. Go to Internet Options -> Advanced.
  2. Scroll down to the Security section and uncheck Do not save encrypted pages to disk.
Use Internet Explorer as an administrator

Sometimes when installing S/MIME, you need to give the browser administrator rights to use it in Internet Explorer.

  1. Go to C: Program Filesinternet explorer and right-click on exe and select properties.
  2. Go to “Shortcut”, click “Advanced” -> “Run as administrator” and save your changes.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Go to. Settings -> Mail -> S/MIME.
  2. When you are prompted to run or save the file, select "Run" or "Open" (the choice depends on the web browser you are using).
  3. You may be asked again to confirm that you want to use the software. Select "Run" to continue with the installation.

  1. Install the S/MIME extension.
  2. Set up the S/MIME extension.
  3. Download and install the S/MIME control.
  4. S/MIME settings in Outlook on the Web (OWA).

  1. You can use client certificates, also called "S/MIME certificates" or "personal certificates", to digitally sign or encrypt emails, most email clients.
  2. The certificate is installed on your Mac and appears under My Certificates in Keychain Access.

S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a widely used method (or rather protocol) for sending digitally signed and encrypted messages. S/MIME allows encrypted and digitally-signed e-mail messages. It also helps improve privacy and data security (through encryption) for email messages.