To Change the Default E-mail Program in Windows

Last reviewed on September 4, 2013

A common issue with Microsoft Internet Explorer is controlling the e-mail program used when you click on a mail address on a web page. If it’s not set correctly, you may get a “Can’t create object” error message.

In Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can set the default mail client in the Control Panel’s Default Programs applet. Select Outlook from the list of applications on the left and click the button to Set this program as default.

set-as-default

When you use the 64-bit versions of Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, some applications will report that there is no default email client when they try to send email. The problem is not that there is no default email client, but that the application can’t access the 64-bit version. You’ll need to use the 32-bit version of Outlook for the Send to menus to work.

Changing the default program

The easiest way to set the program is to use the Internet applet in Control Panel or choose View | Internet Options in MSIE. On the Programs tab, select the program you want to use from the Mail list.

If you don’t see a change, even after restarting MSIE or restarting Windows, then you can make this change manually. In Windows Explorer, choose View | Options. On the File Types tab, you’ll need to edit the Open event for “URL:MailTo Protocol.” Sample entries are as follows, for different Microsoft e-mail programs:

Email ApplicationCommand
Internet Mail and Newsrundll32.exe C:\Windows\System\Mailnews.dll,Mail_RunDLL
Outlook Express“C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\Msimn.exe” /mailurl:%1
Windows Messaging or
Microsoft Exchange
rundll32.exe url.dll,MailToProtocolHandler “%1″
Microsoft Outlook“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe” -c IPM.Note /m “%1″

Adjust the path to Mailnews.dll or Outlook.exe as needed to match your own system.

Notes

Outlook 8.02 and later versions support additional parameters in mailto commands placed in web pages and e-mail messages, to add the subject and more recipients. Some examples:

mailto:someone@slipstick.com;test@example.com?subject=Comment

mailto:test@example.com?subject=Suggestion?cc=me@mycompany.com?bcc=myboss@mycompany.com

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.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

11 responses to “To Change the Default E-mail Program in Windows”

  1. G L HAWKINS

    WINDOWS 7 DOES NOT HAVE ANY OF THE TABS THAT YOU

    SPEAK OF IN YOUR TUTOTIAL. HOW DO I FIND OUT HOW TO

    SET UP DEFAULT FOR WINDOWS 7.

  2. Donna

    That still does not correct the problem. Att/Yahoo does not show up as a default program so you can't select it. I've tried everything to change the MAILTO protocol. The only choices I get are Google and Windows live. I want to use my yahoo/att to send mail. Also in the Internet Explorer options under the programs tab, att/yahoo isn't in the list. How do I get it to be my default MAILTO program?

  3. Donna

    still confused....I already have the yahoo toolbar installed. ATT and yahoo are the same; well actually it's called att powered by yahoo. I have the yahoo toolbar installed with messenger. So I don't understand what you are saying I need to do in reference to accessing yahoo through web browser. what does that mean?

  4. Jerry Stern

    When I access the Internet Options/Programs on my computer it shows that EUDORA is the program default used for e-Mail. In reality, when I click on a link to an e-Mail account my system tries to start the Outlook Wizard, which I do not wish to use. I have not been able to disable this function, and my setup still continues to show EUDORA as the default program for e-Mail. Is there any work around? I currently use Windows XP SP3, with MS Office 2002 and 2010 installed on my system. Is this a function of MS Office 2010, in that it will not recognize my settings?

  5. vpvalentine

    just got 7. new to computers and use picasa email. can this be default email.

  6. dawjDon Williams

    Eudora will always run but ever since I upgraded from Office 2010 starter to Office 2013 Eudora reports that it cannot change the registry to make it the default. I have tried the default set program but it says nothing and does nothing. I can always call up and use Eudora but it's an annoyance to always see that warning message.

Leave a Reply

If the Post Coment button disappears, press your Tab key.