Last reviewed on September 4, 2013   —  16 comments

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 Application Command
Internet Mail and News rundll32.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

Comments

  1. G L HAWKINS says

    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.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. In Windows 7, in Internet Options, Programs tab, click Programs - or in the Start menu's Search field type default programs - on the default programs dialog, use the top entry, Set your default programs.

  2. Donna says

    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 says

    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 says

    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?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The mailto: protocol is probably associated with Outlook. If you aren't using Outlook, I would uninstall it... otherwise, go to Windows Explorer's Tools, Options, file types tab and look for url:mailto in the file type column. It's near the bottom (I actually have two on my windows xp install) - select it and click advanced, then select open and click edit. I'm not sure i you just need the path to eudora, only that you don't want Outlook.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You need to set Outlook as default so you can send pictures in picasa? What version of Outlook?

  5. dawjDon Williams says

    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.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Outlook 2013 moves the location of mapi32.dll and moves the profile in the registry. I'm guessing it's either one of those or the registry is read only to Eudora. Try starting Eudora using Run as Administrator and see if it can be set as the default.

  6. Samantha Weppelman says

    Hi Diane, I seem to be having the same problem with the error message: "Either there is not default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfil the messaging request ..." I have set outlook as the default in default programs and in outlook itself as well as in set program access and computer defaults. I have Windows 8.1 with outlook 2013. How do I make the change listed above "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:" As I cannot see a file types tab??

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      In newer versions of Windows, it's in Control panel, Default Programs, associate a file type. However, if you use 64-bit Office, it's likely the problem is that the other program is 32-bit and can't access Outlook because it's 64-bit.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Try running the Repair option for Office in Control panel, Program and Features. That should fix any problems that are not related to using 64-bit Office.

  7. Bruce Lister says

    Hi Diane

    I simply want to create a macro to open both [Folders] and [Mail] dialogue boxes simultaneously and place them where I want them?

    Can you please help?

    Thanks
    Bruce

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      I'm not sure I understand - you mean the main Outlook windows or something else?

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