When you send attachments from Windows Explorer and use the Send to > Mail Recipient command, the message does not use your default stationery, signature, etc. If using Outlook 2010 pre-SP1, the email account may not be the default account set in Account Settings.
It’s possible to create a custom Send to shortcut that uses your default stationery and signature, with your desired email account selected.
Background: Modern versions of Windows have a feature called "Send to" which allows you to right click on a file in Windows Explorer and send it to one of several locations or applications, including "Mail Recipient". This feature does not require Outlook; it will work with any email client that is set as the default client in Internet Options.
When you use Send to... Mail Recipient, the message subject will be filled in with
Emailing: attachment_filename" and the message body will include a warning:
Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments. Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.
This text is added by the sendmail.dll file included in Windows and cannot be disabled. Select All (Ctrl+A) and begin typing to quickly remove the text in the message body.
Because of the method used to access Outlook, the Send to command will always use the Outlook editor, not Word (Outlook 2003 and older, if Word is set as your email editor) and a signature will not be added to the message body. If you use a default stationery, it will not be used.
You can use this method to create shortcuts that use custom forms, including pre-addressed forms.
However, you can make your own send to shortcut and it will honor your new message settings, including adding your default signature, using your stationery, and using the editor of your choice.
You cannot select multiple files to attach to a message using the Shortcut method. Use Joseph's Script Method if you want to select multiple attachments. Otherwise, you will need to add one file using the shortcut, then drag others to the open message form. If you use a shortcut you create to send images, you will not get the Image Resizer dialog that comes up with the Mail Recipient command.
If your send to menu is not working, see Send to Mail Recipient not working
To create your own shortcut, find the SendTo folder.
In Windows 7/8/10 and Vista, look for it at C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo. Use the following command to jump to the folder.
To jump to the folder, copy the correct command for your version of Windows and paste it into the address bar of Windows Explorer or in the Run command (open it using Windows key + R).
- Right click and choose New > Shortcut.
- Browse to find Outlook.exe, and add /c IPM.note to it.
Use the /a and /m address switches to add an attachment and address to the message.
With Outlook 2013 click-to-run, the command to add the selected file as an attachment and address the message will look like the following if you use 64-bit Office. The path is under C:\Program Files (x86)\ if you use 32-bit Office. Using the /c IPM.Note switch is optional and only necessary if you want to use a different message form.
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\outlook.exe" /c ipm.note /m email@address /a
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE14\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note /a /m firstname.lastname@example.org
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note /a
Using Outlook 2003, the command line looks like:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note
Older versions of Outlook use the same command line as Outlook 2003 but with the correct path to Outlook.exe.
If you often send messages to the same people, you can use preaddressed custom forms or use the /m switch (/m email@example.com or /m alias) in a shortcut's command line. Or you can create a custom form to use instead of the default form, just replace IPM.note with the name of your custom form.
The command line to address the message is as follows. Note: the /m switch doesn't work in combination with many other switches with all versions. If it's not working with your version of Outlook, you can use preaddressed published forms.
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note /m dianep
Create a custom Send to shortcut tutorial
Follow these steps to create a Send to shortcut to a custom form.
- Open a new message form.
- Select the account you want to use and delete the signature.
- If you always want to use the same subject, enter it.
- Publish the form to the default publishing location. (See Show developer ribbon if using Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013.)
- Go to the Send to folder. (C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo or %appdata%\microsoft\windows\sendto in Windows 78/10 and Vista)
- Right click and choose New, Shortcut.
- Browse to and select Outlook.exe (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office??\OUTLOOK.EXE)
- Type /c ipm.note.form_name /a following outlook.exe. The location field will resemble this line:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note.granny /a
Click Next, enter a friendly name for the shortcut and finish.
Now when you right click on a file in Windows Explorer and choose your new shortcut from the send to menu, the new message will use the desired account, your default stationery and signature.
- If you delete the account from Outlook or change its name, the shortcut will revert to using the default account.
- In older versions of Outlook, publish forms from the Tools, Forms menu.
- In Windows XP, the Sendto folder is at C:\Documents and Settings\username\SendTo
Instead of creating a shortcut in the Send to folder, you can edit the registry to add a command to the right-click context menu, just under the Open, Print, and Edit commands.
Note that when you use this method and select multiple items, you'll create one message for each attachment. You can't use this method to add multiple attachments to one messages. If you need to add multiple attachments, use the shortcut to open a new message form with one attachment then drag the other attachments to the open message.
To use this method, create the registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\*\shell\Send to Boss\Command
The default value will be the path to your Outlook.exe and the switches. As with the shortcut method, the address switch (/m) will not work with Outlook 2007/2010.
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.note / m firstname.lastname@example.org "%1"
Download a .reg file here. Edit the path to reflect your version of Outlook and edit the display name as necessary then change the extension from txt to reg and double click to run.
Do it for me
Following are registry files that will create a basic Send to shortcut for Outlook 2010, 2007, and 2003.
Outlook 2016, 2019 - 64-bit or 32-bit on 32-bit Windows
Outlook 2013 - 64-bit or 32-bit on 32-bit Windows
Outlook 2010 - 64-bit or 32-bit on 32-bit Windows
Outlook 2007 on 32-bit Windows
Outlook 2003 on 32-bit Windows
Send to Mail Recipient not working
If you are missing the Mail Recipient shortcut in the Send to folder, go to the Send to folder then create a text file in the folder. Rename the file MailRecipient.MAPIMail (do not use .txt extension).
Copy the command and paste it as the text file name.
These are the steps if using Windows 8/10:
- Type shell:sendto in the File Explorer address bar to open the Send to folder.
- On the View tab, tick File Name Extensions to show extensions.
- Right-click and choose New > Text Document
- Paste MailRecipient.MAPIMail in as the file name & delete .txt
Joseph's Script Method
Joseph's method uses a windows script and allows you to select multiple files and attach them to a new message, preserving your signature and stationery settings.
To use, open Notepad then copy this code and paste it in to notepad. Save it as SendToMailRecipient.vbs. You can either save it in the SendTo folder or save it elsewhere and create a shortcut to it to place in the SendTo folder.
Adobe Acrobat addins may remove your signature when you use this script. Disable Adobe Send and Track to fix.
Option Explicit Dim objArgs, OutApp, oNameSpace, oInbox, oEmailItem, olMailItem Dim a, oAttachments, subjectStr, olFormatHTML olMailItem = 0 olFormatHTML = 2 Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments 'gets paths of selected files Set OutApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application") 'opens Outlook Set oEmailItem = OutApp.CreateItem(olMailItem) 'opens new email For a = 0 to objArgs.Count - 1 Set oAttachments = oEmailItem.Attachments.Add(objArgs(a)) subjectStr = subjectStr & Right(objArgs(a),Len(objArgs(a))-(InStrRev(objArgs(a),"\"))) & ", " 'recreates the default Subject e.g. Emailing: file1.doc, file2.xls Next If subjectStr = "" then subjectStr = "No Subject " oEmailItem.Subject = "Emailing: " & Left(subjectStr, (Len(subjectStr)-2)) oEmailItem.BodyFormat = olFormatHTML oEmailItem.Display
Joseph's Script with a Signature
This version of Joseph's script adds a custom subject line with yesterday's date and a signature.
Option Explicit Dim objArgs, OutApp, oNameSpace, oInbox, oEmailItem, olMailItem Dim a, oAttachments, subjectStr, olFormatHTML Dim objFSO,strSigFilePath, objSignatureFile, strBuffer olMailItem = 0 olFormatHTML = 2 Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments 'gets paths of selected files Set OutApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application") 'opens Outlook Set oEmailItem = OutApp.CreateItem(olMailItem) 'opens new email For a = 0 to objArgs.Count - 1 Set oAttachments = oEmailItem.Attachments.Add(objArgs(a)) subjectStr = subjectStr & Right(objArgs(a),Len(objArgs(a))-(InStrRev(objArgs(a),"\"))) & ", " Next Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") strSigFilePath = "C:\Users\windowsuser\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures\" Set objSignatureFile = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strSigFilePath & "Diane Poremsky.htm") strBuffer = objSignatureFile.ReadAll objSignatureFile.Close oEmailItem.Subject = "Custom subject with yesterday's date " & date -1 oEmailItem.BodyFormat = olFormatHTML oEmailItem.HTMLBody = "My custom body text about this attached file: " & Left(subjectStr, len(subjectStr)-2) & ". " & strBuffer oEmailItem.Display