Changing default mail link back to Outlook

Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

Sometimes Outlook ‘forgets’ that it’s the place for all email work.  You click on an email address and should get an Outlook new message window.  Windows 8 users get the (almost) useless Mail app filling their screen.

The problem isn’t Outlook, its Windows and something that’s changed the Windows default action for making a new message.

Usually you don’t have to dig around in Windows.  Outlook will check that it’s the default program each time it starts.  The setting to do that is at Options | General | Make Outlook the default program for E-mail, Contacts and Calendar.

The ‘Default Programs’ button will open the Windows Control Panel.

However we’ve seen situations where Outlook’s check doesn’t work and clicking a Mailto: link opens the thrice-damned Mail app.

To fix that go to the Windows Control Panel.  That’s where the default program settings have been for many years.

In Windows 8 go to Control Panel | Default Programs | Set Associations scroll down to near the bottom and find the Mailto entry (URL: Mailto Protocol).  It should be set to Outlook (desktop) as shown here.

If not, click on Change Program and choose Outlook from the list.

If you want to see what defaults are linked to a particular program go to Control Panel | Default Programs | Set Default Programs.   Choose the program and some limited information is displayed.

For all the details click on ‘Choose defaults for this program’ and you’ll see all the items linked to that program.

See that ‘Mailto’ is shown here as well.

Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address