Change The Default Email Program In Internet Explorer 7

You can change the default email program that is used by Internet Explorer. When you click on an email link on a Web page, this is the email client that Internet Explorer will automatically open.

To change the current email program, open Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu and click Internet Options. From the Internet Options dialog box, click the Programs tab. Use the drop down arrow beside the E-mail to select the program you want Internet Explorer to use. Click OK.

[tags]Default Email, Internet Explorer 7, IE 7, email client, email[/tags]

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  • http://TBA Bryan Seneviratne

    Hi Diana…Well Thats just grate but i dont use any of the options they give me I want to use “Gmail” so how do I do that?….Thanks.


  • jim miller

    you obviously do not know what you are talking about. Your advice for explorer 7 is totally wrong. setting defaults you give the directions for 6 not seven when talking about 7

  • Geri

    Not the solution I was looking for. When I go to Internet Explorer, click on tools and then select programs, it does not give me an opportunity on how to select a program other than outlook express or msn. There must be a way to select another program.

  • Gabriel Arce

    Sorry dear,

    However, any newbie knows this silly advice, WE are talking about to use OTHER e-mail program as gmail, yahoo, etc not the ones that are already default in IE.
    This is useless


  • burt

    how do i get comcast to be my default email program.

  • Ed Bragg

    I want Gmail, but it’s not listed. Only choices are outlook express and windows live mail. How do we get IE7 to list other email programs? I read that they only accept registered programs as default. I guess that means “purchased”, but Gmail is free and I have an account W/password. This looks like Bill Gates at work again. Wasn’t he repeated sued for tactics such as these – that is, making it almost impossile for the average person to choose which programs they want to run if they compete with MS?

  • hika

    your advice is completely wrong. you obviously don’t know what the hell your talking about. seems to me your living in the past with ie6, or maybe your just too lazy to even know if ie7 is different. i agree, this is a waste of time. thanks for nothing.

  • canard7

    The directions provided are correct but in my case IE7 still launches Outlook instead of NetZero which is the eMail provided I wish to use. Is there not a registry hack for this issue?

  • Dan

    Install the gmail notifier and follow the instructions!!!

    It works and I love it.

  • Dan
  • hikaHATER

    Hike, did you not realize that you can access the Tools menu from the new TOOLS button in IE7? Hmm?

    From there you click Internet Options and then you can access the Programs tab in the Internet Properties panel, just as the author states.

    Next time go pick up a computer manual before your critique the experts. And on your way to Barnes & Noble, swing by the local public school and pick yourself up some class.

  • nadia

    so how do you add an option like msn, gmail etc that is not listed? I think most of us have been asking the same question with no success.

  • Rob

    Dan was right earlier – you install the Gmail toolbar for IE to be able to see “Gmail” as an option in that scrolldown list. (IE – Tools – Internet Options – Programs – Default EMail client)

    I was able to do this also for Yahoo email using the Yahoo toolbar for IE — however that was IE version 6 – version 7 I couldn’t get it to work. I installed the yahoo toolbar but it didn’t show as an option for Default email client.

    I’m working on it some more today…

  • Rob

    Wow this was a tough one. Ok if you installed IE7 with your Windows XP install your basically screwed, unless you’re feeling frisky.

    If you upgraded to IE7 from IE6, you can uninstall IE7 and then install Yahoo Toolbar for IE (for Yahoo) or Google Toolbar for IE (for Gmail).

    The solution – walk over to a PC running IE6 and Yahoo Toolbar. Copy the following directories to a USB drive:

    C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\common
    C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\setup

    (The setup folder may be optional – I got it to work fine so I didn’t tweak any more)

    open up Notepad and insert the following – and save as “IE7-Yahoo fix.reg”

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    @=”URL:MailTo Protocol”
    “URL Protocol”=””




    @=”rundll32.exe \”C:\\PROGRA~1\\Yahoo!\\common\\ymmapi.dll\”,MailToProtocolHandler %1″

    Import the registry after copying those files off of your USB. You can test it quickly in IE7 by typying “mailto:” in the address bar. It worked for me on 2 different computers so it should work for you. If you’re looking for the Gmail registry settings do what I did and export the .reg from a working IE6-Google Toolbar installation. (with Gmail as default email)

    Blame Yahoo and MS for doing this – they both want us to either use their email exclusively (MS) or pay $20 for Yahoo Premium, so that it will work with Outlook Express.

  • ImAjerkPigAman

    Is there any way to have more choices rather than what is in the drop down menu such a e mail and news groups work groups? I think my computer is being hijacked as well as I have a :new: user account, one the adminstrator and one me the adminstrator/owner! I cant find, much less get rid of the adminstrator account. It comes up whenever I boot the system. Thats not all the strange stuff , but its a start.

    Thanks in advance, BTW you can call me greg if you want.

  • Michael Margolis

    This is a much easier solution. Install Yahoo Messanger (free on Yahoo). Once its installed, Yahoo becomes an option for email under the Program Tab of the Internet Options from the Control Panel.

  • Rich Gautier


    Thanks for posting – this ‘mostly’ fixes the problem. Although there is one nasty bug about it. It opens the email in the same window, rather than in a new window (although it does open a new window behind the current one with a blank URL in it). This is annoying, because you lose your place (e.g. while browsing Craigs List).

    If you find a solution to this, please post it.


  • fried12460

    actually hikahater, hika was right.the solution that this author is telling you about is just good for IE 6. people here are talking about IE7. have you ever checked it out yet? if you go to tools>internet options >programs>if you still see any drop down boxes for email in there anymore? THINK.HMMM?

  • nag

    Use this yahoo link it will automatically change your default e-mail in IE 7 to yahoo mail

  • nag
  • http://none Opal

    I too would like gmail as the brouser default email client. I just downloaded both the google toolbar and the google notifier (which will be coming right back off my computer)
    There is an option with the notifier that asks if you would like gmail to be the addy to come up when you click web pages for the contact us kind of thing.. sure I checked that box. Then I checked my brouser. It may actually be a decent work around for the original question.
    This does not however, add gmail to the drop down list in the brouser, internet options, …..
    I guess it hijacks the brouser default
    oh.. and I use IE6

  • vroc19

    Thanks for the advice, now can you tell me where the ANY key is on my keyboard?

  • Jan

    This doesn’t help me make comcast as my default email – would anyone be able to help with this?

  • Vedant Kidambi

    Diana, I tried doing what you mentioned but in the “programs” tab of the “internet options” dialog box, i didnt find any field labelled as “E-Mail”. the only options available to me in that tab are: “Default Web Browser”, “Manage Add-Ons”, “HTML Editor”, and “Internet Programs”. When I click on the only button under the “Internet Programs” field, I am taken to the “Set default programs” section in the “control panel”. there the only options available for the “:mailto” protocol are “Microsoft Outlook” and “Windows Mail”. I wish to set the default email client as “Gmail” but am completely unable to do so. how can i resolve my problem?

  • Windows user

    I have set it up my Yahoo messanger and MSN Messanger to login automatically after turning on my PC. Everytime that I get a new email from yahoo or hotmail, there is a pop-up window at the right bottom of my screen telling me about my new email. When I click on it, it opens w/ IE. My question is, how to set it up to open w/ firefox?

  • Shannon Hornaday

    I am trying to set mine to use my hotmail as my default email account to open when I click on an email link but nothing I have tried seems to work. I can’t even set up my hotmail to open in my windows mail to use it that way and there is no option for hotmail when I go to change my default. This is very annoying when I am trying to email someone from a link. There really needs to be some sort of patch or something put out to fix this glitch.

  • nick

    okay if you need to change your email client in OE7 I only got the answer if you want to change to yahoo. go to yahoo and download yahoo messenger and you will be able to make it your default mail. you may have the same with other mail clients.

    regards Nick

  • Vic

    Running Outlook 2002, IE7. Under options,Programs,E-mail field is blank, there is no selection offered. Other fields, Calendar, Contacts etc… are populated with options, Outlook or address book or whatever but not E-mail. MS help on-line is no help… any fixes???

  • http://none supernicus

    Opal, did you ever get an answer for adding to the “email” drop-down menu of the “Internet Programs” section under the “Programs” tab of “Internet Options” window??? If so, could you post what you found? I too am running IE7 on XP puter. I’d like to add gmail as an option to default email program… so far have been unsuccessful.

  • tamey_k

    thank you,Michael Margolis ,nag,and nic…this is exactly what i was looking for.kudos

  • Alex X

    Is this really impossible? I am using Vista, with IE7, and Outlook 2007 (I use for calendar functions, NOT email).

    I want to retain Gmail as my default email for clicking links in IE7, but as far as I can tell there is no option for this. Windows really really wants me to use Outlook instead, but by doing so I would be giving up all of Gmail’s features (search, etc.)! I have the gmail notifier, and clicked the “make default” option, but I think outlook overpowered that, since outlook still opens whenever i hit an emal link.

    There MUST be a solution to this. Is Outlook really so powerful that I can’t use gmail anymore unless I specifically open a window each time?

    This was never a problem with XP, IE6, before I got outlook….

  • threesheets

    Thanks! Not to the expert- but to all those commenters who gave their advice. I have been trying to figure this out forever and downloading the gmail notifier worked. That’s one more for me, one less for Gates!

  • QT

    I use IE7, and like gmail as my default email program.I installed gmail motifier, it works for many hyperlinked email addresses, but still does not work for some hyperlinked email address. I have tried many ways, but failed. It seems nobody here could solve the problem. I am very disappointed.
    Of course, I could copy/paste the unworking email address into gmail and send email out. It is a pain.


  • QT


  • joel

    For IE7, just do a websearch for “register (email service name here) as default program” . After extracting a file and running it to register your email service as a default program, you’ll be able to pick your email service in the list under Tools>Internet Options>Programs>Set Programs>Set Your Default Programs. Click your email service from the list, click “Choose defaults for this program”, then check the Mail To and E-Mail Link buttons.

    As an example, here’s the register file for Hotmail:

  • rodney

    Joel I did all you said and I was excited until I relalized I have XP. Any solulution for XP ie geting hotmail in the programs drop down menu for e-mail accounts?

  • Johnnyo

    yo – people! – start thinking outside the box! stop using ms ie forever. download google chrome and be happy.. ie to some of you here is like watching cable tv. you have 99 channels to click around on but you are only loyal to 3 of them. so program the tv for 3 channels and find something else to whine about. get it?

  • JW

    The mailto: link under Vista w/ IE7 was not opening my email in G-Mail despite the fact that gmail notifier was set. Reflecting back, I did have notifier installed and mailto links were opening in IE6, but failed to work when I installed IE7.

    The solution? Exit Gmail Notifier and go to the tools page on Google and download and reinstall Notifier. This solves the problem — mailto links now open in Gmail.

  • Tom

    Going all the way down from Feb 20, 07, it took 2 years to get the solution THANKS JW!
    XP, IE7, in internet options> programs >email : make as default ” Corel CENTRAL Mail”. (= mail to links now open in Gmail ). I have no idea what Corel CENTRAL mail stands for. :)

  • Susan Potter

    I Should have known that, thanks for the tip!