How To Make Windows Mail Your Default E-mail Program


Dear Computer Lady,

I am running Vista on a laptop. When I open my photos folder to email a picture, I right click a photo and click “Send to email recipient” and the computer wants to open Outlook, but I want to use Windows Mail. 

How can I send the photo via Windows Mail (I like to choose “make my pictures smaller”)? I enjoy your email and get a lot of useful information from it. 

Thank You! Grace



Dear Grace,

Your computer wants to use Outlook because Outlook is set up to be the default email program.

You should be able to change that quite easily, here is how:


1. Open Windows Mail.
2. In the Windows Mail menu bar, click on “Tools” and then “Options”.
3. On the “General” tab of the Options dialog box, find the, “Default Messaging Programs” section.
4. Click on the “Make Default” button where it says, “This application is not the default Mail Handler.

These steps should make Windows mail your default email program. If, however, that doesn’t work, you can also change some settings in Outlook, or if you don’t use Outlook, you can even un-install the program.

Here is how to change the settings in Outlook.

1. Open Outlook.
2. In the Outlook menu bar, click on “Tools” and then “Options”.
3. In the Options dialog box, click on the “Other” tab and locate the “General” section.
4. Remove the check mark from the box that says, “Make Outlook the default program for e-mail, contacts, and calendar.”
5. Click the “OK” button to save your changes and close the dialog box.

You might have to repeat the first set of steps again.

I hope this solves your problem.


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