How to Change Default Email Client in Firefox and Internet Explorer

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I bet everyone of us has clicked on a hyperlink while browsing the web. If you think these hyperlinks are only meant to redirect you to another web page you are absolutely wrong. Let’s take an example for easy understanding. Click here! What did you just notice? Your default mail client just popped up and you were about to compose a mail to some recipient under the email alias abc@xyz.com.

These links are called mailto: hyperlinks and automatically open your default mail client’s compose window for you. If you wish to change the default client for Firefox or for Internet Explorer, this article will show you how you can get that done. It’s actually better to have your preferred email service as the default email client for better email productivity.

In another post, we will talk about a tool that can do that easily for you.

For Firefox Users

Here’s how you can change the default email client in Firefox to Gmail or the email service of your choice.

Step 1: Click on Options from the drop down menu under the big orange Firefox button (this is in version 4 and onwards. In previous versions of Firefox, it is under Tools at the top) .

Firefox Option

 

Step 2: Navigate to Applications tab and select your appropriate mail client for the mailto: content type. Gmail and Yahoo Mail are available in the list by default and will open the compose windows for the logged-in client.

Firefox Application

Step 3: If you use any other desktop client like Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird as your default mail application you need to provide the  .exe ( Mail client executable file) under the Use Other… option.

select mail application

For Internet Explorer Users

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Changing the default mail client for an IE user is a bit complicated as compared to Firefox users.

Step 1: Open Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu and select Internet Options.

internet options

Step 2: Navigate to Programs tab and press Set Program button under Internet Program section.

set program

Step 3: On the Default Programs windows select Set program access and computer defaults.

set program access

Step 4: Now select custom settings and select your default email program from the list of available application and click ok.

Note: In Internet Explorer you cannot choose Gmail or Yahoo Mail as your default email client by using these options. We will talk more about this in another post.

choose email client

It’s all done! Next time you click on any mailto: link on Firefox or Internet Explorer it will open your newly specified default mail application.

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  • JohnC

    When will you discuss “In Internet Explorer you cannot choose Gmail or Yahoo Mail as your default email client by using these options” ?

  • Zordana

    Doesn’t work with AOL for some reason, there is no tab there. This is my main email client so where is it please.

  • Cilia

    This doesn’t fix the issue with IE10. It opens like hundreds of windows and error messages saying it won’t work. With notes mail.

  • Rogersjr

    Unfortunately my email program is not is my list of email programs. I have installed Windows Mail from Vista and it works fine except when clicking on mailto links.