Friday 25 September 2009

Unable to find an application to support "mailto" navigation

While using Windows 7 (professional edition) I ran across this little bug that might cause you a lot of grief. The reason I ran across this bug was because I was trying to use Microsoft Groove to send "my contact info" via e-mail. However the error kept coming up whenever I tried to use the "mailto" link in groove.

I'm also assuming that this is the case for any mailto: link that might be in an address across the operating system. This error has most likely resulted because Microsoft decided to ship Windows 7 (which most people will be getting on October 22nd by the way) without a mail client. Therefore, Microsoft presumed that people will download Windows Live Mail or something else like Thunderbird for their e-mail needs.

In my opinion letting the users choose their desired mail program (instead of something like having Windows Mail in Vista and most people downloading Windows Live Mail because it was superior to Windows Mail anyway... causing a duplication of effort) is a good idea. But this also means that the operating system for some reason doesn't have a 'Default' mail program to go to in order to open mailto: links.

As such, to open mailto links, you'll first need to set Windows Live Mail or whatever else you plant to use as your default mail program.

How to set an application as the default mail program in Windows 7 (and solve the mailto problem)

  1. Click on Start
  2. Click on Default Programs
  3. Click on 'Set program access and computer defaults'
  4. Click on the chevron (arrows) beside "Custom"
  5. Under "Choose a default e-mail program:" choose 'Windows Live Mail' or any other program you wish to use. If you don't have any other program under the options, you probably need to download and install one. I'd recommend you give Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird a try.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the window
  8. Try clicking on the mailto link again.
This time it should work as it was supposed to!

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