Make Outlook Your Default Email Program in Windows 7 and Earlier

Step-by-Step Instructions for Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7

Click "Default Programs" under "Programs"
Heinz Tschabitscher

If you've been using Microsoft Outlook for a while and have decided it is your favorite email program, you can designate ​​Outlook as your default email program in Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows. Just follow a few easy steps, and Outlook will automatically become your default email program.

Make Outlook the Default Email Program in Windows Vista and 7

To configure Outlook as your default email program in Windows Vista and Windows 7:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type "default programs" in the Start Search box.
  3. Click Default Programs under Programs in the search results.
  4. Now click Set your default programs.
  5. Highlight Microsoft Office Outlook or Microsoft Outlook on the left.
  6. Click Set this program as default.
  7. Click OK.

Make Outlook the Default Email Program in Windows 98, 2000, and XP

To set Outlook as your default program for email in Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP:

  1. Start ​Internet Explorer.
  2. Select Tools > Internet Options from the menu.
  3. Go to the Programs tab.
  4. Select Microsoft Office Outlook or Microsoft Outlook under E-mail.
  5. Click OK.

What to Do if You Get This Error Message

Could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed

If clicking an email link in your browser gives you this error message, select a different default email program and then reselect Outlook as your default email program.