Set Default Mail Client in Internet Explorer 8 – Mailto Problem

So you’re on Internet Explorer 8 and click a link that’s supposed to bring up your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird etc.) and email something to whoever the “mailto:” link was set to.

Instead of your mail client popping up you get an error message stating something to the effect that your mail client isn’t defined.

Here is how you quickly fix that.

Defining the Default Mail Client in Internet Explorer 8

Set default email client in Internet Explorer 8

Here you are setting up IE8 to always bring up your favorite email program whenever you click a link that’s set to “mailto:“.

Open Internet Explorer 8

Go to “Tools” (top right)

Go to “Internet Options”

Click the “Programs” tab

Under Internet Programs (bottom) click “Set Programs”

Under “Choose the Program that Windows uses by default” select the first link, “Set your default programs”

A window will open up with a bunch of icons, including your installed mail clients. Select the one you usually use (for example Thunderbird). Once you click two links become visible to the right. Choose the top link, “Set this program as default”.

Click “OK”


Next time you click a email link on a page your mail client will open up and work just like before.

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