Setting Default Email Client Per User in XP

by Eric Geier [Published on 9 Sept. 2009 / Last Updated on 19 May 2009]

Individually change each user's default email client.

In Windows XP, you can only define one default email client for a computer via the GUI. However, you can give each user own default client by making registry changes. Here’s the edits to switch between Outlook and Outlook Express:

For Outlook:
Location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\mailto\DefaultIcon
Value: "C:\\PROGRAM FILES\\MICROSOFT OFFICE\\Office\\OUTLOOK.EXE\",7

Location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\mailto\shell\open\command
Value: “C:\\PROGRAM FILES\\MICROSOFT OFFICE\\Office\\OUTLOOK.EXE\" -c IPM.Note /m \"%1\"

For Outlook Express:
Location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\mailto\DefaultIcon
Value (HEX): 25,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,\
00,73,00,25,00,5c,00,4f,00,75,00,74,00,6c,00,6f,00,6f,00,6b,00,20,00,45,00,\
78,00,70,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,5c,00,6d,00,73,00,69,00,6d,00,6e,00,2e,\
00,65,00,78,00,65,00,2c,00,2d,00,32,00,00,00

Location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\mailto\shell\open\command
Value (HEX): 22,00,25,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,00,46,00,69,00,6c,\
00,65,00,73,00,25,00,5c,00,4f,00,75,00,74,00,6c,00,6f,00,6f,00,6b,00,20,00,\
45,00,78,00,70,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,5c,00,6d,00,73,00,69,00,6d,00,6e,\
00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,22,00,20,00,2f,00,6d,00,61,00,69,00,6c,00,75,00,\
72,00,6c,00,3a,00,25,00,31,00,00,00

To set other email clients as a user’s default, you can input the required value for the client in the two mentioned keys. To get this value, you could use the GUI to apply the client as the default, reference the key values, and then change each user’s keys accordingly.

The Author — Eric Geier

Eric Geier (Dayton, Ohio) is a Freelance  Tech Writer and Author specializing in computer networking. He's also the Founder and Owner of NoWiresSecurity, which provides a hosted cloud-based RADIUS service to help businesses easily secure their Wi-Fi networks with the Enterprise (802.1X) mode of WPA/WPA2 security. He’s also the Founder and Owner of On Spot Techs, which provides on-site computer and technology services.

Latest Contributions

Featured Links