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I have a client that has Win XP Home SP3 and MS Office Home and Student installed (and another machine with Win7 and IE8) who wants to have mailto: links open in IE8 browser email client for his hotmail account?

When I set Internet Options/Programs to use Windows Live Email - the Outlook client still opens for clicks on mailto: links.

Anyone out there able to get this working?

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This appears to be a near duplicate of this:… – condiosluzverde Nov 17 '10 at 23:05
UPDATE 2011-12-28: I used various methods (sorry there were so many that I found, I don't recall which)...however I found these processes more or less buggy and/or inconsistent across machines. I no longer support these machines, so I am sorry I won't be of further use on this one. – condiosluzverde Dec 28 '11 at 17:21
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Below is how to do what you want using Chrome and Gmail. It should be fairly evident how to adapt the method to work with IE8 and hotmail.

Make mailto: links open in gmail in Google Chrome browser (Windows XP & Vista)

WIndows XP

In any windows explorer window (except desktop):

  • Go to Tools > Folder Options > File Types
  • Near the top of the list of filetypes, click on “URL:Mailto Protocol”
  • Click on “Advanced”
  • With “open” highlighted, click on “Edit”
  • Change the application to:


This should all be on one line with a space between the quotation mark after the path info and the https. My path was

C:\Documents and Settings\Brendan\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe

To find yours, just right click on a google Chrome shortcut (like the one in your start menu), go to “properties” and copy the “Target” field.

Windows Vista

  • Open your registry editor (Type “regedit” at your start menu)
  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command
  • Edit the (Default) command from whatever it is (right click and select modify) to:


In Vista, your path will be something like


with “Brendan” being your username.

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