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Friday, February 22, 2008

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

I have had quite a spat of Microsoft Outlook issues recently. The issues have been so bad with the organizer and email client that I even upgraded to Microsoft Outlook 2007, experienced more issues, and then downgraded again.
Outlook:Could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed.
In the case of this post, the email error that I kept getting the message via a pop-up window that "Could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed." whenever I clicked on a link in an email. What in the world was that?

Apparently the symptom that I experienced was a mis-nomer (surprise, surprise) for the real issue that was taking place. Somehow, between the installation of the upgrade to Microoft Office 2007 and then the subesquent downgrade to Microsoft Office 2003, Internet Explorer lost the default settings for the E-Mail program.

How did I fix it? All it took was a couple of easy steps:

1. Exit Microsoft Outlook.

2. Open up Internet Explorer and select Tools --> Internet Options. Then select the Programs tab from your optoins and change the E-mail default program to Outlook Express from Microsoft Outlook. Click on 'ok' to apply and exit.

3. Repeat the same step as above, however change the the program setting back to the Microsoft Office Outlook settings. Click on ok and exit Internet Explorer.

Now e-mail links in your Microsoft Outlook inbox should function normally when you click on them. No more "Could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed." error from Microsoft Outlook!


Donna said...

I'm having this problem at work using XP and outlook as my defaul mail program. I get the same message whenever I click a link in a web page. It started recently after I noticed several Microsoft security and Office updates downloaded to my computer. We also just switched over to some new servers at work and I really don't know if that's the culprit or not. I tried your solution, but unfortunately it didn't fix my problem. Does anyone have any suggestions. I've scoured the Internet and did a google search, but haven't found anything that works yet. TIA


Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with clicking on contact emails on web sites and getting the same message, the only thing I can think of is windows upgrades because Microsoft admits there is a problem and does not have the solution available at the moment.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Had exactly same problem after backing out of Outlook 2007 and returning to Outlook 2003. The "fixit" worked and problem is gone! Wish all Microsoft issues could be fixed so easily! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU a million times over! I tried, and tried, and tried to fix this! It was SO aggravating! And couldn't even find info on the net on it until now. I did it, and now it miraculously works! I was even on the phone with Microsoft, and they had no idea what to tell me! Of course it wouldn't occur to most people to even try that, seeing that the settings are initially correct. I've printed this out for future use!

Hersh said...

The "fix" worked flawlessly and I thank you very much. Even the almighty MS didn't know how to correct this seemingly simple problem. Thanks to you and to Google for allowing me to find you.

Anne said...

Thanks. This worked. But now Outlook Express hijacked all the mail in my in-box. sigh (I use a private e-mail service.)