Default mail program is not configured

I came across an issue recently where someone was trying to email a document from a program and getting an error that a default mail program is not configured or that the mail program was unable to handle the request.

The most obvious thing to check is ensure that a default mail program is installed and configured to send email.  I looked and confirmed that Outlook 2012 64-bit was installed and configured.  The program that was trying to send the document was Adobe Acrobat.  After additional research I found that this installation of Acrobat was 32-bit.

The real problem here was a bitness issue where a 32-bit program couldn’t communicate with a 64-bit program.  To work around the issue I made a few registry changes.

If you are not familiar with the registry then I recommend that you don’t touch it and refrain from making changes.  If you do plan on making changes you should always back up the registry first so that you can revert back to where it was before you made changes.

What we are going to do is create a bridge in the registry that points to a 32-bit Outlook dll.    This will allow any program regardless of bitness to send an email.

  1. Open up the registry by going to Start -> Run -> regedit.exe
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail
  3. Right click Mail, select New -> Key
  4. Name the key Outlook64Bridge
  5. For the (Default) string value (REG_SZ) inside the key, change the Data to Outlook64Bridge
  6. Create two new keys under Outlook64Bridge
    1. Name one DLLPath
    2. Name the other DLLPathEx
  7. For the Data value of each (Default) string value (REG_SZ), find the location of MAPI32.dll on your computer.  It should look something like this:
    C:\\Windows\\winsxs\\x86_microsoft-windows-mapi_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17514_none_ad54ab3a7801c830\\MAPI32.DLL

There is one more step.  You want Mail to use this new Outlook64Bridge when a program is trying to send an email.

  1. Go back to the Mail Key.  Change the (Default) Reg_SZ key Data value to Outlook64Bridge.

You should be all set.  All of your programs should now be able to send an email through Outlook regardless of their bitness version.  While the issue I was working on didn’t require a reboot any registry change that you make could potentially require a reboot to take effect.

Rick is a Senior Support Lead at OrcsWeb, a hosted server company providing managed hosting solutions.