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There are a couple of easy steps to take to configure the email button on your keyboard.

I just installed SP2 on XP and now my email button on my keyboard goes to a web based mail account and not my Outlook Express. How do I find the file for OE to insert on my keyboard button?

I'm kind of surprised SP2 affected this setting, but it should be an easy one to fix.

The specifics will vary beased on the manufacturer of your keyboard, but it's likely that all you need do is fire up Control Panel and double click on the keyboard item. In there there should be options that will let you configure the special buttons on your keyboard, including the email button.

To hook up Outlook Express as the mail client for that button you would specify msimn.exe. You'll probably need the full path, which is typically c:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe

Why is Outlook Express's file "msimn.exe"? Historical reasons. It stands for MicroSoft Internet Mail and News. That's probably what it was called before they settled on the name "Outlook Express".

Article C2194 - October 1, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

January 19, 2005 11:06 AM

My email button is programed to bring up AOL, but there doesn't seem to be a choice to stop there -- it goes on to a website, and "control panel" "keyboard" "email" doesn't seem to allow NO additional website. How can I program the keyboard to just bring up AOL?

September 20, 2005 1:55 PM

to change default email go into IE and select tools>internet options>programs tab an in the email drop down select what program you wish to use. Then hit apply

brenda billings
October 1, 2005 5:48 AM

I have a hp keboard and want to customize the buttons.I open up keyboard under control panel and there are no buttons to click on to customize.

October 16, 2005 10:23 AM

For those with HP keyboards, go to and obtain and install the keyboard set up application (-- I have an HP Pavilion running Windows XP). Once that's done, the Keyboard Control Panel will have a "Buttons" tab that will allow you to configure (at least) the shopping, sports, finance, connect, search, chat, and e-mail keys. Cheers!

December 20, 2005 3:02 PM

I have a microsoft wire keyboard and cannot configure the various extra buttons along the top!!! And my '@'key and '2' key are mixed up!!!

Can you help me, i went into control panel-keyboard but there is no configuration button


April 13, 2006 8:47 AM

Most of these problems are simply due to a lack of software for your particular keyboard. If you can locate the software cd that came with your keyboard (most, if not all, keyboards with "extra buttons" come bundled with a cd or floppy) then simply install the software and run it.

The software will either add extra options to your control panel icon or may run as an entirely seperate process. You should be able to change your button settings after you've installed the correct software.

If you can't find or lost your original keyboard software try going to the manufacturer's website to download it or try calling them and requesting a software disk.

July 29, 2006 5:21 PM

I had the same problem with my keyboard, I went to HP and downloaded the updated driver and the button feature appeared.
Now I have another problem! When ever I shut down and restart my computer the button feature is still there, but it is empty.
If I wanted to change the buttons on the keyboard I would not be able to do it unless I install the driver again.

January 23, 2007 10:04 AM

Everybody give Leo a break. There could be a thousand reasons why your email button stopped working. He gave a logical response. BUT here is what you can do if your email button stopped working after you installed uptades from microsoft like SP2. Simply go into your web browser and click "tools" then "internet options" and go to the "programs" tab and make sure you have "outlook express" listed in the E-mail drop down box. For some reason when you update to SP2 it gets left blank by default. This worked for me and it had nothing to do with keyboard settings or driver issues. Hope this helps

January 29, 2007 11:27 AM

My buttons on my keyboard are mixed up. It is wireless but even my old corded keyboard had the same problem. My " and my @ and other keys like #,| ect. have been mixed. My pound sign has gone. How do i change it back? I have been on to control panel and keyboard but then what. I went to control panel and Regional and Language options but that says English UK (normal). What do i do? Please help!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!

June 23, 2007 4:43 AM

I did not use this way, all you have to do is click the little "EN" button next to your clock or your items on the task bar, and then click EN United Kingdom, that should change it.

Gerald R. Evans
October 29, 2007 5:34 AM

how do I configure compaq keyboard for outlook mail using hot mail that is connected to outlook

February 8, 2008 6:14 AM

I have a similar problem with my emial button in windows Me. When I use my email button on my HP keyboard it opens up a yahoo emial sign in page. I want it to open Outlook express. When I go to the keyboard manager to change the button there is just one item in the menu. It just says email. Then there is a second box to choose and you type in what you want. I've tried outlook express, and every other variation of that and all the help I could find on the web, but with no luck. So I can I make my email button open up outlook express in windows me. Thank you for your help...

Martin Reed
February 15, 2009 8:37 AM

Hi Leo,
I have an HP 8540 running Win XP SP2.

Recently after adding some Windows updates,
I find that the "buttons" tab in the control panel > keyboard properties
pane is no longer showing. A visit to shows keyboard drivers for earlier
versions of Windows, but not for XP.

All this means that I am no longer able to program the keys,
and worse still, the popular non HP driver SP26411.exe simply wipes all
my settings without providing a buttons tab.

Can you suggest a fix for this please.

September 3, 2009 3:12 PM

same thing happened to me so obviously it's an issue; also my nice LED blue lights for my card reader slots don't light up and CD player won't play, just opens and closes but doesn't read...

fixes are like prescription drugs. take this but it could do this, this, and this

thanks for listening to my rant; it's very frustrating try to fix stuff every time I update

Martin Reed
November 8, 2009 1:01 PM

After much dabbling I have a "workaround" for this problem.

The trick is to edit the CFG.INI file. On my PC this resides at C:\HP\KBD\CFG.INI

Copy your existing CFG.INI file to another folder, as a backup in case of trouble.

Then, using the "CONNECT" button as an example:-

Open CFG.INI using Notepad, find the heading [CurrentSct], then enter the following
below it on a new line:- Connect = "Google|"
Then find the heading [CurrentUrl] and enter an identical new line below it.

Delete any pre-existing line(s) beneath these two headings that may contain Connect =

Delete C:\Program Files\Netropa\ or the button's name may not show at the bottom of the screen
when you come to use it.

Re-boot the PC for the changes to take effect and with luck the CONNECT button
should now open Google.

All 7 buttons along the top edge and 3 down the left side of the keyboard can
be set to visit websites (URLs), or open files on the PC. For opening files omit the entry under
the [CurrentUrl] heading.

The entries can go in any order under a heading, I use the order printed on the keyboard

Some buttons go under 2 names. The CFG.INI file lists the alternative
where appropriate. i.e. News/People & Weather/Finance etc.

Now, all buttons work as intended on my PC. Hope this works for you too.

March 6, 2010 1:32 PM

My keyboard e-mail button goes directly to outlook. I want to change it so it opens my yahoo e-mail page. I followed the directions, i.e., in the properties box under shortcut press ALT + CTL + (press the e-mail key on the keyboard). But when I do that, it just opens up outlook again. I don't use outlook. I'm so frustrated I don't know what to do.

Martin Reed
April 15, 2010 12:34 PM

Re the HP 8540 Keyboard buttons when running Windows XP service packs 2or3

Good news folks, HP have fixed the loss of the Buttons tab problem with their recent
SP26752.exe which now replaces their earlier SP26411.exe referred to in my posting of
Feb 15th 2009.

To find SP26752:-
1 Visit Google and type "HP keyboard buttons missing" into its search line.
2 click on the first entry entitled "Configuring the Multimedia and Internet Keyboard Buttons....",
3 click on "HP Multimedia Keyboard/Mouse driver Update - sp26752" to start the download.

Installation takes a minute and overwrites any previous installation. By default it
creates and places its files in C:\HP\. Re-start the PC when requested.

Then twiddle the volume control knob on your keyboard, and if it shows "Increasing
or Decreasing Volume" on the screen then you'll know the installation is complete.

Then in the Control Panel click on "Keyboard", and the "Buttons" tab should show in the
Keyboard Properties pane. Voila!

When setting up a button for a long URL e.g. a Yahoo e-mail page:-
1 visit the page
2 click in the address line near the top of the page to select the current address.
3 type [CNTRL] + C to copy it
4 click on the aforementioned Buttons tab to show the "configure a keyboard button" entry box.
5 double click on the name of the button you want to use
6 in the "choose a button capability:" line select "complex remote page with label"
7 click on the "Address:" line and clear any existing address
8 type [CNTRL] + V to paste the new address in.

December 7, 2012 8:13 AM

My keyboard e-mail button goes directly to outlook. I want to change it so it opens my yahoo e-mail page or facebook or gmail....PLz help me

Mark J
December 7, 2012 9:26 AM

The email button is designed to run your default email program. It can't be set to access a webmail page or Facebook.

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