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No Profiles means that a mail program has not been configured properly. The confusion is that it might not be the mail program you're expecting.

I recently switched to a new computer running Windows XP and when I try to send a link by right clicking and selecting that option, I get a message saying "No profiles have been created. To create a new profile, use the Mail icon in the Control Panel". I've followed that step up to the point of creating a profile, but I don't want to mess up my email program. Can you please explain in common English what this means and how to rectify the problem?

It simply means that you didn't set up Microsoft Outlook when you got your new machine.

You don't use Microsoft Outlook? Yes, well. Windows thinks you do.

So we'll fix that too.

"Profiles" are Microsoft Outlook's way of setting up different configurations for a single installation; perhaps completely different sets of email accounts or behaviors. You can configure Outlook to ask which profile to use when it starts up. (Note: we're talking about the Outlook that comes with Microsoft Office, not Outlook Express, that's a different program completely.)

When you set up Microsoft Outlook for the first time it creates a default profile. If the system ever asks you to set up a profile, it's because it's attempting to run Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook was never configured.

This error can happen when used a "Send..." function in a browser or other program, or it can also happen if you click on a "mailto:" link on a web page. If you're not running Outlook (perhaps you use Thunderbird or Outlook Express or any of a number of other email programs), the system is simply misconfigured to assume that Outlook is your default mail program.

"If the system ever asks you to set up a profile, it's because it's attempting to run Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook was never configured."

Fixing that is fairly easily dealt with. It's described in this article: How do I change the "mailto:" or default mail program?. Change that to the mail program you really use. Now when you click on "Send Link..." or similar functions it should simply bring up your mail program instead of trying to start an unconfigured Outlook.

As a side note, if you don't use Outlook there's actually no harm in creating a profile; it won't impact other mail programs. However, I'm sure you'll still want to change the default mail program since sending using Outlook probably wasn't what you had in mind.

Article C3027 - May 17, 2007 « »

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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.

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2 Comments
David Blair
March 28, 2009 8:34 AM

In addition to changing default mail handling program, I have found that some of my users installed windows live mail (unintentionally, I imagine it was snuck into an update or MSN Messenger). I found that deleting this program completely will also solve problems, but you still need to check default mail program.

Elizabeth Johnson
February 8, 2010 8:32 AM

Do as Leo says -

Then YOU STILL must DO 1 more thing to complete installation of Outlook Express. THEN it will replace the MS Outlook program completely, & will be the only email program showing on your Start page. And, you can send pages/links by email again.

On Start page:
Go to 'Set Program Access & Defaults'
Choose: 'Add or remove progarm'

Click on 3d choice, 'Custom' & see the Custom menu drop down.

In 2d compartment of the dropped menu, click on 'Choose a Default email program'
Click on 'Outlook Express'
Then click 'OK' at bottom

Outlook Express is now installed
It has replaced MS Outlook on your Start page menu, as well. You can again send by email both links & the entire page you are reading.

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