Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

There are a couple things to look at if IE doesn't allow the selection of a default mail handler.

Why does IE not allow the selection of a default mail handler?

In this case the person asking also reported that the actual drop-down selection box was blank.

If clicking the little down arrow at the right of the selection box results in an empty list, then some configuration information is missing from the system to let it know the available programs that could fill the role as default email client.

I'd first make sure that you were logged in as an administrator since that's required to make this change. But assuming you are, I'd run a system file check to see if something's broken and possibly even reinstall IE6 to force it to rebuild the settings.

Article C2131 - July 18, 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?

Keith Wright
December 14, 2005 6:26 PM

Why does IE not allow the selection of a default mail handler?

In THIS case I'm wondering why I have to use the items listed and am not allowed to use my own email service without using Outlook or OE. I want to send via my premium email service.

Thanks, Keith

Ben Milano
August 21, 2008 3:20 AM

I too cannot locate Yahoo in the drop down menu even after installing Yahoo! Messenger per Leo's instruction. This is a 4 month old Dell Vostro 1000 laptop that runs great. Everything is fine with this system except this one issue that I have also experienced on my desktop and from what I've read, many others have had the same problem.

An idea on why this is and how to fix it?

December 27, 2008 6:24 PM

I cannot delete Windows Live Hotmail from the 'Internet Options'/E-Mail default. I wish to add GMail as the default handler but do not kow how. Any ideas would be appreciated - and thank you in advance.



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