Thursday, 6 March 2014

Windows 7: Set Outlook as default program by GPO - Create custom .adm template

Collapse imageSymptoms

When you use Group Policy to administer the default e-mail client you are unable to locate a setting to make this configuration.

Collapse imageCause

The default Group Policy templates for Outlook do not include a setting to configure the default e-mail client.

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To configure the default e-mail client using Group Policy, create a custom .adm template. Then, add this template to your Group Policy Editor so you can configure the policy setting.
  1. Open a new text file in Notepad.
  2. Copy and paste the following text into the text file

    CATEGORY !!Default_E-mail_Client
     POLICY !!Default_Client
     KEYNAME "SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail"
     EXPLAIN !!Explain_Default_Client
      PART !!labeltext_Default_Client EDITTEXT
       VALUENAME ""
     DEFAULT "Microsoft Outlook"
       END PART

    Default_E-mail_Client="Default e-mail client policy"
    Default_Client="Default e-mail client"
    Explain_Default_Client="This policy configures Outlook as the default e-mail client"
    labeltext_Default_Client="Default E-mail Client:"
    Microsoft_Outlook="Microsoft Outlook"
  3. Save the file as DefaultEmailClient.adm.
  4. Close the file.
  5. Add the file to the Group Policy Editor.

    Note The steps to add the DefaultEmailClient.adm file to the Group Policy Editor vary. Please consult your Windows documentation for details.
  6. Under Computer Configuration expand Administrative Templates.
  7. Select the Default e-mail client policy node in the policy tree.
  8. Double-click the Default e-mail client setting in the right pane.

    Note If you do not see the Default e-mail client policy setting in the right pane of the Group Policy editor, make sure your Group Policy editor filtering settings are not hiding unmanaged policies. For example, in Windows Server 2003, clickFiltering on the View menu. Then, click to clear the Only show policy settings that can be fully managed check box.
  9. Click to select Enabled.
  10. Specify the default e-mail client to be configured by this policy. (The default is configured for Microsoft Outlook)

    Note If you are unsure of the e-mail clients registered on a workstation, examine the subkeys under the following key in the registry.


    The name of each subkey is the name of an installed e-mail client on the workstation.
  11. Click OK.

Collapse imageMore Information

The default e-mail client is typically configured through the Programs tab in the Internet Properties dialog box. However, if you are not a member of the local adminisrators group you may not have enough permission to make this change (because the setting is stored under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive in the registry).
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

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Article ID: 2008044 - Last Review: January 4, 2010 - Revision: 3.0
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007