Windows operating system has a handy feature to send emails in Outlook with files as attachments directly from the file explorer. A new email window opens up automatically, the selected files get attached with an email, and then you can specify the recipient and subject line and body message and other fields.
Send to Mail Recipient
To do this, first select the files > right-click and select ‘Send to’ > Mail Recipient
The benefit of this shortcut is that the files get automatically attached with the email, but also, the names of the files will be added with the email message. It is helpful when you frequently send emails with multiple files that also requires the names of those files with the message. By directly using the “send to” shortcut in Windows, you do not have to manually type in the names of the files. And also, you do not have to manually attach files.
But sometimes, this feature appears to be broken. Mainly, when you go to Send to > Mail Recipient, Outlook client does not open up but rather a different client that you might have installed (such as Thunderbird). Sometimes, nothing happens at all.
Let’s see how we can fix that.
Set Outlook as your Default App
First, set Outlook as your default app for mail if it is not set already. If Thunderbird or other client opens up, then that means that particular client is the default for emailing.
To change default apps in Windows:
- go to Settings > Apps > Default Apps
- At the top where it says “Email,” click on the program that is currently set as default, and then choose ‘Outlook’ from the list of apps that show up.
That will make Outlook your default app for email purposes.
However, sometimes, doing this simply does not work. As there are other protocols and files types that may still have a different default email client.
From the ‘Default Apps’ page in Windows Settings > Apps, you can go to the “Choose default apps by protocol” and “Set defaults by App” and then for all email related files and protocols, choose ‘Outlook’ as the default app.
If that still doesn’t work, as is the case with many users, you might have to change the registry by going into registry editor.
Change Registry Key for Default Mail Client
Note that this is more advanced troubleshooting and if you are not careful, changing wrong registries can make unexpected changes in your computer. So be careful when following the steps below.
- Open ‘Start’ in Windows and type “regedit” and open “Registry Editor” App. Or hit Ctrl + R key, and type “regedit” in the field and hit enter.
- This will open registry editor.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Clients > Mail
- Check if “Microsoft Outlook” is listed below as one of the installed clients, along with other clients if any. If it is not showing, then there is a problem with your installation and you might need to re-install Outlook. If it is, move on to the next step.
- On the right, double-click on the ‘Default’ entry. And then type the name of the “Microsoft Outlook” client inside the ‘Value’ field.
- Click “OK” and restart computer.
This will most likely fix the issue of Outlook not opening up when you go “Send to” > Mail Recipients.
For some users, this still does not solve the problem. For one reason or another, either no software starts when they try to send files through ‘Sent to’ > ‘Mail Recipient.’ This is unfortunately quite common. But there are also some basic troubleshooting tips on how to solve the issue if none of the above tips (setting Outlook as default app and using registry editor) helped you.
Add Outlook on “Send to”
If Send to > Mail Recipient is not working with Outlook, you can directly add “Outlook” as a shortcut in the ‘send to’ menu. So instead of selecting ‘Mail Recipient,’ you can select Outlook. You can also add other clients’ shortcuts in ‘send to’ meu, such as Thunderbird.
To do so:
- open a file explorer in Windows and at the address bar, type: “shell:sendto”
- This opens the ‘send to’ folder with all the options currently available in the menu
- Here, you can paste the shortcut for Outlook (or for other clients if you want).
- If you cannot find the shortcut for Outlook, go to ‘Start,’ type Outlook, and then on the right pane, click “Open File location.”
One last solution, which seems to work for users for whom the above solutions didn’t work, is to repair Office. There are two different choices to repair office: offline and online. Offline is the quick repair option that fixes some of the basic problems there might be with the Office installation, like some missing files. The online repair is more comprehensive repairing process that can take time, because it downloads new files online, and fixes more deeply rooted errors there might be with your Outlook, such as not working when going to ‘Send to’ > Mail Recipient
First, in Windows computer,
- go to control panel > Programs > Programs and Features > then right-click on your installed Office version,
- select ‘Change.’
- The user account control may prompt for confirmation to make changes. Click “yes.”
- Click on ‘Quick Repair’ that repairs the Office installation without needing an internet connection.
- If this doesn’t solve the problem, then again to the repair, and this time, click on “Online Repair,” which might take considerably more time but will fix most of the issues with Office.
Send to Mail Recipient is a quick and handy way to send emails with an already selected files. And what’s more? It also automatically adds the name of the files with the email message. If you were having issues with this way of sending mails with attachments, we hope the above suggestions work for you in fixing those issues.