How-To

Fix Outlook Error: “Either there is no default client or current…” error

application-error

Is your computer complaining that you don’t have a default mail client installed? Let’s fix it.

Recently, I received an odd error message where the computer claimed it didn’t have a default email client. Making no sense, I decided to investigate and document the issues in the event one of our readers here at groovyPost runs into the same problem.

The error message: “Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client.” as it turns out can be caused by several different reasons. Let’s fix it!

Why is this error message displayed?

There are two main reasons why you might hit the error message above:

  1. File Explorer cannot preview the Outlook .msg file.
  2. Third-party Outlook add-in is calling Outlook incorrectly.

The text of the Outlook error message is located in the Windows Registry. If another language User Interface for Outlook is installed, the message can come up in that language even then your Windows OS is in English. You’ll find it in the registry under this key:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail
Key: PreFirstRun
Value: Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. 
Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client.*Microsoft Office Outlook

 

File Explorer cannot preview the Outlook .msg file

If you have Preview pane enabled and select a .msg file, Outlook.exe will display the content in the preview in the pane. If Outlook cannot be reached either because it’s corrupted, in a different path, or you’re running an older version of Windows with a 64-bit version of Office, it will fail to display and give you an error message.

Third-party Outlook add-in is calling Outlook incorrectly

Tools that have add-ins that read from Outlook can also cause the error message to be displayed. This often happens when you have Outlook 65-bit installed and it’s conflicting with 32-bit software. The most effective way to find which add-in is causing the message is to simply disable them one by one until you find the one causing it. Make sure Outlook is your default email client.

Some known add-ins that can cause this are:

WebEx Productivity Tools

I have seen WebEx Productivity Tools cause this error message. To fix this issue, you can rename this registry key MAPIX under this location:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Messaging SubSystem

After renaming the registry key, you will need to restart both WebEx Productivity Tools and Outlook and verify the message is gone.

32-bit add-in left on 64-bit Office installation

Another way to run into this problem is if your system has a 32-bit install of Outlook, or a 32-bit add-in, and then you install 64-bit Office. Essentially, the registry references old paths that cause your system to error out when trying to open a mail client file.

The best fix in this example is to either uninstall/reinstall Office and run cleaning programs such as CCleaner to clean out and fix your registry. Another more time-consuming solution is to search the registry for the add-in and either delete it or correct the path to the add-in DLL.

Final words

Running into random issues can be a real hassle, especially if you can’t find a solution on Google. For this particular error message: “Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client.”, hopefully, one of the solutions above fix your issues. If not, please feel free to join the discussion in our Windows 10 Forum where we provide free tech support.

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