Windows Mail Default Associations

How to Add Back and Set Windows Mail Default Associations
This will show you how set Windows Mail default associations back to it to make Windows Mail the default email program.
How to Add Back and Set Windows Mail Default Associations

information   Information
This will show you how set Windows Mail default associations back to it to make Windows Mail the default email program.
Note   Note
Windows Mail can lose it's default associations when you install another email program. If you installed MS Office Outlook, it may set itself as the default email program everytime it updates. You will need to uninstall it or leave it as your default email program to stop this.
Tip   Tip
Since Internet Explorer works closely with Windows Mails on a lot of features, it would be best to make sure Internet Explorer has it's default association set for it below to.

Here's How:
1. If open, close Windows Mail first before doing the steps below.​
2. Open the Control Panel (Classic View), and click on the Default Programs icon.​
3. Click on the Set your default programs link. (See screenshot below)​

4. Click on Windows Mail in left pane list. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: If Windows Mail is not listed in the Set Default Programs list, then see: How to Restore or Remove Windows Mail from Default Programs to restore and add it back. Afterwards, repeat step 1 above.​
5. To Set Windows Mail with All of it's Defaults
A) Click on Set this program as default to set all associations for Windows Mail. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: It will say, This program has all its defaults, afterwards.
B) Click on OK to apply and close window.​

6. To Manually Set Windows Mail Defaults
A) Click on Choose defaults for this program to manually choose the associations for Windows Mail.​
NOTE: If any of the 3 associations are missing from the screenshot in step 6D, then do the NOTE under step 4.​

B) Check the associations you want Windows Mail to open. (See screenshot below)​
C) Click on Save to apply.​
D) Click on OK to close window.​

That's it,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink



I would like to use your great information to fix my Windows mail program. I would like to ask however, if it will work with Vista 32 bit? Windows Mail is not listed in the "Default Programs", and I get a "winmail.exe 0x8007000E" error window when I try to open the program. Can I use your WindowsMailRegistry.reg download for Vista 32 also??

Thanks for the reply, Shawn.
I tried a few times, but Windows Mail still does not show up in the default programs list. I also get the error window WinMail.exe, "0x8007000e".

This started after I tried deleting the mail files (due to the mail not deleting bug). I've done this successfully a few times, but it did not work this time. I hear it is related to a recent Windows update. My System Restore also suddenly started hanging up at the same time.

The files deleted ok in the appdata/local/microsoft/winmail folder, but the problem I think, may be in the program files folder. The contents in the folder there will not delete. I tried full control, but they still don't delete??
Any help would be greatly appreciated!


You do not want to do anything with the files in the Programs folder. These are considered system files by Vista, and Vista will not let them be uninstalled. They will just be regenerated if deleted.

What antivirus program are you using?

Do you have any other email program installed? (EX: Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.)

I have been using Avast antivirus, and it has worked fine with Windows Mail for a long time. I also tried disabling Avast, but it did not help. I also tried disabling the firewall (PC Tools), which did not help.
As I explained, when I try to open Windows Mail, I get the error window WinMail.exe, "0x8007000e", and the program won't open.

I tried adding the registry key a few times (from this site), but it still will not show up in the "default programs", or rebuild any files. Very strange. I wish it were not part of the OS, so I could just reinstall, but, I guess that would be too easy!

I just yesterday installed Mozilla Thunderbird, so I would have a working email program, but I had this problem days before installing Thunderbird.

Any ideas would be appreciated!


The 0x8007000e error code is a Cannot connect to server error. You might double check your email account settings to make sure that they are correct and have not been changed by the email provider.

If that still does not help, I would recommend that you either keep using Thunderbird or switch to Windows Live Mail Beta 2 instead to have everything transfer over from Windows Mail automatically. See the Third section here.

How to Fix Most Problems with Vista's "Windows Mail"

Hi Shawn,

My email provider settings seem fine. Thunderbird also works fine.

Someone mentioned to me that the *0x8007000e* error code was due to a "storage" or "memory" error. Now since I have a maxed out laptop, and plenty of memory, this would seem to be a glitch. As I mentioned, my System Restore started hanging up the same time I encountered the mail problem.

I like your idea about the Windows Live Mail Beta 2. I did not know about this, and I think I am going to give this a shot.


You can also get this error message when you have a stuck email message in one of the mail folders. This will sometimes cause the email program to not be able to connect to the email server and give you this error code. It can be a bit tricky since the error codes can be a little to general.

I use Windows Live Mail Beta 2 and have not had any problems yet with it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have had problems with windows mail since the start and thought of changing to outlook as my default. You fixed all my problems!
Hi Clover, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Could you post back with more details on what your problem is to see what we might be able to recommend for you?

Thank you,
Hi Brink,
sorry for my vagueness. Tried the registry thing but still nothing in my list of programmes. I have no other errors and no other mail programmes that i know of, I did upgrade from XP last week so I guess Outlook express is on my PC somewhere. I use Apple Safari as my web browser. Apologies again.:)


Did you tell you that the Reg file merged successfully? If yes, then you might try restarting the computer to see if Windows Mail is added back afterwards.
Hi Brink
it told me the file had been saved successfully, I have also restarted my PC but still nothing. :(

Well, saving successfully to the desktop is fine, but it also had to of merged successfully after you had right clicked on the saved reg file and clicked on Merge. Has the reg file been merged?

When you click on the Windows Mail shortcut or the C:\Program Files\Windows Mail\WinMail.exe file, does it open Windows Mail without any problems?
Hi again,
when i said the file had been saved i meant merged. everything went as described in the guide apart from where it appears in the default program part.
Sorry to be a pain in the butt, but Vista started it not me!