How to open email notifications in a program of choice

There’s nothing wrong with the default Mail app Windows 10 comes with, but if you’re serious about your emailing, you may prefer to use a different email client that offers more advanced features, like Outlook or Thunderbird. Problem is, when you click a notification in the Action Centre, it’ll open Mail instead of your other client, which can be annoying and possibly make you hate that poor app.

You’re in luck, though, for fixing this is easy-peasy.

  • Open the Start menu (or Start screen if you’re not a hater or perhaps you use your device in tablet mode) and type Default Programs. The Best match section will yield two results, both listed as Desktop Apps. The one with the gear icon will redirect you to the Settings app, whereas the other will open the Control Panel. Open the latter.


  • Click on Set your default programs. Windows will search for all the programs you have installed and present you with an alphabetic list. Navigate to your email client, in this case Outlook 2016. You’ll be prompted with two options: Set this program as default and Choose defaults for this program. Select the second option.


  • You will get to a window that lists all the Extensions and Protocols Outlook can manage. We’re looking for the protocol named MAILTO. Tick the box next to it, then click Save.


Voilà, you’re good to go. Next time a new email notification pops up in the Action Centre or in the lower right bottom of the screen, just click it to open it in Outlook or Thunderbird.

About Andrea Luciano Damico 137 Articles
Andrea Luciano Damico is a freelance translator from Italy. Among his interests are linguistics, technology, video games, and generally being a chill guy. He runs Let's and