Send To Mail Recipient Error: “There is no email program associated”

Whether an email client is installed in the system or not, errors “There is no email program associated to perform the requested action” and/or “An error occurred while attempting to invoke the default e-mail program” may occur when you try to email a file using one of these methods:

  • Right-click a file, click Send To – Mail Recipient. (or)
  • Select a file, and click the Email button in the File Explorer ribbon under the Share tab. (or)
  • Clicking on the Send snip (email recipient) button in the Snipping Tool. (or)
  • From your Contacts folder, right-click a contact, click Action, and click Send E-mail.
    no email program associated

Also, the Page by e-mail… and Link by e-mail options in Internet Explorer’s File menu may be grayed out.

Is the email client already installed?

If you have a mail client installed but still get the above error or a variation of the above error, such as the following:

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.

no email program associated
.. you need to reset the default mail client to resolve the issue.


In order for the Send To mail function to work, you’ll need to have a desktop mail client with simple-MAPI or MAPI support, like Microsoft Office Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail (part of Windows Essentials 2012), etc., installed in the system.

Unfortunately, the Send To mail feature won’t work with web-based emails.


share or attach files to mail appIf you’re using the Mail app in Windows, you can use the “Share” feature in the File Explorer ribbon command to quickly attach any number of files to the New mail message window automatically in the Mail app. This feature is a great time-saver.

For more information, check out the post: How to Send Attachments to Email Using Mail App and File Explorer in Windows 10/11

Solution: Reset your default mail client

Windows 10 and 11

  • Open Settings → Apps → Default Apps.
    thunderbird portable add to default apps
  • Select your email program (even if it’s showing as the default) from the list to set it as default.

Windows 8 and earlier

  • Open Control Panel, Programs, Default Programs.
  • Click Set program access and computer defaults
    no email program associated
  • Under Choose a default e-mail program:, select your email client and click OK.
    no email program associated
  • Also, click the first option in the list, which is Set your default programs and reset your mail client there, in addition to the above email program associated

This resets your default mail client settings.

Using the Registry Editor

If the above steps do not work for some reason, start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and go to the following branches:


Set the (default) value data accordingly. In this example, we set the (default) value data to Microsoft Outlook.

Please make sure that the value you mention is exactly the same as the mail client subkey name. Here, we have a subkey named Microsoft Outlook, and hence we set the (default) value data to Microsoft Outlook.

no email program associated

That should fix the problem. Exit the Registry Editor and check if you’re able to email a file using the Send To → Mail Recipient option.

The steps apply to Windows Vista and higher, including Windows 10 or 11.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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