Whether a 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:
1. Right-click a file, click Send To – Mail Recipient
2. Select a file and click Email button in File Explorer ribbon under Share tab
3. From your Contacts folder, right-click a contact click Action and click Send E-mail.
Also, the Page by e-mail… and Link by e-mail options in Internet Explorer’s File menu may be grayed out.
Requirements for Send To mail functionality
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), or Mailbird installed in the system.
Unfortunately, the Send To mail feature won’t work with web-based mails and metro or modern apps.
The Modern or UWP “Mail” app supports “Share” feature, though!
If you’re using the Mail app in Windows , you can use the “Share” feature in 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 post: How to Send File Attachments to Email Using Mail App and File Explorer in Windows 10?
Mail 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.
.. you need to reset the default mail client using the steps listed below.
[Solution] Reset your default mail client
Open Control Panel, Programs, Default Programs.
Click Set program access and computer defaults
Under Choose a default e-mail program:, select your email client and click OK.
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 steps.
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:
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 mentioned the (default) value as Microsoft Outlook.
That should fix the problem. Exit the Registry Editor and check if you’re able to email a file using Send To.
The steps apply to Windows Vista and higher, including Windows 10.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.