Hi, Leo. I’ve followed your instructions in the article, “How do I change the “mailto:” or default mail program?” The newer versions of Yahoo Instant Messenger don’t have a Yahoo! browser services option. I’ve also downloaded that Yahoo toolbar, but the mail plug-in is not available in newer versions. I’m using Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit.
It’s possible that you can no longer do what you’re doing with the latest round of changes to Yahoo Mail. I honestly haven’t looked at it closely enough to say yes or no, but what you describe sounds exactly like what I would expect if that functionality were removed.
That means that we have to do things a little differently. The whole default mail program is all about a default mail program.
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Why does it matter if it’s a program?
A program is something like Outlook from Microsoft Office, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, Eudora, or any number of other programs that install on your PC to manage mail. The default mail program concept was never really designed to work with web-based email such as Yahoo’s Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook.com, and the like.
Now there have been hacks and workarounds: the Yahoo IM and Toolbar fell squarely into that category. These were programs that you installed on your PC that could be made to look like an email program to the operating system, so that they could then hand-off the email that was being requested to be sent to the website.
If those aren’t there anymore, we don’t really have a way to hand that email off to the website or the web interface to send mail.
A couple of different options
You can start using a desktop email program like Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, or any other that I mentioned before. That’s a big change; you no longer use your web browser to go to the Yahoo.com website for your mail. It means firing up an email program on your PC and having it access your mail that way.
Another option is not to use those programs for everything. In other words, don’t use them to read your mail or manage your mail in any way. Just at least have a desktop email program installed and configured so that it can actually send email through your Yahoo account.
Any of these desktop email programs that I’ve mentioned will certainly be able to do that. It’s simply a matter of installing it, configuring it for your Yahoo account, and then never reading email using that program. That program would then install itself as the default email program so that when you hit Send, it would open and send that piece of email.
Another alternative is using a different email system other than Yahoo that still includes the ability to have some of those hacks. That’s a major change; that’s changing your email address to go use one of these other email services. To be honest, you’re still kind of at risk because the default email program concept was never really designed for web-based email systems. It’s always shaky when you’re using email that is web-based.
Using Google works
The only one that I know of that has been actually streamlined happens to be what I use. If you use Gmail and you use Chrome (Google Chrome), you can actually set up Google Chrome to be your default email program. And when it gets invoked that way, it knows that you’re using Gmail and will open up your Gmail account.
But as you can see, you have to have a number of things set up properly so that all of the pieces will work together.
Ultimately, I believe that the simplest solution is to continue using your web-based email the way that you have been, but install a desktop email program, probably Windows Live Mail, and configure it to send email through your Yahoo account. That way, whenever you click on one of those Send-to links, Windows has a default email program to call on and that default email program is configured to use your email account.