Setting up a default email client


An email client is an application installed on a computer that allows you to receive and respond to email messages. They differ from other email services such as Google's Gmail or Microsoft's because there's an actual piece of software installed on the computer. Those other services provide similar features but only through a web browser interface.

While there are parallels in function between a web-based email reader and an email client, there are differences, specifically in the way some web links work.

Some links that exist on websites have the ability to send email messages. The issue with these is that they don't work with web-based email programs and require a default email client be setup on the computer instead.

The following sections will help you select your default email reader or email client in Windows or OS X / MacOS. If you have not setup or configured an email client (Example: Outlook for Windows), see the appropriate related article on the right.

Operating System

Set a default email client in Windows


Windows 10

  • Click on the Start Menu and select the gear icon

  • On the "Windows Settings" panel, click on System

  • Choose "Default Apps" from the menu on the left

  • On the right, under the "Email" heading, click the gray "+" sign

  • From the list presented, select an email client. For Bowdoin faculty and staff you should select Outlook. There may be a 2013 or a 2016 version. Either will work.

Set a default email client in OS X / MacOS

Apple's Mail program is the default email program set by Apple. If you would like to change it to something else, such as Microsoft Outlook, follow the instructions below.

  • Open the Mail app located in your "Applications" folder.
    • If Mail is not setup, see the Related Articles section article How to set up Apple Mail for use with a Bowdoin email account
  • From the "Mail" menu, choose Preferences.
  • Click General.
  • Choose you email app from the ”Default email reader” pop-up menu.




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Article ID: 25582
Fri 2/24/17 12:12 PM
Tue 10/31/23 10:58 AM

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