Windows 7 - Opening Compose Screen Only

Asked By Scott on 17-Apr-08 10:06 PM

Sometimes I choose to compose a message in Notepad instead of OE. (Notepad
opens more quickly and is simpler to work with.)  When I do this, and when
I'm ready to send it as an email, is there any way of opening just the
compose window instead of having to open OE first ?  I already know there's
no way to do this in Notepad (i.e. it has no File > Send as Email function).

Thanks for any comments


Bruce Hagen replied on 17-Apr-08 10:24 PM
Yes and no, but why your OE is opening slowly? I'll post some suggestions at
the bottom.

Open a new message window then File | Save As and save to the Desktop as an
EML file. You'll have an envelope icon that will open a new message window,
but you need to compose the message there.

You do have other choices. If you have MS Word, or Corel Word Perfect, (I
have Word 2007 & Corel WP12), you can Send To | E-mail Recipient. And, of
course, you have already checked your spelling.

Performance Problems:

General precautions for Outlook Express:

Do not archive mail in default OE folders. They will eventually become
corrupt. Create your own user defined folders for storing mail and move your
mail to them. Empty Deleted Items folder regularly. Keep user created
folders under 100MB, and Default folders as empty as is feasible.

After you are done, follow up by compacting your folders manually while
working *offline* and do it often.

Click on Outlook Express at the top of the folder tree so no folders are
open. Then: File | Work Offline (or double click Working Online in the
Status Bar). File | Folder | Compact all folders. Don't touch anything until
the compacting is completed.

Turn off e-mail scanning in your anti-virus program. It is a redundant layer
of protection that eats up CPUs and causes a multitude of problems such as
time-outs and account setting changes. Your up-to-date A/V program will
continue to protect you sufficiently. For more, see:

In Tools | Options | Maintenance: Uncheck Compact messages in background and
leave it unchecked. {N/A if running XP/SP2}.

And backup often.

Backup & Restore:

This is a great two click program:

Outlook Express Quick Backup (OEQB)
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
PA Bear [MS MVP] replied on 18-Apr-08 01:27 AM
Not really, no.
~PA Bear
Ron Sommer replied on 18-Apr-08 06:15 AM
Bruce or Scott,
I can't check this out because I am using WLM.
After the text has been pasted, the address(es) field filled in, and Send
has been clicked,
1) does OE open and put the message in the Outbox?
2) is the message sent immediately if Send message immediately is checked?
3) is the message sent immediately if Send message immediately is not
4) is a copy placed into Sent Items if Save a copy is checked?
Ronald Sommer
Scott Ogden replied on 18-Apr-08 08:54 AM
My thanks to Bruce and PA Bear for the responses.  (I can't respond to Ron
for reasons that will be obvious....)

I'm beginning to think PA Bear was right (about it not being entirely
possible).  I tried Bruce's suggestion, but encountered a difficulty.  The
file was being saved on the desktop as a Mail (.eml) file, but when I looked
at the desktop icon it was.... Seamonkey (my browser) !  (And when I would
double-click the icon the message would open in the SM browser, not the SM
email client.)

I realized that I still had the SM mail client set as my default, so in case
that was the problem I changed it back to OE.  I restarted OE (and closed
SM) and tried it all again.  Nope.  It still showed a SM icon.  I
right-clicked the desktop eml icon and selected "open with" and chose OE
(and checked "always use this program to open this kind of file").  Then I
created a new desktop eml file (from OE), but it's still SM !

I'd like to see if I can get Bruce's suggestion to work, but I can't figure
out what I'm doing wrong or why the desktop icon (and the program opening
the file) is that of my browser not my email client.

Thanks for any input.


P.S.  I appreciate the other information Bruce provided regarding OE
maintenance.  My OE is fairly quick, I guess.  The reason for my initial
question is that I'm somewhat used to composing messages of various kinds in
Notepad (or Wordpad -- I don't have "Word").  So I thought it would be
easier to simply continue that procedure [read: habit] and find a way to
have the email program open immediately into the compose screen without all
the extra steps (first opening OE, then opening a new message,
copying-and-pasting, etc.), although I had thought I would end up having to
copy-and-paste at some point.

I do know of another text editor (TextPad, I believe) that has the "send as
email" feature and it actually opens the email in the compose window of the
email client (i.e. it's not 'sent' as an attached file).  But I'm a
cheapskate, not willing to pay for the program -- despite the convenience.
Bruce Hagen replied on 18-Apr-08 10:05 AM
Copied from Word or another program and pasted into a blank template like I

You so not /see/ OE open, but the message goes to the Outbox.


No. You would have to open OE and press Send.


Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Ron Sommer replied on 18-Apr-08 12:46 PM
It is possible that something else besides SM is keeping Registry changes
from sticking.
Ronald Sommer
Ron Sommer replied on 18-Apr-08 12:44 PM
Thanks Bruce, that is the way that I remember it working.
Ronald Sommer
Bruce Hagen replied on 18-Apr-08 12:53 PM
Perhaps. These and other programs can keep checked boxes from sticking.
Maybe to blame here? I don't know, but.................

Settings that become unchecked may be caused by one or more of the following
programs. There are probably others that will do it as well.

Ad-Aware's Ad-Watch
F-Secure Internet Security 2007
IBM Access Connections
McAfee VirusScan and/or Antispyware
Norton Anti-Virus
Spyware Blaster
Spybot - Teatimer
Spyware Doctor
Windows Defender
Zone Alarm (Free, Pro, & Security Suite).
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Michael Santovec replied on 18-Apr-08 01:25 PM
You can do Start, Run and enter

(note the colon at the end)

You can also set up a favorite that just has mailto: in it.


Mike -
Scott Ogden replied on 18-Apr-08 03:57 PM
Hmmm....  Of those listed I only have Spybot (with Teatimer disabled),
Ad-Aware SE Pro (with Ad-Watch not enabled) and Spyware Blaster.  The last,
ironically, had Seamonkey protection disabled.  I had gotten the most recent
version of SB (4.0) but hadn't enabled SM protection until just now.  And I
couldn't find anything in it that made reference to a default mail client or
anything that would explain what I'm experiencing.  So I guess things are
still unexplained.

I was going to post a message at SM support, but once I started getting OE
to open (in spite of the file on the desktop still having the SM icon, and
even though I am only getting the OE start up page, not the compose screen),
I figured there wasn't much they could do from their end.  ???

Do I just learn to live with things as they are or is there something else I
can do ?

Scott Ogden replied on 18-Apr-08 04:18 PM
Hi, Mike

Thanks !  That works.  :-)

Now, if I compose in Notepad I'll be able to simply open OE for a
copy-and-paste job.  (Of course, I would still like to be able to try
Bruce's suggestion of saving this composition to the desktop for occasional
editing before sending, but I'm having trouble.)

Btw, Mike, pardon my ignorance, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'setting
up a favorite that just has mailto: in it.'  Could you explain, please.

Thanks again !


Bruce Hagen replied on 18-Apr-08 04:36 PM
Open this link:

Near the bottom of the article you will see this:

To make this easier you can download this small registry file to make the
change for you. Just save the file to your desktop, right click on the file
and select Merge.

Download and run the small registry file. Close OE and reboot. Can you File
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Bruce Hagen replied on 18-Apr-08 04:44 PM
PS. Double check that OE knows it is the default mail client.

Make OE the default e-mail client:

For links in e-mail:


Restores OE to the E-mail clients list in Internet Options

If you have MS Outlook installed, also see:
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Bruce Hagen replied on 18-Apr-08 09:18 PM
It would appear that your machine is infected. I just Googled wabmig and got

And this for setup50:!I!SETUP50.EXE.html

Checking for help with Hijackware

When all else fails, HijackThis v2.0.2
( is the preferred tool to use. It
will help you to both identify and remove any hijackware/spyware *with
assistance from an expert in such matters*.

**Post your log to,,, or other appropriate
forums for expert analysis, not here.**
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Scott Ogden replied on 18-Apr-08 09:19 PM
Nope.  Sorry.

I also went through all your suggestions in your P.S. post, but they didn't
do the trick either, I'm afraid.

As noted in a much-delayed post (which I sent this morning and just re-sent,
for whatever that's worth) which should be just below this one, I now have
OE listed as the program to open the file on the desktop.  I.e. when I
right-click the desktop .eml file (the one that still has the Seamonkey
icon), and click "properties," it shows "Opens with Outlook Express."  But
when I double-click the icon all I get is Seamonkey opening, and there's the
blank email in a Seamonkey webpage format.

I did send a post to seamonkey support to ask why SM might be claiming this
OE .eml file as its own, but have received no response as yet.  If they can
help me resolve that issue, perhaps it will free up the file to be opened
with OE as it should.  ??

Thanks again for all the input.  I'll keep working at this.  In the
meantime, I'll use Michael's idea of typing mailto: in the run box.  That
opens OE's compose screen nicely.

Scott Ogden replied on 19-Apr-08 10:36 AM

Thanks for the 'heads up' !  I did some scans (AV, antispyware, etc.) and
nothing flagged these items.  I also did a Hijack This scan and submitted it
to a computer help forum (as well as mentioning specifically the two
questionable programs), but haven't gotten a response yet.

I did, however, get help from the SM support re: the SM icon on the .eml
file.  I was told to do the following:


Run regedit and find this:


click on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.eml\DefaultIcon, and double
click on the item on the right, and change it to the OE
Program and directory location, and make sure you add the
command and zero on the end, so you'll have something like this:


Now, click on the little plus sign for Shell, Open, and
click on Command, then on the right, double click on the
entry there, and change that to the OE Program and directory
location, and make sure you add  "%1", so you'll have
something like this:


you may have to restart windows for this to set.


I have done this.  The location I put in was:




respectively.  I hope this was correct.  It worked for getting rid of the SM

However, I still don't get the OE envelope icon when saving an .eml file to
desktop.  It's just some sort of generic file icon.  And double-clicking it
still only opens OE, not the OE compose window.  Perhaps any fix
recommendations by the computer site I posted to will solve that.

Thanks again


Bruce Hagen replied on 19-Apr-08 11:17 AM
Right now, I would sit tight till you get a reply about your HT log.
Something in your registry is definitely screwed up.

Create Mail | File | Save As | Name it and save it as .eml, which should be
the default file. That should give you an envelope icon that opens up a
composition window and not OE's main window.

It really smells that SM is at fault, but the fix is not going to be getting
rid of SM. I think it just changed something and hopefully it will show in
your HT log.
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Ron Sommer replied on 19-Apr-08 11:16 AM
I hope that your are a bad typist.
Comments inline.


Where are the spaces?

Where are the spaces?
Ronald Sommer
Scott Ogden replied on 19-Apr-08 02:37 PM
No, I am a bad observer.  I did not notice them in the SM support post.

Thanks for correcting me !

Michael Santovec replied on 19-Apr-08 03:11 PM
The easiest way is to just create a favorite to the current web page in
IE (Favorites. Add to Favorites).  Then in Favorites, Right click the
favorite you just created and select Properties and change the URL: to
mailto:.  Also you will probably want to right click the favorite,
select Rename and change to name to some like mailto, start mail
message, etc.

By the way, you can also enter mailto: in the IE address bar to open a
message composition window.


Mike -
Scott Ogden replied on 19-Apr-08 04:37 PM
Now I get it.  I still mainly use SM as my browser, but it was easy to adapt
your suggestions to it.  Thanks !

Scott replied on 19-Apr-08 06:22 PM
Hi, Bruce

Although the HJT log interpretation hasn't come through yet, one of the
computer help guys did respond and say that he, too, has the two programs in
question in his OE folder, so he thought there was really no problem.  I
did, however, reply with the links you gave me to see if anything there
changes his mind.  I'll post regarding the HJT log when I'm able.

Btw, a small victory:  Thanks to Ron's advice/correction regarding my
registry change 'spelling,'  I now see the OE icon on the desktop when
saving an .eml file -- but it's the OE program icon, not the compose email
message icon.  At least I'm slowly getting closer to the bull's eye.  :-)

Thanks again to all for the help !

Scott Ogden replied on 20-Apr-08 08:59 AM
The Plot Thickens...

Update:  I went to a relative's house (with virtually the same set-up on
their computer, except that they only have FF, not SM).  I tried the same
procedure as I have been trying on mine noted above.  But on their computer,
when I saved the test .eml OE file to the desktop, it got the T-Bird icon !
Now, they have OE as their default email client, though they used to have
T-Bird as the default.  It was uninstalled some time ago.

So, coincidentally, there are two computers, both with Mozilla software and
each of which had the Mozilla email client (T-Bird on one, SM on mine) as
the default at one time.  Both have since removed the email client (T-Bird
removed, and I now have SM browser-only) and had OE restored as the default
email client.  And in both cases an OE .eml file saved to the desktop will
not open into the compose page for editing of the file as it should (and as
others at the OE newsgroup say happens easily for them).

I have still not heard from one of the HJT interpreters, but I did post the
above update at the SM support group.  I'm only a novice, but because of the
same thing being on two computers my guess is that they won't find anything
in the HJT results.  So, perhaps it will be as Bruce suspected, something to
do with the Mozilla software not fully relinquishing its hold (in the
registry ?) and somehow causing the OE .eml file to be saved displaying the
main OE icon (white envelope with blue arrows), which will only open to the
main OE page.
Bruce Hagen replied on 20-Apr-08 09:46 AM
Possibly remnants of the programs still on the computer. I Googled for
removing Mozilla programs.
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP Outlook Express
Imperial Beach, CA
Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM replied on 21-Apr-08 08:32 PM
Right click a blank spot on the desktop and choose New | Shortcut.
For the action type mailto:  (with the colon).
Name it MailTo
That should do it for you.

Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM
Do not reply with email
Scott Ogden replied on 21-Apr-08 09:16 PM
Another excellent suggestion !  Thank you !  I think I can say that what I
have learned in this thread will keep me satisfied... at least for the time
being.  ;-)

But just as a test I took the compose screen that opened via the new mailto:
shortcut and tried the "save as" maneuver that Bruce had suggested.  And, lo
and behold, OE saved the empty email as an .eml file to the desktop and
_finally_ showed what I take to be the *proper* icon: an opened, white
envelope (instead of the OE icon [closed envelope with blue arrows] which I
had been getting).

However, when I double-clicked the icon it did _not_ open the OE compose
window, but simply opened OE as usual.  Then to experiment further I tried
right-clicking the icon, selected "open with" and chose "Windows Live Mail"
(which is NOT my default program).  In that case it DID open the file in the
WLMD compose window !!   Odd.

As I say, I'm perfectly content at this point to use the suggestions offered
even if I'm not able to implement Bruce's "save as" suggestion.  It's
confusing why trying to get OE to do this is like pulling teeth.  First the
OE default icon needed to be restored (and taken away from Seamonkey) by
resetting things in the registry.  Now, I finally got the 'opened envelope"
icon, but only WLMD cooperates by opening the file directly in a compose


Maybe one of these days things will finally work themselves out... about the
time they stop supporting OE.  ;-)

Thanks again to all !


Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM replied on 22-Apr-08 06:12 PM
When I did it my way it used the icon of the default mail program.
Nor did it open WLMD, which is installed and used once every three to seven
days.  Admittedly, this is with Windows Mail on Vista, the descendant or OE.
Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM replied on 22-Apr-08 06:11 PM
When I did it my way it used the icon of the default mail program.
Nor did it open WLMD, which is installed and used once every three to seven
Michael Santovec replied on 22-Apr-08 09:35 PM
You need to fix the Windows File Association for EML files.  It requires
a parameter or else OE just opens instead of the EML file, as you've

OLEXP: Unable to Open EML File Attachments in Outlook Express
(Fixing the EML File Association)


Mike -
Robert Aldwinckle replied on 22-Apr-08 11:08 PM
Then you don't have the right open action for the  "Microsoft Internet Mail Message" File Type.
E.g. it looks as if you are only configured to open the app but not pass a parameter to it
explicitly via the command line.

Very.  Because I doubt if that gave it the correct parameter either
but perhaps  WLMail  (WLMD's new name)  is forgiving of that error
because the command line probably does pass the .eml filename which
might then imply the usually necessary keyword parameter.

To check on what you have now switch to (or open) a cmd window and enter:

assoc  .eml
ftype  |  find  /i  "<whatever follows  .eml= from the previous command's output>"

For a specific example of the syntax I have:

F:\>assoc .eml
.eml=Microsoft Internet Mail Message

F:\>ftype | find  /i "Internet mail"
Microsoft Internet Mail Message="F:\Program Files\Windows Live\Mail\wlmail.exe" /eml:%1

An example of what you might see to confirm my hypothesis would be  %1  only.
E.g. that would pass an  .eml  filename via the command line to the program which
might or might not figure out what it was and decide to open it.

Ideally you should be able to do this via the command line with:

msimn.exe  /reg

However,  I found that  WLMail  forces some values in  HKCU  that  OE
only looks at through  HKLM,  so perhaps that's what you mean by

Well, work it out.   What command line is being generated by your filetype
association?   What happens if you simulate the command line in the Run... dialog
that you wished was executed?   ; )

Good luck

Robert Aldwinckle
Scott Ogden replied on 23-Apr-08 08:27 AM
Thanks, Michael !  That did it !  (I followed the instructions for the first
part (running the Msimn executable file with the /reg option.)  Now it is
working like a charm !  :-)

Scott Ogden replied on 23-Apr-08 08:29 AM
Thanks for the post, Robert !  I'm going to save this information for future
reference.  But since I saw Michael's post (above) first and the
instructions in the link he provided worked, I think I'm good to go for the

Issue resolved !

Thanks to ALL for your input and patience !

Michael Santovec replied on 23-Apr-08 04:32 PM
You are welcome and thanks for posting back.


Mike -