I've got several eml-files which I saved over the years with Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail.
I've now switched to using Outlook. When I double click these saved messages, they open with Windows 10 Mail instead.
How can I open these messages with Outlook instead?
By default, after installing Outlook 2010 or later, eml-files will automatically open with Outlook. If they don’t, you can make them open with Outlook again by changing the default application for eml-files.
If you are still running Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007, you’ll need to make a change in the Registry to be able to open eml-files with Outlook.
Changing the default application for eml-files to Outlook
Making Outlook the default application for eml-files is quite easy even though the location to do this in Windows might be unfamiliar territory to you.
- Open the Default Apps dialog
- Windows 7
Start-> Default Programs-> Associate a file type or protocol with a program
- Windows 8 and Windows 10 (Control Panel)
Start-> type: “Default Programs”-> Associate a file type or protocol with a program
- Windows 10 (Settings)
Start-> Settings-> Apps-> Default apps-> Choose default apps by file type (text link at the bottom)
- Windows 7
- From the long list of file extensions, look for
- Click on the application icon behind it (in the Settings app of Windows 10 and Windows 8) or click on the “Change program…” button at the top (Control Panel).
- From the pop-up window, select Outlook.
Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007: Registry files
Before implementing the changes below, make sure you have the latest updates installed for your version of Outlook. This is because support for opening eml-files in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 was only introduced after their releases.
Once Outlook is fully up-to-date, download this zip file.
The zip file contains 5 files;
Contains additional info before getting started
For Outlook 2003 on a 32-bit Windows version
For Outlook 2003 on a 64-bit Windows version
For Outlook 2007 on a 32-bit Windows version
For Outlook 2007 on a 64-bit Windows version
Execute the reg-file that matches your version of Outlook and Windows by double clicking on it. You’ll get a confirmation when it has been successfully added to the registry.
Note 1: To import this registry file, you’ll need to have Administrator rights on the computer.
Note 2: You can easily save the opened eml-message to a folder within Outlook by using the “Move To Folder” command (CTRL+SHIFT+V).
Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007: Custom installation paths
The registry keys are based on the default installation path of Outlook. If you for some reason installed it to a different location, then you can modify the path accordingly for the following keys in the reg-file with Notepad or after importing it via Regedit;
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Outlook.File.eml\DefaultIcon HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Outlook.File.eml\shell\Open\command HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Outlook.File.eml\DefaultIcon HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Outlook.File.eml\shell\Open\command