How to Set Default Browser and E-Mail Programs in Windows XP - dummies

How to Set Default Browser and E-Mail Programs in Windows XP

By Dan Gookin

You can browse the Internet or pick up your email in more than one way. There are several web browsers available and a number of different local email readers. To specify which programs are set up in Windows XP, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel’s Internet Options icon.

  2. Click the Programs tab.

  3. Choose an email program from the E-Mail drop-down list.

  4. Add the check mark by the item Internet Explorer Should Check to See Whether It Is the Default Browser.

    The option is at the bottom of the dialog box. When the option is selected, Internet Explorer begs you to make it the default web browser when it starts. You can then switch browsers, but only between Internet Explorer and another web browser.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Close the Control Panel window.

Whenever you install new Internet software, such as a new email program or web browser, it typically asks whether you want it to be the “default.” Answering Yes at that time sets the new software as the main program. There’s no need to go through the preceding set of steps.

  • Internet Explorer is the preferred web browser in Windows. Sometimes, it runs because Windows wants it to run, regardless of which browser you set up as the default web browser.

  • Yes, it’s silly that Windows XP lacks a better way to choose a default web browser. Various lawyers agree with you, but because Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP at an unspecified later date, the well-advised solution is to get a newer version of Windows.

  • Some programs, such as Internet Explorer, incessantly ask whether you want them to be the defaults every dang doodle time they run, even after you specify another program as the default.