Saturday, 20 January 2007

Outlook email links: open links in Firefox automatically

UPDATE: if you want to make links in Word, Excel & other Microsoft Office documents open in Firefox, see this post.

I use Outlook 2003 for my email. When you click a link in an Outlook email, it opens in Internet Explorer. After some hunting I found a way to fix it so that Outlook email hyperlinks open in Firefox instead, at least with Windows XP.

If you're a Firefox fan (and if not, do consider trying it sometime: ), try this:

1. Launch My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Choose menu 'Tools' -> 'Folder Options'
3. Click the 'File Types' tab.
4. Scroll down to find 'URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol' (under the File Types column) and make sure it's highlighted.
5. Click the 'Advanced' button.
6. In the 'Actions' box make sure that 'open' is highlighted (click on it if necessary)
7. Click the 'Edit' button.
8. Uncheck 'Use DDE', click the Browse button and browse to Firefox.exe on your system, and click OK. [Updated for clarification, sorry about the earlier omission.] If you get a "file not found" message, browse to Firefox.exe and click OK.
9. The path to Firefox.exe should now appear in the 'Application used to perform this action' box.
10. Go to that 'Application used to perform this action' box, and add '-url "%1"' at the end, without the single quotes, so that it reads e.g. (on my computer at least) "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -url "%1" - with the double quotes!
10. Click OK again.
11. Repeat the process with the file type 'URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol with Privacy'

(Found at Experts-Exchange.)


Amit Agarwal said...

I guess if Firefox is set as your default browser, all Outlook hyperlink will auto open in Firefox itself.

Improbulus said...

Thanks for your comment Amit, indeed it should.

The steps above might help someone who doesn't have Fox as the default but still wants Outlook links to open in Fox, and anyone who has had problems even when they've set Fox as their default browser.

Just Joe said...

"I guess if Firefox is set as your default browser, all Outlook hyperlink will auto open in Firefox itself."
As far as I can tell, the answer is "no". I have been using Firefox for about a year now, as well as Thunderbird for my email. When I open a hyperlink with Thunderbird, it still opens IE.

Improbulus said...

Thanks Just Joe, that's interesting. So setting Fox as your default browser doesn't necessarily open Thunderbird links in Fox? Have you tried the suggested steps above, did that work?

TPdot said...

Thanks improbulus!
BOTH IE and Firefox would be launched from links in Outlook, much to my consternation. Your solution worked, except all I needed to do was uncheck the 'USE DDE' box, whatever that means (the url business was already there).

ty ty ty

Improbulus said...

Thanks for your comment TPDot, glad the post was of help to you!

Paul said...

I have tried the steps above using 'my computer' but there doesn't appear to be any options in the 'action' box to select? Would you perhaps know what I am doing incorrectly?


Anonymous said...

Thank You!!!! You saved me.
From, Computer Illiterate

Anonymous said...

i have xp and outlook 2007,

for some reason when i change those settings 'apply' is not an option so when i go back the DDE box its still checked! so needless to say its not working!

aargh, driving me mad


Anonymous said...

Thanks! I don't use Firefox, but I have recently started using Safari and this issue with Outlook was driving me crazy. It's amazing the lengths that Microsoft will to to force people to use IE. I've found that removing it completely is nearly impossible.

This fix worked for me. Thanks to you I should never have to deal with IE again!

BTW-I haven't seen any of the safari blues that some are blogging about elsewhere. Easily twice as fast for me and beautiful as well!

Vincent said...

Thank you!
I was really getting fed up copying and pasting links into Firefox.
This tip was well written, successful and easy to implement.
I appreciate your time.

blythbd said...

I cannot get to Outlook Mail from within Firefox; I'm always taken to Google Mail which I don't use. Is there a remedy, please?

Anonymous said...

your solution did the trick after much searching. D

maupadddant said...

hi, this post is quite old so it's unlikely that my comment wiill be read. anyway since i don't find solutions to this anywhere else and you seem to may having it, i'll give it a try.

my problem is the exact opposite of the one takled in the post.

i have just installed intraVnews for Outlook 2003, which adds a Feed Reader to it.
the problem is: every time i click on a link inside an article it opens up in firefox 3 (which is my default browser). how could i view the page linked INSIDE Outlook? i'm sure Outlook can work as a browser and visualize pages inside without the need of opening an external browser. i've seen it doing it! so why can't i get the same feature when clicking on a particular link?

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot! answer is still helping - just fixed my problem and I am using old version (2002) of Outlook

racheblue @ bAd said...

Hi there,
Thanks for this very useful 'how to'
Rache :)

Anonymous said...

thanks -very useful help. It worked!

Julian said...

This is just what I was looking for, FF was already my default and links opened in it from Outlook 2003 but just switched to 2007 and links started opening in IE. This solved the prob.

Improbulus said...

Thank you all for the feedback, I'm very pleased the post helped!

Larry said...

I use XPSP3 Home, Firefox 3, and Outlook 2003.

If you want your email links to open with Firefox, the correct instructions are from the official Firefox 3 Help Page. It worked perfectly for me.

These instructions are much different than described here. Previous instructions gave me unstable results (double link tabs, error results, etc.)

Therefore I highly recommend this istructional link:

Scroll down the page to "How to change file types" Follow the exact instructions. I used copy an paste when needed.


Improbulus said...

Larry ta for the info - whatever works!

Anonymous said...

Hi beginning of 2009, and your, very good written, comment still works. You helped me a lot. You rock !
Kind regards

Regina said...

This is great information however I'll add that I couldn't quite get it to work for me until I followed the steps but also 'removed' the browser I didn't want to use from the list. I simply highlighted it and selected 'remove'.


Anonymous said...

Windows 7 you need to go to Control Panel\Programs\Default Programs to get to file types, but otherwise this is great.

Anonymous said...

I found a further "wrinkle" to the unwanted launch of Explorer in Outlook:

I had defined FF as my default browser, but when I was COMPOSING a new message and inserted a link into that message, clicking on that link before sending out the message invoked Windows Explorer. Once I received that message, a click on the link invoked my default browser FireFox.

The problem stemmed from the "default" editor in Outlook which was set to Microsoft Office Word. Do the following to correct this problem.

click on "Tools"
choose "Options" on the drop-down menu
on the Options panel, click on "Mail Format"
uncheck the use of Office Word beneath the "Compose" line

The clue that MSWord is executing the link via Explorer is that when moving your cursor to the link, you are asked to use " Click" to make the link.

texasfirewheel said...

Thanks SO much for this post. Firefox is my default but my email links were opening in IE. I'm morbidly stupid about computers but your instructions were very easy to follow -- and they worked!!!

Anonymous said...

I have windows XP professional and the solution was to set the default brower in the menu start in set program access and defaults.
as explained here:

neil said...

This was really a great post and helped to get the links from outlook to be opened in Firefox. However, I have next level requirement, URLs of a specific host name in outlook to be opened in firefox. Can anyone please help?


Anonymous said...

I use XP, Outlook & have Firefox as my default browser - this worked for me, thanks so much for posting!
(Anon Firefox User person)

Anonymous said...

After going all over the web for several hours, I found this solution. Worked like a charm! If only I'd found you sooner, I might still have some hair on my head. Sigh...