Can I Change the Windows 11 Default Mail App to One That I Actually Use?

Written by Albert Finch

Windows 11 has been out since last year, so many users will by now be familiar with its default email app: Windows Mail.

Windows Mail is just fine if you want a free desktop email app that covers the basics of sending and receiving emails, but it’s certainly not the most all-in-one email app you can use on your Windows machine.

Is Windows Mail good on Windows 11?

Windows Mail does not have nearly as many features as third-party email apps, or even as many as Microsoft Outlook has (yes, Windows 11 has two Microsoft email apps). Windows Mail on Windows 11 really isn’t good enough to use for anything more than the most simple emailing, and it’s certainly not robust enough for professional emailing. If you’re someone who spends even some of your work day reading and responding to emails, as most of us do, you definitely want a Windows 11 email app with a better user interface and more functionality than Windows Mail. Luckily, there are lots of great third-party email apps out there that you can choose from, depending on what your emailing needs are and what extra features you want.

However, not all third-party email apps for Windows are created equal, so it’s important to do some research and even test a few different ones out to find what works best for you.

What Alternative To Windows 11 Mail Should I Use?

In our opinion, Spike is the best email client for Windows when you want to do more than just send and receive emails in the traditional way. Spike is the first conversational email app that simplifies your inbox(es) in a whole new way. When you sync your email accounts with Spike, you receive and reply to emails in an easy-to-read instant messaging format — just like using a team chat app. The goal of this is to remove the stiff formalities and repetitive content that plague traditional email threads, such as repeating headers/footers, subject lines, signatures, and everything else that makes long email threads such a hassle to sift through.

With your inbox decluttered, responding to emails feels much more like simply chatting to another human. It’s a much more natural and efficient way to deal with your day-to-day emailing. But the innovative conversational email format of Spike isn’t the only reason we think it’s the best alternative to Windows Mail for Windows 11Spike is also designed to help you and your team connect, communicate, and collaborate more efficiently than ever. Due to the app’s additional built-in features, it functions as an all-in-one workspace and a lite project management platform.

Spike productivity tools and features include:

  • Video meetings
  • Chat groups
  • Collaborative notes (with built-in sidebar chat)
  • Tasks and to-do lists
  • Voice notes
  • Advanced search
  • File attachment previewing
  • Calendar (can sync multiple calendars)

With everyone on your team using Spike, there’s no need to get bogged down by switching back and forth between a bunch of different apps and platforms. From emails to team chat to notes and tasks, everything is right there in Spike.

In addition to being available as a desktop email app for Windows 11 (and macOS), Spike is also available on mobile (for both iOS and Android), so you can always stay connected and productive.

How To Change Your Default Email App in Windows 11

Once you make the switch to Spike, or any other alternative to Windows Mail, you’ll need to set it as your default email app for Windows 11. If you don’t, every time you click an email link in Windows 11, Windows Mail will automatically open up on your screen.

Fortunately, you can change the default email app in windows in just a few seconds by following the below steps:

  1. Open the start menu
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click “Apps”
  4. Go to “Default Apps”
  5. Click the icon below where it says “MAILTO”
  6. Search for the email app you want to use
  7. Click on the app’s icon when it appears
  8. Select the app you want to use to set it as the default for the “mailto:” protocol

When you change the mailto: protocol by setting it to a new default email app for Windows 11, the app you choose will open automatically whenever you click on a link to send an email to someone.

You can do the same steps for the “.EML” section to set your new email app as the default for opening any saved email files (.eml files) on your device.

Once you’re satisfied with your new settings, you can go ahead and close the Windows settings menu and you’re all set! 

Windows Mail should no longer open up automatically for any reason. If it still does, go back and double-check all the settings to make sure Windows Mail isn’t set as the default app for anything.

Final Thoughts

With any new iteration of Windows, there is a learning curve to get used to the new default apps and settings, and even figuring out how to change the defaults can be an uphill battle at first. We hope this article has solved your problem of changing the default mail app on Windows 11!

About the author

Albert Finch

Leave a Comment