windows 7 - Many iexplorer instances open when clicking on a mailto link

  • Konrad Viltersten

    Whenever I click on a mailto link, my computer gets whacko and starts a recurrent series of calls that open more and more instances of iexplorer. I need to manually enter the task manager and kill the process tree. Then the new iexplorer instances stop appearing.

    I'm using FireFox to browse and Windows Live Mail for e-mail on Windows 7. I have Outlook 2013 installed but don't use it (haven't even configured it).

    Don't know when the misbehavior started or what I could've done right before. Installed all updates. Reinstalled the obvious things.

    How do I stop it?
    What can be causing it?

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  • Answers
  • toonczyk

    I've had the same problem and managed to solve it, so hopefully this helps someone.

    I tracked down the problem and apparently a registry entry for handling of mailto: protocol has been removed. Probable culprit is IE10 installer, but I'm not sure about that.

    Here's a fix:

    1. Open Registry Editor (type regedit in start menu).
    2. Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes branch.
    3. Check if mailto key is present and has a string value of URL Protocol attached. Note: keys are alphabetically sorted, so first there are the ones prefixed with a dot (file extensions), look for mailto farther down.
    4. If HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\mailto key is not missing in your registry, then the cause of your problem is somewhere else, try uninstalling IE10 (Programs and Fetures -> View installed updates -> locate IE10 and uninstall).
    5. If HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\mailto is missing as it was in my case, you have to restore it. In parent branch (Classes) right click, select New -> Key, name it mailto. In this new key create a string value (right click, New -> String value), give it name URL Protocol and you're done. Close regedit and see if it worked.
  • Kevin Fegan

    If the mailto: links that you are clicking which cause this behavior are local links that you are clicking on your desktop or in a "Windows Explorer" window, then follow the suggestion from Oliver Salzburg and check the association setting for the MAILTO protocol. On my computer (Windows 7 Home Premium x64), I found it at Control Panel\Default Programs\Associate a file type or protocol with a program.

    If the mailto: links are on a webpage that you are viewing in your browser (IE or Firefox) then it could be an Add-on which is malfunctioning. Disable all add-ons in your browser and try clicking the mailto: links again.

    For IE, you can start IE in No Add-ons mode which temporarily disables all add-ons.

    Click Start button (orb) then in the Start/Run textbox, type No Add-ons to locate the link to start IE in No Add-ons mode. Or, from a Command Prompt window type: iexplore.exe -extoff.

  • user250976

    I found- Outlook Email was missing. As soon as I added( using MS Office 2010 DVD), problem was fixed. And yes, after that, you can go to Default Program and pickup your preferred e-mail client instead of outlook. ( For example Lotus notes client)

  • Related Question

    internet explorer - Open .MP3 in Media Player by clicking link
  • user2122

    How can I get my media player to open when clicking an .MP3 link in Internet Explorer?

    It used to do this, but now it just starts downloading the file before playing it.

    Edit - None of the suggestions work. The Media Player is and has always been associated with .MP3 files. I did install iTunes to access the Apple Developer Network, and I believe that's the point where it stopped working, however, .MP3 files are still associated with Media Player. I can find no reason under the sun for the file to just start downloading instead of opening when clicking an .MP3 link. Perhaps it's the server that doesn't stream the content? It should as it is in HTTP link.

    Edit - IE8

  • Related Answers
  • RoyalKnight

    Previous answers are just flitting around the problem. Go back into your filetypes list:

    My Computer » Tools » Folder Options... » File Types

    Browse to MP3, then select Advanced. Then make sure "Confirm open after download" is selected. Hopefully, your prompt will come up again. From there, you can choose to open or save the MP3 file again.

    You'd probably want to first unselect "Always ask before opening this type of file" before you select Open. That way, it'll remember your Open action and stop asking for the prompt again.

    Of course, if you ever change your mind, you can go back re-check the "Confirm open after download" checkbox in File Types.

  • pavsaund

    Try doing the following in Windows Media Player:

    ALT-key > Tools > Options > Select All (or make your selection)

    If you don't want to change the selection, then just check/uncheck 1 box so that the "Apply" button activates.

    Press Apply / OK > Close Windows Media Player

    Now try and play .mp3 files directly in Internet Explorer. Let med know if this helps, it did for me on IE8.

  • nik

    The windows system uses a system wide file association as described on this Wikipedia page.
    To associate your media player with the MP3 files,
    you can do the same editing the MP3 file type at,

    My Computer ==> Tools ==> Folder Options ==> File Types.

    Alternatively, I think, you should also be able to setup the same association by [right-click] on a MP3 file in the Explorer window (not IE) and selecting the [Open With] option to choose media player -- just click on the "Always use this program" button at the bottom to create the association.