Updated Solution for How to set AOL Desktop as default email in WIN 7
Additional Registry Key modified in order to prevent system from restoring default Email program back to Outlook after system restart. (Steps 5-7 new)
Unlike previous versions of Windows, you do not have the simple option under the Default Programs using the Control Panel or through the Programs Tab in Internet Explorer Options in order to set AOL as your default email program.
For all of you still trying to set AOL Desktop software as default email program in Windows 7, here is how you do it. It involves making a simple change in your windows registry. Use the following steps below to set AOL Desktop as your default email program. Modify your registry at own risk, but if you don't change anything else and follow the steps below, you will not have any problems.
1. Open Registry Editor by clicking Start button (Windows Start) and typing regedit.exe in the search bar (must be logged on as administrator).
2. Once Registry Editor is open, search for this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\mailto\Shell\open\command
3. In the right hand pane you should see the current default string with something similar to the data below.
Existing Value Data: = "C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" -c IPM.Note /m "%1"
4. Right click on the Default string in the right hand pane and select modify. In the small window that opens, change the Value Data: to:
New Value Data: = "C:\PROGRA~1\AOL Desktop 9.6\AOL.EXE" -u%1"
**Note: Verify the installation location of your particular AOL.EXE file. My AOL.EXE file installation is as indicated above.
5. Then search for this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail
6. In the right hand pane you should see the current default string with something similar to the data below.
Existing Value Data: = Microsoft Outlook
7. Right click on the Default string in the right hand pane and select modify. In the small window that opens, change the Value Data: to:
New Value Data: = AOL
8. Finally, simply close the Registry Editor and check to see if worked by clicking on a email address from a website etc.
Please post replies for others to know if this solution worked for you. Thanks