Solution: "There is no email program associated to perform the requested action." on sync with Thunderbird in Windows 7

Posted by: Brad Waite

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If you get the following error,

There is no email program associated to perform the requested action. Please install an email program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default programs control panel.

it's due to something triggering Windows 7 to launch your mail client, but it can't determine which mail client to use.  For a lot of people the easiest and most acceptable solution is to install Outlook or Windows Live Mail.  That should take care of it.

If you'd prefer to use Mozilla Thunderbird, however, congratulations - you're one of a select few who appreciate it's versatility and recognize Microsoft Outlook's lack of the same (not to mention lack of following standards).  However, sometimes Windows 7 doesn't play nice with non-Microsoft products and you have to get your hands a bit dirty to fix it.

In my case, when I connected my Windows Mobile 6.5 device to my PC, the Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) would start and would sync my phone with Thunderbird.  Part-way through the sync, that blasted error box would pop up.  The sync would complete on its own, but it was certainly getting annoying.  After quite a bit of digging, I found the fix.

Windows 7 64-bit:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird]
"DLLPathEx"="C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\mozMapi32_InUse.dll"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Messaging Subsystem\MSMapiApps]
"WmdHost.exe"="Mozilla Thunderbird"

Windows 7 32-bit:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird]
"DLLPathEx"="C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\mozMapi32_InUse.dll"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Messaging Subsystem\MSMapiApps]
"WmdHost.exe"="Mozilla Thunderbird"

Save the above block of text corresponding to your version of Windows 7 to a text file called, 'EmailFix.reg' and then double-click on it.  After approving the action, you will no longer get that error.

By the way, if you're using a Windows Mobile device and would like to sync with Thunderbird, I can highly recommend BirdieSync.  I've been using it for years and have been thrilled that I didn't have to stoop to using LookOut! for my sync needs.

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