Why am I always asked whether to make VA the default mail client?

Many users of Vista report problems with the registration of the default mail applications when using a nonstandard mail client (i.e. not using the Windows Mail application). This problem is not unique to VA, and has been reported by users of other packages (e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird). Nor is the problem unique to Vista, it will also occur with Windows 2000 or XP systems when normal user accounts are configured not to have Administrator privileges.

Typically the installation seems to complete successfully, and when the application is first run it asks the user whether it should be set up as the default mail application. The problem is that – whether or not the user decides that the new mail application should become the default – the setting is not saved, with the result that the application asks the same question every time it is started.

This happens because the default mail client information has to be written to the HKLM hive of the registry, which can be written only with administrator privileges. You have to run VA once with administrator privileges (e.g. by right-clicking on va32.exe or the shortcut to it and choosing "Run as Administrator") to insert the necessary information in the registry. After this has been done the necessary information will be in the registry and you can run VA from any account without any problems.

On Vista with UAC ("User Account Control") enabled even administrator group users run with normal user privileges, to enhance security. This means that even those users using Administrator accounts will need to follow the above procedure once to create the default mail client entry in the registry. With UAC enabled this will result in a prompt that warns about an "unidentified program" (us!) wanting access to Vista, allow that. Login to VA, OK the question about making it default mail client (I'm not sure about the order) and then close VA. That's all.

Note that we strongly advise against running VA (or any other application) all the time with administrator privileges!

In case you "checked away" that little checkmark on the default mail client dialog you won't get asked, of course. In case you don't get asked and VA is not placed in the top left corner of the Vista start menu you have to reenable VA asking that. Unfortunately there is no way to do that in the VA GUI. Close VA and then edit your <user>.ini where <user> is your user name. Set Check Default Mail and News=YES in the [Main] section. Save the file and open VA again with "run as administrator". It should ask you now.

To avoid confusion about what "Administrator" means: There is a user called "Administrator" on Windows. This article is not specifically about this user. This article is about users with "administrator" privileges. Users gain administrator privileges by making them members of the "Administrators" group of users. So, any user can be an "administrator" user. New users that are created during the Windows installation always are members of the "administrators" group (not sure about Vista). A "non-administrator" user is only member of the "Users" group of users. Which kind of user a given user is can be viewed either in Control Panel/Users (in less detail but nice to view) or in the Windows Management Console (My Computer/Manage/Users and Groups - if this node is missing from the MC, then you are not an administrator user).

 
vaosfaq/vista_defmail.txt · Last modified: 18.03.2008 19:30 by daniel
 
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