General discussion

Why is Microsoft forcing me to use Outlook?

Hi, Lee and CNET community. I read the topics, I get good tips, I love 'em. Greatly appreciated.

Now I am compelled to submit a topic, one which not only do I deeply seek an answer to, but one which makes my blood curl as a problem. Here goes:

Office 365: been a user for years and years. Suddenly as of a recent update, when I press on the email icon (to send a Word doc or Excel Spreadsheet) Office ignores my default email (Thunderbird) and a dialog box opens up demanding that I create an Outlook profile. That's in order to send the email through Outlook.

Worse yet: I have a separate program (or app, as they're now called) for PDFs. It, too, has the handy email icon. Suddenly it, too, doesn't default to my default email program, instead it also asks for me to create an Outlook profile.

Even worse than all that: Not only do I ALREADY have an Outlook profile -- gotta have it, I have an Outlook email address -- but when I try to appease these requests, not only doesn't it default (there's that word again) to my existing Outlook profile, it tells me that doesn't exist, and then the string to create a new one it doesn't work!

Let's check off the obvious:

-- Yes, I checked the default settings, Thunderbird remains the default email.
-- No, no-one else uses the computer, this is my laptop, mine alone.
-- No other changes or updates in any other program, all else is fine. Then again, no other programs have that auto-email feature.
-- BUT: if I try to send something via the File Manager (Windows 10), it too, defaults to the non-default Outlook, not the default Thunderbird.
-- When I spoke with Outlook Tech Support (after all, I'm a paying customer) I got ping-ponged around from "specialist" to "specialist" each one from a different area. Then they sent me over to Windows 10 support, who promptly sent me back to Office support.

This fruitless tech support phone time has taken hours out of many days. Now, of course, I can just open Thunderbird and send anything as an attachment. Of course this means closing the document, whether I want to or not. This just BURNS me up. It's not an improvement. It's Outlook or Windows 10 telling me what email client I can (must?) use. WTF? I can't be the only Office 365/W10 customer this has happened to, am I? I'm hoping there's a cure for this Microsoft sin. Thanks so much in advance.

--Submitted by Dean L.

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This is why I dumped Windows 10

I have a number of computers and I got on the Windows 10 bandwagon in the beginning and installed it on 4 of them. Nothing but issues from day 1. I removed 10 from all 4 and reinstalled Win7 on 3 of them - the 4th one now has Linux on it. I was spending more time working on returning the computers back to working condition than I was spending actually doing work on them.

Post was last edited on September 26, 2019 10:51 AM PDT

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I wonder...

I wonder if this comment is real. Windows 10 is SO easy and SO automatic, and it is set up to run nearly every legacy app under the sun. I have six computers of various ages (up to an 11 year-old laptop) and a wide range of different capabilities in my home and I am responsible for the administration and maintenance on a number of others, and I have never encountered anything but the most minor and easily fixable issues (like a need to reinstall printer drivers after a major update, a problem that has not recurred for a couple of years now) on any of them.

I have noticed that there seems to be an irrational anti-Windows cult out there that seeks out any opportunity to trash Windows 10 and/or Microsoft. Here is a clue for you: I have used many, many operating systems on a wide range of computers dating back to the Multics era from which Unix (and then Linux) arose. I have used mainframes, minis, desktops and laptops using all flavors of Unix, VMS, MVS, PrimeOS, Apple stuff, DOS in all its variants including all versions of Windows, and many others. There has NEVER, EVER been an O/S as versatile and reliable as Windows 10.

Go find something else to badmouth, lad.

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Don't insult the rest of us

Just because some of us are no longer happy with Microsoft doesn't make us members of any cult "Lad". We're just fed up with the high-handed manner with which Microsoft tried to ram Win 10 down our throats as well as all of the problems experienced after installing it. You're in love with Win10 - I happen to like Linux Mint. So what? You go your way and I'll go mine.

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You've no right to be insulted

So you don't want to leave Windows, you just want to subject the rest of us to your endless whining!

I do not think so! And do NOT be expecting respect from the rest of us, for having to listen to your stupid whining.

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You're the kind of guy who sniffs glue just because the government says you shouldn't, right?

Microsoft crammed nothing down anyone's throat. They made a decision to go with a unified OS for themselves, and left you to play with your linux or iOS all you like.

Windows 10 has never forced me to use ANY Microsoft applications at all. If you don't know how to choose your own, don't blame Microsoft for that. That's on you.

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Are we just a bit uptight!

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Yes, it has to be
"by Flatworm | September 21, 2019 7:27 AM PDT
I wonder if this comment is real."

I was a Beta tester before W10 came out. Even Rob Proffit probably remembers I have a good report on it, as it was then, even though I'd moved on to Linux Mint. The main turning point of dissatisfaction was the same situation described by OP. I had W10 set up with a local account, which then either disappeared, or was subsumed, when microsoft required beta testers to get a mail account for one of their mail services (hotmail, live mail). Suddenly that microsoft based mail account took completely over as the main and at the time seemingly ONLY profile. So, I believe the OP. You should too. He/she is not even bashing W10 compared to Linux, Chrome OS, or Mac OS, but only what is considered the demerits of current W10 situation. It wasn't till after Beta phase when W10 installed all the "Not Privacy Policy" and all the spy tech into the system.
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I wonder why they don't require that now

They ask you to set up a mail acct to login but you can use any mail provider, it doesn't have to be their's

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Not Windows but Microsoft

What Dean L. is complaining about is not the OS but the not-so-subtle indications within Windows to use Outlook as his email client. This is not a technical question but a Microsoft business decision that, frankly, verges on restraint of trade. Microsoft would be so much happier if you just stopped using any non-Microsoft code and lived within their world entirely. A decision that I think would be foolish, given their recent debacle with Windows Defender failing to work. Dean L. is right to note the imperious tone inserted into his software. So should we all.

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I thought the saying was:"

"So say we all."

I wish I encountered more issues such as folk bring here. At the office and home it's just boring. Windows 10 has reduced the amount of time we spend on issues with Windows. Far less than XP, Vista and 7.

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Totally agree Bob.

I've only had one issue since 10 came out. Couldn't shut down Win 10, but a hard shutdown cured it.

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I Disagree

I looked at this as a TECHNICAL issue and NOT as any subtle hints. There is NO "Microsoft business decision", as you put it. I'm fully up-to-date on my Win 10 updates and I'm seeing FIVE places to change the default email from a Microsoft product to whatever you want. In this case, the OP is trying to use Microsoft's email product, Office 365, with a third-party front-end, Thunderbird. As the OP stated, the Microsoft email system is a requirement for the user. The switch to the changes in settings/control panel could have been easily caused by a minor technical issue. If you install an MS product and then install a non-MS product, the last install is usually the product that updates the registry last and is what you get. On the other hand, if there was an Office 365 install and you select to upgrade products along with your copy of Windows, a reinstall of Office may have happened. Without looking at the person's computer, registry and settings, I'd have no idea what the real issue is but, unless MS was going to forbid changes to the mail client or limit it to MS products, I would NOT jump off accusing MS of doing anything until proven otherwise. Just my opinion. On the other hand, there are a LOT of LINUX fan boys hanging around and, it seems, every time the CNET forums discuss someone's even MINOR technical glitch, insert their solution which is to get rid of MS altogether.
I'm not "defending MS" but just saying we don't have enough information to assume this is any more than a technical problem.

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Even minor glitches can be major.

I have a ton of work to get done and I need functioning computers to accomplish this. Beginning with Windows 10 I had multiple "glitches" on multiple computers. I was spending more time straightening things out than I was spending on productive issues.
In my case I have started swapping out Windows to Linux Mint simply because I haven't found another substitute for Windows. I'm not a Linux "fan boy". I simply have to go to something more stable and less aggravating. The only thing causing me not to simply do a complete changeover from Windows to Linux is the need to make certain that my peripheral hardware is accessible under the Linux system.

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Thats True

Everyone has a list of requirements, especially if they are using their computer for MORE than just browsing the web or handling email. Many have hard requirements, such as the OP being "required" to use Office 365 or, where I worked, being required by the company/enterprise to use only Windows. And I understand that people are "fans" of what they use/like. But you will probably never see me trolling the LINUX forums looking for people who have an issue (minor or otherwise) and suggest that they go with Windows... or Apple! or anything else. makes me wonder if they get a free toaster or a gift certificate for every person they convert from Windows to Linux. I'm sure if ANY OP had a technical issue, they are aware of opportunities to convert to another operating system.

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Let me note a complete workaround.

Install Linux. All good? Now install Virtual Box and Windows in Virtual Box.

Need to make a backup of your now perfected installed Windows? Just copy the VHD and you can restore it back with a single copy command.

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A possibility

I've heard about doing this and consider it another possible avenue to take. As soon as I can finish some ongoing projects, I'll get into it further. Thanks for reminding me.

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it works great

Post was last edited on September 23, 2019 11:09 AM PDT

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Thanks again

I think I'll give it a try this coming weekend if time permits.

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I don't totally disagree

When I reinstalled W10 it was the same time MS quit there mail server and moved all to Outlook. And I was bugged to install Office 360,constantly, until I reinstalled Office 2007 and set up Outlook 2007. No more bugging.
Daughter has from workplace Office 360 on her laptop. It is setup with the company email and she goes online for her personnel mail.
Now I am not familiar with the outlook situation but at the time understood or misunderstood that that Outlook that MS was forcing to could be installed without charge.

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Thank you Microsoft Fan-Boy!

Title say it all. I also HATE Skype since Microsoft took over it!

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Not irrational

I spent 27 years thinking the same thing, and then I decided to move to something better and more versatile when I started a Master of Science in Computer Science and moved to the Macintosh. This problem about Microsoft pushing their software from other programs they produce is a pattern of bad behavior that Microsoft continues on all platforms, not just Windows.

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About us "Badmouthers".....


You seem to believe that since you have had no problems with Windows 10, that there must not be any problems with Windows 10. That is what we call a logical fallacy. It is just like saying "Since I haven't died, nobody has ever died." Sorry, wrong.

I have had problems with many versions of Windows. Some of them with Windows 10, some not. I have also had problems with Linux. If you use a computer, you are going to have to deal with "Problems" at some point.

What I believe Dean was complaining about was the historically heavy handed way that Microsoft deals with it's users.

Dean owns the PC (hardware).
Dean decides what software that he is going to use.
Microsoft has no right to make any demands here.
Microsoft may have an opinion, but it is just that an opinion.

Microsoft just doesn't realize that we (the users) have any other option than to do what Microsoft says.
Microsoft is wrong. Very, very wrong.

I hope that Microsoft remembers that it is providing a service (software) to people (users) and that they ultimately decide if Microsoft continues as a viable company or if it becomes a historical note.

I use Windows 10. I just want them to remember that I decide what runs on my PC, not Microsoft.

Sorry for the rant sir, have a nice day.

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Re: Microsoft

The OP in his first post told he had chosen to use Office 365 on his Windows PC. That's his decision, not Microsofts. Many people use LibreOffice on Windows or even a Linux PC.

His issue was that a recent update (he didn't tell which one) affected sending a mail from a program or a link. Indeed, there was such a bug in Windows 1809, corrected in Windows 1903. I wouldn't call that a "decision" by Microsoft.
And whatever the cause now, it might be comparable.

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I don't get any issues with 10

I have it on 4 computers we use and all of the laptops I have sold over the last few years and the only time there is an issue is with older devices.
I also only sell Dell Latitudes and Precision's and Lenovo T, X and W series.
I've had other brands where some models won't support anything after Vista.
Some of the older Lenovo dual cores don't like win 10 too much.

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Win10 - Firefox

Firefox had a bug launching external programs, revealed by Windows update. This is now fixed in version 69.0.1 of Firefox.
"Fixed external programs launching in the background when clicking a link from inside Firefox to launch them (bug 1570845)"
Am assuming you were using the Firefox browser given that you are using Thunderbird for email.

Post was last edited on September 20, 2019 10:08 PM PDT

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Looking for the boogey man & red herrings.
I have noticed that there seems to be an irrational anti-Windows cult out there that seeks out any opportunity to trash Windows 10 and/or Microsoft.~ Go find something else to badmouth, lad.~ there are a LOT of LINUX fan boys hanging around and, it seems, every time the CNET forums discuss someone's even MINOR technical glitch, insert their solution which is to get rid of MS altogether.~ But you will probably never see me trolling the LINUX forums looking for people who have an issue (minor or otherwise) and suggest that they go with Windows... or Apple! or anything else. makes me wonder if they get a free toaster or a gift certificate for every person they convert from Windows to Linux.

Most linux forums help both their users and those dual booting it with windows. They do what they can to help those who want to also keep windows too. Always saying "linux fan boys" are crashing your party is like looking for a bogey man to blame, and tossing a red herring out there, for no real purpose. In fact, most newer linux users are the ones who complain in windows forums about their former OS, for some odd reason. Maybe they feel they'd been cheated in some manner previously? Complaints should be faced honestly, and not with some emotional gut reaction, feeling some "need" to yell about "fan boys".
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James, I think you might have replied to the wrong post?

Just a heads up. So readers don't get confused.

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It was clips from several posts above

Tired of the old canard of "linux fan boys" and being called "trolls", when someone points out where improvements could be made in windows, or even when W10 users themselves complain about it, unless those were already deleted, I've not looked back to check. It's the idea that anyone who disagrees with certain ones, always imply some subversive reasons for doing so. It's insulting. They know it's insulting, which why they do it.

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Yes Indeed

Yes, it is insulting. They assume that because you made a rational decision and decided on something that you deem as better makes you a troll. They just simply cannot understand that someone else should choose something different, and so they feel that calling someone names makes them feel better about their decision. The issue that Dean L. submitted is not limited to Windows, but on every platform that Microsoft Office runs. Microsoft wants to push everyone to use Outlook, so they hard code the send mail icon to open Outlook. If you do not have it installed, it prompts you to install Outlook. Microsoft continues their bad behavior.

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It gets old

I wasn't part if this thread going off-topic. But, I've pointed this out before.

The original question was about a specific Windows issue. The OP specifically said he's using Microsoft products. Everything about the initial post was asking how to get this fixed in Windows.

And then someone calls out, "Switch to Linux!"

*That's* what makes it annoying fan boy behavior.

James Denison, we know you love Linux. You have made 20+ off-topic posts in a similar thread in the past. (I counted.) The answer to every Windows-specific question is *not* "switch to Linux." That's just noise in the thread. Please exercise some restraint. That's all we ask.

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