Windows 10: How To Disable Internet Explorer From Opening Apps (Email Links)?

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  1.    04 Jun 2016 #1

    How To Disable Internet Explorer From Opening Apps (Email Links)?

    I have created a web kiosk using internet explorer. The only remaining problem I am having is that by tapping on email links I get the following popup:

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    How do I disable internet explorer from opening any outside program (such as email) and preventing such popups from occurring?

    Thank you!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    04 Jun 2016 #2

    I'm not sure why IE is trying to Open Chrome as your default Mail App , but I'd look in IE's default Programs List ( Tools>Internet Options>Programs>Internet Programs and in Control Panel at the Default Programs Panel.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       04 Jun 2016 #3

    jumpinjivinjoe said: View Post
    I have created a web kiosk using internet explorer. The only remaining problem I am having is that by tapping on email links I get the following popup:
    How do I disable internet explorer from opening any outside program (such as email) and preventing such popups from occurring?
    Kbird is on the right track.

    The issue is the Mailto protocol - it is assigned to Chrome.

    Any URL: protocol will be opened by the assigned Pgm ... so you'll either have to unassigned any pgm from that protocol or recode your HTML

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    The only way I know of to remove a pgm from an extension or protocol is through registry mods.
    I suppose you could set up a nul pgm - any text editor, save the file as myNulPgm.exe, then assign that to the protocol. I have no idea how that will affect your system - it might crash or it might work. There are probably better ways.

    JS perhaps to prevent the URL protocols from launching - again .. not sure how to do that.

    Someone else might know another way.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    04 Jun 2016 #4

    So I removed chrome, and now it the mailto links open the Windows Mail application.

    When I try to change the default programs and associations in the control panel to a different program (such as the null program) it only gives me the options in the Windows Store and does not allow me search my computer for programs as Windows 7 did.

    I have been looking for registry edits and tried a few but none seemed to work.

    Do you have a suggestion for registry edits?

    Thank you!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    04 Jun 2016 #5

    I think you need to explain, in more depth the issue or what you are trying to do perhaps, as mailto: links should open in your default Mail Program (Mail in your case )

    In Default Progs>File Associations , Usually if you click on the down arrow at the bottom of "Other Options" , you will see some progs on your computer and if you scroll to the bottom of that , there is also "look for another App on this PC"
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       04 Jun 2016 #6

    Your kiosk is self enclosed, yes?
    It won't be used for other puposes?

    Command Prompt (Admin)
    reg query HKCR\mailto /s

    I'm not certain how Windows will behave if you change the MAILTO default and the shell to a null exe.

    The whole process is tied to mshtml.dll which has it's roots and branches in a lot of things.

    There are more than a few solutions offered in a Goggle search

    If you run the kiosk under a single user, you could set group policy or you could set custom Program access and computer defaults in Control Panel (no to the access to the mail application)

    That's about all I have to offer - other members might contribute what you need.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    07 Jun 2016 #7


    When I go to set default program associations it only allows me to choose one from the windows store and not from my computer. See the following picture:

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    I attempted your command line fix for the registry but to no avail. When I click on MAILTO links it opens up Windows Mail App still.

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    I am perturbed that Windows 10 is not allowing me to select alternative apps for protocols and file types.
    I am also confused as to why the registry hacks that you and others online have suggested are not working for me.

    I appreciate your help and patience so far!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  • Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       07 Jun 2016 #8

    It was a query, not a mod

    Please provide as much detail about the kiosk
    - is it a standalone box
    - do you have full control over the operation
    - are there external links to consider

    Depending on the implementation, the solution differs - all I have is
    I have created a web kiosk using internet explorer

    If you created the kiosk - don't code MAILTO

    If there are external pagees with MAILTO in them, you'll have to disable that protocol in the broswer (not sure how)
    If it's an open kiosk where any broswer cna be used - then you'll have to disable the protocol on Windows ... and that's where I think you're trying to get.

    Group policy is the only things I can think of that might help.
    GPO Software restriction mailto link
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    07 Jun 2016 #9

    I think Mailto: is really a html tag, (link) it isn't a protocol , which is why I think Slarty gave you that reg hack above to add it to your protocol list in W10 , I don't have mailto: in "associate protocols with a specific program" on my Comp. but I haven't done the reg hack here to get it like you have. Mail automatically handles mailto links as it is the Default Email App/Program. I maybe wrong about this , Slarty will followup I am sure. (edit: he did above)

    Try looking in Default Programs in control Panel for what I mentioned above instead of in Settings>Default Apps ,which may be why you can't change what an App can do , Apps maybe/are handled differently from Programs (desktop programs) , for example Skype has an App as well as a Desktop Version.


    edit: looks like Slarty was typing as I was looking at info online ....
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    14 Jun 2016 #10

    Forgive me for my delay.


    The kiosk we created uses a custom flash user interface that basically curates the clients website. We do not have control over their website. We only have control of our computer that accesses their website.

    You are correct I am trying to disable the protocol on Windows. I have not found a way to disable it on internet explorer either (other browsers do not currently work with our user interface so I am stuck with internet explorer).

    Please forgive my ignorance, but I do not know what a group policy is or how to do a group policy. Could you direct me to a resource to explain how to utilize group policies for "dummies"?


    There appears to be nothing in my settings or control panel to disable the application/program or redirect the protocol to a null program.

    You are right the mailto is an html tag. It invokes the opening of my mail program.

    Any other solutions?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

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