How To Set Outlook As Default Mail Provider On A Mac

If you are required to use Outlook as the email app on your macOS system, so that when you tap on an email address like, it briefs Outlook automatically, you need to configure it first. Also, you may want to do Outlook the default app to open email files, which normally end in an .eml extension.

Making Outlook the default email composition app

If you are able to open the Apple Mail app (most people do since it comes preinstalled with macOS), the steps to configure Outlook as your default email app are as follows:

  1. Open Apple Mail
  2. Open the Preferences menu, then select General
  3. Click the “Default email reader” option, and select Microsoft Outlook
  4. Close the preferences panel

Once you do that, the next time you open a mailto link like the one above, it should open Outlook automatically.

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Setting Outlook as the default app to open email files

So, you understand how to drag and drop emails from Outlook, and even create them as Priority Matrix tasks.  Awesome! Then, you open the email from the task, and it opens in Apple Mail, but you want it to open in Outlook.  How do we do this? Simple: We associate the .eml file extension with Microsoft Outlook, as follows:

  1. Drag and drop an email message into a Priority Matrix project to make into a task (or just save as an .eml file and skip to step 4)
  2. Go to the files section of the task, and you will see the attached email file
  3. Download the email message, so it appears on your Desktop or Downloads folder
  4. Find the email saved on the desktop, and right click it
  5. Open the “Get Info” menu entry
  6. Change the “Open with” option to Microsoft Outlook
  7. ALSO, select “Change All”  then click “Continue”, so that not only this file, but all .eml files, are opened via Outlook

Depending on your system, you may want to also repeat the steps above for the .msg extension, which is proprietary to Microsoft Outlook. Also, if you’re using Google Chrome as your default web browser, you can tell it to automatically open your .eml and .msg files, without asking every time.

At this point, Microsoft Outlook should be your default email provider for composing new emails, and also for opening preexisting messages. When you open a PM task and open the associated email message, it will open in Outlook and not Apple Mail.

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