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Setting Microsoft Outlook as the default application for email, contacts and calendars via Automator

While working on an Outlook 2016-related issue earlier this week, I found that there is not a straightforward way to set Microsoft Outlook 2016 as the default application for email, contacts and calendars. To redress this, I’ve developed an Automator application named Set Microsoft Outlook as default application for email calendars and contacts.app to handle this task.

The Set Microsoft Outlook as default application for email calendars and contacts application leverages duti, an open source tool used for managing application ownership of document types and URL schemes on Mac OS X, to set the newest version of Microsoft Outlook on the Mac as the default application for email, contacts and calendars.

The application includes an embedded copy of duti, so it is not necessary to have duti pre-installed on the Mac in order to use this tool. For more details, see below the jump.

Downloading the application

Set Microsoft Outlook as default application for email calendars and contacts.app can be downloaded from the link below:

https://github.com/rtrouton/set_microsoft_outlook_as_default_application/releases/latest

System requirements

Set Microsoft Outlook as default application for email calendars and contacts.app has been tested and verified to run on the following versions of OS X:

  • 10.9.x
  • 10.10.x
  • 10.11.x

Set Microsoft Outlook as default application for email calendars and contacts.app has been tested and verified that it does not run on the following version of OS X:

  • 10.8.x
  • 10.7.x

Not tested:

  • 10.6.x or earlier

Using the application

1. Download a copy of the application if needed.

2. Unzip the application

3. Double-click on Set Microsoft Outlook as default application for email calendars and contacts.app

Screen Shot 2015 12 01 at 11 52 59 AM

4. When prompted, click the OK or Cancel button:

  • Clicking the OK button:
    • This will set the newest version of Outlook on the Mac as the default application for email, contacts and calendars
  • Clicking the Cancel button:
    • Exits the application without making changes to the existing email, contacts or calendar settings.

Screen Shot 2015 12 01 at 11 48 07 AM

5. If the OK button is clicked, the application will make changes to the email, contacts or calendar settings on the Mac to set Outlook as the default application for email, contacts and calendars.

6. Once the settings changes have been made, the application will notify you that Outlook has been set as the default application for email, contacts and calendars.

Screen Shot 2015 12 01 at 11 48 15 AM

7. Click the Done button to exit the application.

Components

All components, icons and scripts needed to build the Automator application are available from the following location on GitHub:

https://github.com/rtrouton/set_microsoft_outlook_as_default_application

  1. James
    December 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Rich! Do you have idea why would this not be working on my Mac? I have 10.10.5 with 2016. After running the app, I still see the default app as Mail and when I open Excel > Share as Attachment > It still opens Mail.app
    Also tried running duti standalone command still same.

    • James
      December 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Sorry, it did work. When I placed duti out of the app and tested the command. Im sure your app would be running great as well, if I tried correct steps again.
      Thanks again!

  2. Sevos
    February 18, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Can I run this without the prompts?
    What do I need to change? Thank you in advance.

  3. Swaroooop
    March 3, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I was hoping for a reply. This seems to affect any company that uses MS Office 2016

    • March 3, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      Rich is running duti behind the scenes. Get duti packaged as post install and deploy a script to enable it.
      Let me know if u need help. Laeeq@bitsystechnology.com

  4. Kevin J
    June 9, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Anyway to make this work in Casper? It would be nice if i could make this the default without user interactions.

  5. thomas Wulff
    October 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    thank you, el captain and I great you. apple could not help and send me to Microsoft and the Support was closed……in Germany after 17.00 ..

  6. Bob
    January 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    When I try this, either by running manually or pushing via Casper, the default mail client is changed to Outlook, but the default calendar remains Calendar. Has anyone else seen this? OS X 10.11, Office 15.29.

  7. Mike
    June 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Since this is a .app how can this be pushed via Casper?

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