Outlook.com can now be your default email client

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft is now advertising that Outlook.com can be designated as the default email client in what could be great news for workplace users looking for a smoother user experience.

The change, which would make Outlook.com as your default mail client for mailto: links, is being advertised to users with a new banner displayed above user's inboxes.

The setting only appears to work in certain browsers, with MSPowerUser noting that it is applicable in Chrome, and possibly in Edge as well.

Outlook switch

"Your browser supports setting Outlook.com as the default email handler" the banner reads, offering users the chance to try it now, ask again later, or to not show the alert again.

The feature makes use of the “URL protocol handler registration for PWAs” functionality introduced in Chrome 92 that allows for a smoother user experience when switching or installing web apps.

Only some users will be able to make the change to begin with, with Microsoft likely testing the waters before rolling out the feature to a wider user base.

The news is the latest update or change to Outlook as Microsoft looks to make its email service a more appealing choice to anyone currently using Gmail or other competing offerings.

Recently, the company revealed that it is hard at work on a redesigned Gmail experience for its upcoming Windows 11 mega release. Set to launch within the next few weeks, Windows 11 is Microsoft's biggest release in years, and its email service, dubbed ‘Project Monarch’, is seen as a reboot of what came before, with a new user interface and smooth, clean design.

Microsoft is also releasing a new feature for Outlook on the web that can scan what you've written and offer rewritten suggestions that can improve the tone of your emails. 

The new "Tone Detection" tool will give users real-time advice on how to better word your communications, as well as punctuation conventions, sensitive geopolitical references and general formality.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.