Science & Technology



Tech Q&A: How to make e-mail better for you

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Science & Technology News

Q: I use the Windows 10 Mail program to access my Comcast and Gmail accounts. But when I turn on the PC, I get a pop-up message that says "Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client." But I don't use Outlook. What should I do?

-- Ron Benson, Maple Grove, Minn.

A: It depends on how you prefer to view e-mail. Let's look at your choices.

Client software: Windows 10 Mail and Microsoft Outlook are e-mail programs that run on your PC, known as "client software." You are receiving the warning message because you haven't designated either Windows 10 Mail or Outlook as your PC's "default mail client." (To do that, see

Webmail: Gmail, Yahoo Mail and have popularized the use of "webmail," which exists only online. You log into a website to read and manage your mail, which is never stored on your PC. If you use webmail, you don't need Windows 10 Mail or Outlook.

Which method should you choose? If you want to simultaneously use two or more e-mail accounts, it makes sense to consolidate their messages in the Windows 10 Mail program. (To add other e-mail accounts to Windows 10 Mail, see

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But if you would prefer to use a single e-mail account, or to keep your two accounts separate, you can log in to the Comcast or Gmail websites (Comcast is at; Gmail is at

Q: Debbie O'Bryant of Haines City, Fla., and Larry Forbes of Winter Haven, Fla., asked what they could do to stop a flood of pornographic spam.

A: The answer is, not much. But there are some best practices you can follow to minimize the amount of spam you receive. They include:

-- Mark objectionable mail as spam. This helps your e-mail provider improve its "spam filter," which is software that identifies which e-mail to block before it reaches your inbox.


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