The Confusing Mail Client Error

Categories // Data Management


Written by: Bryce Hooper, Application Engineer

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If you are a user of both PDM and Microsoft Office, you are probably going to see this issue every now and then. The issue I’m talking about is an error message during a preview that seems to imply we don’t have a default mail client available. This can be a confusing error to see.

Mail Client Error

The reason we are seeing this is due to eDrawings. The preview window in PDM launches eDrawings in background. It does this for a program called the SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience Improvement Program. You may have noticed after a SOLIDWORKS install as well. It’s a good program that intends to help SOLIDWORKS improve the software for the users. Sadly, sometimes this setting in eDrawings is the issue.

There are two workarounds for this issue. There is no guarantee of which one will work in any given environment, so I would suggest we try one and then the other.


Workaround #1: Outlook

The first workaround revolves around our Outlook installation. It is possible that an entry in the registry for Microsoft Outlook can become corrupt. This can happen for a large number of reasons that we won’t discuss here. A detailed explanation of the fix can be found here in Microsoft’s own knowledge base, but I’ve placed a simplified explanation below in the event that Microsoft moves this page in the future.

  1. Launch the Registry Editor by opening your Start menu and type the word REGEDIT into the search box. Accessing the Registry Editor may vary slightly between different versions of Windows. In Windows 10 you can press the Start button on your keyboard and start typing. Press Enter when you see the Registry Editor.
  2. In the registry editor, locate the following subkey on the left pane.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Clients\Mail\Microsoft Outlook
  3. Select the “Microsoft Outlook” key and press delete. Confirm this change.
    Note: Before making any changes to the registry it is always advised to make a backup.
  4. From here, we want to repair the Outlook installation to replace the keys we just deleted. We do this by going to the Control Panel and then Programs and Features. Locate Microsoft Office in the list of installed applications. Right click the entry and select change. From the dialog that shows, we should have a repair option. Select that and follow the instructions there to complete. The issue should be addressed now.


Workaround #2: eDrawings

Workaround #1 may not fix everyone’s issue. In some scenarios, we must disable the performance email in eDrawings to avoid the error dialog. The following steps detail that process.

  1. Open eDrawings and go to Tools > Options.
  2. In the dialog, clear the checkbox for “Enable Performance Email”.  This will prevent eDrawings from ever attempting to give feedback.
    eDrawings Options Panel
  3. Click OK to close the dialog, then close eDrawings.


And there you have it. One of those two workarounds should work for you to prevent the Email Client Error from popping up and confusing you.