Set Outlook 2016 as default without having to open

New Contributor II

Anyone have a script for this?


Valued Contributor

Microsoft released a few utilities to help with Outlook, one is to set Outlook as a default mail app. Mac Outlook Support Utilities
You could package, deploy the app, and provide instructions to users on how to use them. They are a bit odd for apps; not signed and don't provide feedback when it's completed the task.

New Contributor III

I second this utility from Microsoft. It works; it's just not great in terms of experience.

New Contributor II

[@jhalvorson](@jhalvorson) Yes this will work, but this is not very user friendly. A script, which is running silently in the background would be a better user experience. Does anyone know how this utility from Microsoft works?

There must be a way to change the default mail client to the latest Outlook version in Sierra/High Sierra without installing any 3rd party tools ('duti') or bother users to open Self Service and run this Microsoft tool.

New Contributor III

I noticed macadmins now has a pkg file to run Direct Link MailToOutlook

"Simple PKG installer that sets the default e-mail app to Outlook instead of the built-in Mail app (JAMF compatible)"

I haven't tested it. I have been doing the Self Service Option to date.

Valued Contributor II

I have test a lot of these scripts and none seem to work on 10.13.3

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Contributor II

I can confirm that @john_bio python script works on 10.13.3. I've linked it to the installation of office and making it available as a support object in Self Service for established users.

New Contributor II

@phillyphoto The script worked like a charm for changing the mail client. Not sure why it wasn't changing the default calendar to outlook.


New Contributor II

@john_bio what does the 0x00000002 stand for in the line:

LSSetDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType('public.vcard', 0x00000002, '')

New Contributor II


what does the 0x00000002 stand for in the line:

LSSetDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType('public.vcard', 0x00000002, '')

Contributor III

@levans I didn't create the script, but looking at the documentation for LSSetDefaultRoleHandlerForContentType, the 2nd argument is the "LSRolesMask" and 2 should equate to "editor" which means Outlook can read, present, manipulate, and save the item.

New Contributor II


Legend, yeah I found the same information, but its great to be able to confirm it.

Many thanks for the quick reply.

Valued Contributor II

I know this isn't useful info, but Outlook for Mac is crap. It's crap coated crap with crap filling. It has great features, but it's poorly implemented. It's also missing features that are present in the Windows version. All this said, some of my clients actually like using it, so Outlook has been a thorn in my side for years. I have never been able to set it as the default mail app using a script. Somehow, it always stops working. Microsoft released an app that you can use to set Outlook as the default mail app, so I distribute it via Self Service for users who want to set Outlook as the default. Soon, I will be moving one of my clients back to Apple Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, and Notes because all of the employees hate Outlook. Searching breaks a lot. It's slow to launch compared to Apple Mail, and it often has search issues that can only be solved by completely removing the users's account and setting it back up again. Outlook for Mac is not a business class app. Microsoft is screwing over every Apple customer by selling them Office for Mac for the same price that Windows users pay, but Mac users get less of a product. I barely use Office on either of my Macs. When I write something to be sent to others for editing, I will use Word, Excel, etc., but if it doesn't need to be edited by someone else, I write everything using Pages and Numbers. I output my work to PDF. I'm sorry for the rant, but we should not have to even ask how to set Outlook as the default mail, calendar, and contacts app. It should be easier than this. While we can blame Apple for this too, Microsoft should be making it easier, and they should make a product worth going through this much trouble. Microsoft should be working harder to make a great product for Mac users. Apple got Microsoft into the application software business, so I think that they should show Mac users some gratitude.

New Contributor

The PKG suggested by @dubel works perfectly! Works instantly, no reboot required.

Contributor II

As the name of the pkg suggests “MailToOtlook.pkg” sets Outlook as the default mail app. Unfortunately it does not set it as the default calendar app.
Anyone have any suggestions for that?

Contributor II

A while back Rich Trouton put out an Automator-based app that uses duti to set Outlook as default for mail, calendar & contacts. I use the app with my fleet by deploying it to each machine, then scoping a policy to all machines with Outlook installed to launch it from Self Service.

Keep in mind that these settings are user-specific so have to run from the user context & not as root. This is why it’s set for the user to launch the app to apply settings rather than pushing a policy to do so.


with Python 2.x being removed (and Python 3 no longer pre-installed) in macOS 12.3 or later I highly recommend using MailToOutlook 2.0 via: