Registry File Fix

For anyone that just wants the fix first-thing: save this file to your desktop and run! Please understand what this does before committing this file to the registry, use this at your own risk!

The Problem

After installing GW7 onto my Windows 7 box I noticed that Windows defaulted to Outlook/Thunderbird. Simple I thought, I’d just go to Default Programs under Control Panel and switch the mailto protocol to Groupwise. Not so simple, I had soon realized, is the fact that this cannot be done as Groupwise does not show as a registered application (maybe just me, but knowing Novell I’ll assume this is for others as well).

Thankfully Microsoft has an article on how to register an application, quite handy actually. This should be used as much as possible in a large corporate environment as it is a cleaner way of managing defaults, especially when you do not want to be on the phone with a client walking them through keys and values. Here I will give a much simpler approach to this, while using my Groupwise fix as both an example and as a patch for anyone that is using this as well.

The three main areas of implementing an application are:

    Anywhere within you must have a certain grouping which describes the capabilities of the program, icons, the paths, etc.
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\RegisteredApplications
    This is essentially a pointer, telling Windows where #1 is.
  3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\{New or Existing binding}
    Any handlers (basically #1 comes here to say, “user wants this, what should I run?”)

I’m not going to go into specifics, most people should be able to understand what my registry edits do and how they relate to the above!



Software Keys

@="Novell GroupWise"

"ApplicationDescription"="GroupWise is a messaging and collaborative software platform from Novell that supports email, calendaring, personal information management, instant messaging, and document management."


"Mail"="Novell Groupwise"


"HideIconsCommand"="\"C:\\Novell\\GroupWise\\GrpWise.exe\" /HideIcons:Mail"
"ReinstallCommand"="\"C:\\Novell\\GroupWise\\GrpWise.exe\" /RestoreDefault:Mail"
"ShowIconsCommand"="\"C:\\Novell\\GroupWise\\GrpWise.exe\" /ShowIcons:Mail"


@="Groupwise URL"
"FriendlyTypeName"="Groupwise URL"
"URL Protocol"=""




@="\"C:\\Novell\\GroupWise\\gwmailto.exe /%1\""



@="\"C:\\Novell\\GroupWise\\gwmailto.exe\" /open"

This looks tricky, but it really isn’t. Most of these were already there from Groupwise. It looks much simpler when viewing in the registry. Key point being the Capability‘s key and values, and the mailto key and values.


@="Groupwise URL"
"FriendlyTypeName"="Groupwise URL"
"URL Protocol"=""




@="\"C:\\Novell\\GroupWise\\gwmailto.exe\" /%1"

Groupwise.Url.mailto is referenced by UrlAssociations in the Capabilities Key. This is required!


  • Thanks for the great information. You are the only source I have found.

    Shell/open/command] is formatted differently in HKLM\Software Classes than in HKLM\Software\Clients.

    Is the extra slash quote correct? Thanks

  • I checked (just visually) and I’m fairly certain that is correct. The slashes are used to ‘escape’ the quotes to let the registry know that they are to be used literally. This is done for this one, its how Windows designed that part I believe — to have full quotes around paths with spaces. Can’t be certain why it differs, but I believe this is correct!

  • Thank’s a lot. You saved my weekend 😉

  • Great info, just what I needed!

    Please check your download link for the gwfix.reg, I get an access denied error, so I had to create the file myself.

  • Just another comment. I ran the .reg file on the trouble computer, and surely GroupWise turned up in the list of available programs for setting the default mail program. But when you set GroupWise as default mail client, my understanding is that Windows calls the command specified for ShowIconsCommand and then the application is responsible for setting the correct values in the registry. And since GroupWise don’t set the correct values on a Windows 7 machine, it was still not default mail program. To accomplish this, you need to add this to the .reg fix: