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Updated: 2005.08.18
Added links to WFP info and tools

When you click the "Send a Link..." menu item in Internet Explorer 6, Outlook Express 6 attaches a .URL file, but doesn't insert a plain-text version of the link in your email message.

I don't know who thought that this was a good thing, but it is annoying.

Here's some info on how you might be able to fix it. (I had used these techniques on a pre-SP1 XP Pro installation, but there have been some changes since then, so please check the updates below.)


2005.08.19: Here's some more info on windows file protection, and ways to disable it.

2004.04.30: While we wait (and wait...) for an official solution to this problem, we can make use of a "bookmarklet" that will send the current page location as a proper email, sans .url attachment. Here is the text of the bookmarklet:


Or, you can just right-click on this line and add to your favorites.

I found this one on

2003-11-17: MS KB Article mentions a fix in the works for this whole mess: MS KB 327010;en-us;327010

2003.08.14: Looks like Windows File Protection ("WFP") otherwise known as System File Protection ("SFP") is even more stubborn than expected -- It appears that MS has made it difficult to disable since XP SP1, which makes it impossible to fix the Send Mail problem using some of the methods described herein --

But - if you can start up the recovery console (if you know what this means, then you should be competent to deal with this) then you should be able to replace sendmail.dll in the following directories:

  • %SYSTEMROOT%\System32
  • %SYSTEMROOT%\Driver Cache\I386
  • %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\DllCache

See this usenet posting or this posting for confirmation that the recovery console eliminates WFP

2003.07.04: It appears that you must disable Windows File Protection ("WFP"). Disabling WFP temporarily will allow you to replace sendmail.dll successfully.

Googling for more info on this, it appears that you can control WFP.
Search 1
Search 2
A utility at to enable/disable WFP
Microsoft information on Windows File Protection and supported methods of replacement.
I have not had a chance to test these, so proceed with caution!

2003.02.12: Here is a link to a page containing a downloadable utility (XPfixMail) that uses built-in windows installer facilities to replace the file, bypassing XP system file protection.

Direct link to the download: XPfixMail
Local copy: XPFixMail

I've tried this utility on one XP Pro SP1 machine, and it did not work... sorry.

Note: the readme document for XPfixMail mentions that XP SP1 has placed sendmail.dll in the dllcache (for windows file protection) which means that none of the procedures listed below will work unless you disable system
file protection.

Microsoft knowledgebase articles of interest:

Things that may have worked at one point...

...but may not due to XP SP1 ratcheting down file protection:

I've tried the following (saved a copy of sendmail.dll first) - works in pre-SP1 XP Pro, but Windows File Protection restores the original file, so you will need to disable file protection. A more permanent solution follows...

Fix bug in IE 6.0 sendmail.dll file (Functionality of Menu/Send/Link by Email)
In IE6 when trying to Send/File/Link by Email from the menu bar, IE6 prevents the loaded Web Address from being copied into the email message area of either OE6 or Outlook XP. This does not occur in IE 5.5. This is specifically regarding the IE feature, which allows the convenient quick paste of the Web Address into an email message area without having to manually copy and paste.
(This does not address OE or Outlook security blocking of misc. attachments.)
To fix this, a copy of IE 5.5 sendmail.dll file is required, located in the Windows/System folder. Delete or rename and/or backup the IE 6.0 sendmail.dll file, which is located in the Window/System32 folder (Windows XP). Paste the IE 5.5 sendmail.dll into the Windows/System32
folder. This will allow you to use the Menu/Send/Link by Email function
on the IE 6.0 menu bar. I have not noticed any adverse effects from doing this, but if one encounters problems, it is easy to reverse.

This bug has been reported to Microsoft and they are studying it.)

Google search which I used to find the above info:

Another suggestion from usenet postings: reinstall IE6 using the info in this article.

I've tried this and it seems to work. The old version of sendmail.dll (which was installed with XP) was 6.0.2600.0, and the new version that was installed after following the of instructions for Method 2 below, is 5.50.4522.1800. Apparently, Microsoft has realized that there are a lot of unhappy campers out there, and slipped an older (IE 5.5) version of sendmail.dll into the current installer.

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP

The information in this article applies to:
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer version
    6 for Windows XP
  • Microsoft Outlook Express, version
    6.0 , for Windows XP

IMPORTANT : This article contains information about modifying the
registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that
you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about
how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to
view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


This article describes how to reinstall or repair Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook
Express 6 in Windows XP. You must do this if you are having problems with Internet
Explorer or Outlook Express because of damaged files or missing registration

IMPORTANT : After you use the procedures in this article, you must
reinstall any updates to Windows XP again. To reinstall Windows XP updates, visit the
following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:


WARNING : If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause
serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft
cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor
incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this issue, use either of the following methods while you are logged on as
an administrator.

Method 1: Reinstall or Repair Windows XP

To repair or reinstall Internet
Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP, complete the following procedure while you
are logged on as an administrator:

  1. Use the System File Checker tool to scan all of the protected files on your
    1. Click Start , and then click Run .
    2. In the Open box, type sfc /scannow , and
      then click OK . Note that you may be prompted to insert the
      Windows XP installation CD-ROM.
  2. Test to determine if the issue is resolved. If the issue is resolved, skip the
    remaining steps. If the issue is not resolved, continue to the next step.
  3. Complete an in-place upgrade of Windows XP, a repair of Windows XP, or reinstall
    Windows XP.

    For additional information about how to complete an in-place upgrade or repair of
    Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft
    Knowledge Base:

    Q315341 How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of
    Windows XP

Method 2: Edit the Registry and Install Internet Explorer 6

  1. While you are logged on as an administrator, click Start , and
    then click Run .
  2. In the Open box, type regedit , and then click
    OK .
  3. Locate the appropriate registry subkey, right-click the
    IsInstalled (REG_DWORD) value, and then click
    Modify . To reinstall only the Internet Explorer 6 browser component
    on Windows XP, use the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed

    To reinstall only Outlook Express 6 on Windows XP, use the following
    registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed

  4. Change the value data from 1 to 0, and then click OK .
  5. Quit Registry Editor, and then download and install Internet Explorer 6. For
    information about how o download and install Internet Explorer 6, visit the following
    Microsoft Web site:

By default, Internet Explorer 6 is preinstalled in all versions of Windows XP and
cannot be uninstalled. To provide computer manufacturers more flexibility in
configuring desktop versions of Windows XP, Microsoft has made it possible for OEMs,
administrators, and users to remove user access to Internet Explorer while leaving the
Internet Explorer code intact and fully functional to make sure the functionality of
programs and operating system functions that rely on it. For example, Windows XP
supports an "IEAccess=off" switch in the Unattend.txt file, and Internet Explorer has
been added to the Add/Remove Windows Components section of the Add/Remove Programs tool
in Control Panel. This does not reinstall Internet Explorer.


Another suggestion I've received:
Note: I've not tested this, so proceed with caution!

Thanks for the tip to fix this annoyance. I found a method to do the sendmail.dll
replacement without disabling Windows Protection. The backup copy of the dll is kept in
the ..\Windows\System32\dllcache folder, so:
1-Rename the ..\dllcache\sendmail.dll file.
2-copy the ver.5.5 dll to the (hidden) dllcache folder.
3-rename the ..\System32\sendmail.dll file, Windows Protection will not find the right
dll in the dllcache folder and will put up a dialogue box asking for the installation
media. Click "Cancel" then "yes" in the next warning box to ignore the filechange.
4-copy the vers5.5 sendmail.dll into the System32 folder.
5-again click "Cancel" and "Yes" in the resulting Windows Protection dialogue
This will tell Windows Protection to ignore the file changes. This holds even after
rebooting. I have not tried it but you should be able to replace the vers6.0 file later
(in both folders) if you need to without any trouble.


*NOTE: All information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only. Exodus Development, Inc. disclaims all liability for use or misuse of the information presented herein or on external web sites. Use your own good judgement, ask an expert first. Proceed at your own risk.