Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Configuring Pocomail & Barca

Support Gone | Alternatives | The Bat! | Configuring | Troubleshooting | Windows 7

Pocomail icon

References to Pocomail Include Barca

In the following documentation, references to Pocomail apply to Barca. I'll only mention Barca where configuration or operation differs. The experience with both was identical — at least as far as managing email and contacts.

Barca and Pocomail — What's the Difference?

Barca provides the convenience of Outlook's extended features provided in a secure environment.

Barca takes the excellent email features included in Pocomail and adds a calendar, scheduler, diary and other features to make it a fully functioning Personal Information Manager (PIM).

Barca Professional adds the ability to share calendars with others on your network to efficiently schedule meetings and more.

Pocomail or Barca were once my recommendation for a robust email program for people and businesses with heavier email demands. These programs may still work, even on Windows 10, but they were designed for Windows XP running on 32-bit systems and are obsolete.

I moved to The Bat! in 2013. I can't provide decent support for Pocomail or Barca without the day-to-day experience of using them.

Both have significant issues:

  • The last update was released on April 6, 2009.
  • Support has expired (there are archived messages in the Pocomail Forums).
  • Current HTML-based messages may not display properly — layout protocols have changed.
  • Pocomail doesn't support the newer and more secure email retrieval protocols used by most ISPs.
  • Pocomail was designed for Windows XP. While Pocomail may run on newer versions of Windows, there are installation and configuration issues, even in Windows 7 (released on October 22, 2009 — after the last update of Pocomail).

The Bat! is my recommended replacement (see how to transfer messages).

This page will remain as a resource for those currently running Pocomail or Barca. While I occasionally edit this page, it if more for clarity or to correct grammatical errors than because of current experience with either PocoMail or Barca.

I regret that I cannot offer much in the way of support, particularly about running PocoMail on Windows 8 or 10.

Current User? Get the Latest Version

Be sure you're running the most recent version released on April 6, 2009 (these links may disappear at any time):

Pocomail and Barca Unsupported

Support Ended December 2011

Slavin, Pocomail's creator, posted a notice in October 2011 on the Pocomail Forums. Pocomail and Barca sales ceased in December 2011 — there is no longer any official support.

Unfortunately, the market for stand-alone email programs is poor and future development and support for Pocomail and Barca were commercially untenable.

Open Source Hinted But Unavailable

The possibility of a free release of Pocomail 4.9 in the future was hinted at, but has never appeared. Because these programs were built with Delphi and included some commercial modules they could not be released for open source development.

Pocomail Still Working — But with Challenges

If you choose to continue to use Pocomail or Barca, you'll be glad to know that Barca 2 worked flawlessly on my 32-bit Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation and a 32-bit Windows 10 Preview but I suspect that 64-bit versions will have the same challenges as 64-bit Windows 7.

Email technology has moved forward since 2009 and there is now more emphasis on Web-based email services accessed across multiple devices.

Without ongoing development Pocomail has fallen behind and is not as suitable as currently supported programs. It suffers from the failure to accurately display some content (particularly e-newsletters) and there are issues with default settings, even in Windows 7.

Assessing Alternatives

I've assessed a number of potential alternative email programs for existing Pocomail users. See Why Pocomail is Difficult to Replace for additional details.

In the process I've evaluated a number of other potential programs, most of which are included on the Email Software page. See my email client recommendations here.

I recommend The Bat! for more demanding users. It is very flexible and has some great features including internal HTML viewer, advanced message handling, OpenPGP encryption, security and more. The Bat! was my choice for moving from Barca.

For most others I've recommended Mozilla Thunderbird.

One minor post on the Poco Forums suggested the following method of moving your Pocomail messages to Thunderbird (I haven't tried this and your mileage may vary. Be sure to retain backups):

If you have Thunderbird, just copy the *.mbx file in the inbox folder of Thunderbird, delete the extension of the name ( *.mbx > * ) and open Thunderbird — there it is!

While I've recommended Postbox for those looking for a simpler solution than The Bat! but with more features than Thunderbird, I have no current clients using it and no recent experience of my own.

What About Outlook?

Many people use Microsoft Outlook for email. Unfortunately I've had so much trouble with it that I no longer support it.

For those that would like to use Outlook and are moving from PocoMail, Stellar MBOX to PST Converter will convert a Pocomail mailbox to an Outlook PST file.

Return to top

Moving to The Bat!

Download The Bat!

The Bat! Professional Recommended

Meeting the Needs of Heavy/Demanding Users

I'd recommend The Bat! Professional (US$59.99) for those with heavier requirements (multiple email accounts, larger volumes of mail or more control).

  • The Bat! is very flexible and has some great features including internal HTML viewer, advanced message handling, OpenPGP encryption, security and more.
  • The Bat! Voyager provides secure email via a USB drive and is included with The Bat! Professional.
  • The Home version (US$26.95) is an option except for commercial use. See the differences between the Home and the Professional Edition to see if the Home version will meet your needs and licensing requirements.

Some Adjustment Needed

I did find that I had to change the way that I managed my email and email accounts. Some features in Pocomail are missing or confusing to new users:

  • Pocomail allowed me to manage client accounts (separate email accounts) within an extended “Clients” subfolder using Pocomail's ability to choose any destination folder for incoming as well as sent mail. The Bat! required me to set up separate accounts for each email account separately.
  • The “View Mail on Server” allowed me to manage server mail without having to log onto the webmail application (useful for dealing with a problem email such as where the mail wasn't deleted automatically from the server).
  • The “Online Operation” allowed me to quickly take Pocomail off-line for maintenance tasks when I didn't want mail downloaded (such as when I was working with the filters or making changes to accounts or backing up/restoring mail on my laptop).
  • The Bat! has no newsgroup component (I know newsgroups are rare today, mostly replaced with forums, but I still subscribe to a couple). Thunderbird will handle newsgroups.
  • The Bat! depends upon third-party spam filtering plugins. Install the plugin then configure it in The Bat! (Options: Plugins ). I recommend AntispamSniper for The Bat! commercial version ($19.95). None of the plugins are as easy to use or train as PocoMail's Bayesian filters and the freeware plugins weren't effective enough for me.
  • The Bat! saves draft messages in the Outbox (with an hourglass symbol to denote holding the message) rather than in a Drafts mailbox.

I was pleased to see that The Bat! was in several ways just as intelligent as Pocomail and in some ways better:

  • I strongly recommend that you configure The Bat! to use its own viewer rather than the newer option to use the system's viewer (Internet Explorer) for security reasons.
    • This is one of the reasons I rejected a number of other alternatives like Beckymail.
    • One sender uses HTML protocols that require the used of the system's viewer to see their emails correctly (I chose not to do so for security reasons).
  • The filters adapt to external changes — moving a folder updated the affected filters.
  • The Bat! blocks external images by default, but controls image display on both a source and a per-sender basis. It lists the image sources and allowing you to accept images from all the related sources or simply allow them for the sender's domain or on a one-time basis.
  • The Bat! displays current message formats perfectly for newsletters and similar complex layouts (you usually need to allow external images to download).
    • Pocomail had issues with properly displaying such modern content, forcing me to view newsletters and similar content in my browser.
  • The Bat! provides for custom HTML-based templates for New Message, Reply and Forward for each account and can be configured for Confirmation messages to put in Outbox, Send immediately, Edit or Ignore (I use Ignore to disallow a reading confirmation receipt).
  • The Bat! has a mailbox analyzer that will look for consistencies in email and automatically create new folders and filters for larger volume senders.

Exporting PocoMail's Mail, Contacts and Settings

There appears to be no direct way to import the multiple accounts, mail and contacts from Pocomail into today's email programs. Built in the days of Netscape and Eudora, Pocomail has a proprietary format.

Address books can be exported to CSV, LDIF and HTML formats; folders to Netscape, Eudora and other RFC822 standards. Postbox has an Import/Export addon but it doesn't seem to include Pocomail.

Those that have too much mail to simply abandon it and start afresh (like myself) might need an intermediary program:

Aid4Mail works as a general method of exporting Pocomail or Barca information. It also imports information that other methods may not. A one-year license costs US$39.95 for home users for (US$29.95 for a two-week license); US$59.95 for professionals and organizations (US$39.95 for a two-week license) with a 50% discount on renewal. The Home version worked for me (a single user with multiple email addresses).

Exporting from PocoMail

Open Aid4Mail and select the following settings:

  1. Select “PocoMail (mailbox) *.mbx”
  2. Navigate to the mailbox location (the Mail folder in the same location as the Attach folder).
  3. Select any filters (I didn't select any).
  4. Select “mbox mailbox files (in mboxrd format)”
  5. Set the target location (Mail in Documents is the default) and “Accept Microsoft Windows (CRLF)”
  6. Select “Preserve full message” and “Restore source mail folder structure” options.

The mail is exported to a folder (“mail” in My Documents by default).

One Annoyance

I did run into an issue noted in the Aid4Mail knowledge base:

Why do exported EML and MSG file have the current date stamp instead of the original email date?
This problem is usually caused by the Windows file indexing feature, which updates the file date stamp on reading it. Suggestion: in Windows, go to Control Panel ⇒ Indexing Options ⇒ Advanced ⇒ File Types, and uncheck the extensions “eml” and “msg” from the list.

The import date became my “received date” rather than the original message date. The imported messages are all older than the new messages (but I can determine original dates using the “sent date”) so I didn't bother trying again.

Importing to The Bat!

Open The Bat! and import the mail, one mailbox at a time:

  1. Select the appropriate mailbox in The Bat!
  2. Click on Tools and select “Import Messages” then “From UNIX Mailboxes…” then select the appropriate *.mbox mailbox (it may be in a different location than you expect — sub-folders mailboxes may have a mailbox and a folder with other mailboxes) in the folder where you exported your PocoMail mail then click Open.
  3. The import processes the mail and the messages are copied into the highlighted mailbox in The Bat!
  4. Repeat the process for each mailbox you wish to import.

The biggest challenge may be in having to import mailboxes and folders independently of each other. While this may take time, it is probably easier than doing it manually.

Pocomail's attachments were imported along with their respective messages and now function in The Bat! just like attachments in messages retrieved by The Bat!.

Importing Address Books

I transferred my multiple address books manually (copying information from Pocomail into newly-created The Bat! address groups) because it gave me the opportunity to clean up old entries and create some new ones with more accurate information. There was also a difference in some aspects of how PocoMail and The Bat! handle email addresses.

You can transfer addresses using the export/import utilities:

  1. Export your PocoMail address book in LDIF format (you'll have to do each address book separately if you have multiples).
  2. Open The Bat! address book, select the address book (or group) then click File and select Import From “LDIF file” (navigating to the appropriate file).
  3. The import processes the LDIF file and addresses are copied into the highlighted address book (or group) in The Bat!
  4. Repeat the process for each address book you wish to import.

Depending on how your PocoMail address book(s) were set up and how much information they contain, your mileage may vary.

Return to top

Why Pocomail is Difficult to Replace

Tremendously powerful, Pocomail doesn't sacrifice your security to achieve usability. Built from the ground up to provide the customization and features you want, it remains secure. Many of these security features were later incorporated into other email clients, but Pocomail was the first to do so.

  • Very easy to use, but as you go deeper you notice how incredibly customizable Pocomail is.
  • Powerful scripting and junkmail filtering capabilities help you to deal with spam and the sorting of legitimate mail with a 98% accuracy.
  • I used a series of filters to move messages from some two dozen accounts into hundreds of specific folders under various account headings, but you could use it simply to move incoming mail from your Aunt Martha into a unique folder separate from your regular inbox.

PocoMail was probably the first email programs that didn't integrate Internet Explorer components for displaying HTML (enhanced) email messages. Its built-in viewer and the ability to restrict the retrieval of targeted external images provides protection against spammers and advertisers that track your downloading of messages.

  • The tight integration between Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Outlook (or the obsolete Outlook Express) is convenient, but that convenience threatens your privacy and system security.
  • This was also a serious problem for many third-party email programs, exposing them to viruses and other security issues.

Recent versions of Microsoft Outlook have reverted to using MS Word for HTML messages to avoid this issue.

  • As a result, some HTML-based messages designed for Outlook may not display as expected (or at all) in Pocomail (but they do in Thunderbird and The Bat!).
  • Replies to messages composed in Outlook often stop quoting text where a list starts (the missing text can be copied manually, but it is inconvenient).

Return to top

Configuring Pocomail

If you configure Pocomail correctly, many of the regular maintenance tasks will be taken care of for you.

The Basics

  • Pocomail installs in C:\Program Files\PocomailX (Barca in C:\Program Files\BarcaX) — where X is the major version number by default.
  • Most of the settings are contained within the poco.ini (barca.ini) file rather than in Windows registry. This makes your setting transferable across multiple installations, if necessary.
  • You can import between Pocomail or Barca, although only Barca contains the calendar (PIM) settings.
  • The main setup tools are under the Tools menu (Accounts Setup, Customize, Options).
  • When you first install Pocomail it will prompt you for your name and email address. The other option, if you have a prior Pocomail install, you can import settings from that previous installation using the existing poco.ini (or barca.ini).
  • A new window asks for the incoming server, user name, password, incoming server type and outgoing server. The default settings are often correct, but just in case, the next section deals with these account settings.

Account Settings

Accounts are set up through Tools Accounts. If you don't know the settings to configure your account, look in your old email account or contact your ISP.

Note that most ISPs have moved to more secure email retrieval protocols that are NOT supported by PocoMail.

While your ISP may not be aware of how to set up Pocomail, most email accounts use incoming & outgoing server settings and depend upon your user name (usually the beginning of your email address before the @ symbol) and password. For example:

  • Shaw uses incoming: and outgoing: ( and port 587 for mobile devices — Remote Access must be enabled for your email account).
  • Telus uses POP3 — incoming:; outgoing: (default ports) OR IMAP — port 143 and port 25.
  • uses POP3 or IMAP / SMTP outgoing 465 (for secure server; 587 otherwise): incoming & outgoing

Modifying Settings

You can check these settings and modify them from the Tools Accounts Setup menu. Click on the account name and edit to modify settings. Be careful with the Virtual and Privacy settings as they can have unexpected results if you set them up incorrectly.

Multiple Settings

If you have multiple email accounts (e.g. a personal account and a business account) you might want the messages to come into separate inboxes.

  • This can be selected in the Mailboxes section of the Accounts Setup.
  • You will need to create the necessary mailboxes first (unless they were imported in the process below) by right-clicking on a mailbox where you want to place the new mailbox or sub-mailbox.
  • Pocomail is very flexible and can handle extremely complex nested mailboxes.

Importing Mail

When you start Pocomail after entering the server settings, the program asks for a program to import information from. The choices include:

  • Microsoft Outlook (using POImport)
  • Microsoft Outlook Express
  • Eudora
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Netscape Mail

You are then prompted to import mail and address books. Pocomail should import everything correctly, although you might have to let it know how to deal with the contact information.

The import utility assumes you have these programs installed on your system at the time you run the utility and may not work correctly if you have uninstalled the program. It is also recommended that you compress the mailboxes in the old email program prior to import to help avoid problems.

Messages imported from a newer version of Pocomail (4 or newer) or Barca2 use a different method of indexing messages. If you revert to Pocomail 3 after trying a newer version out (or Barca), you will need to compress all the mailboxes in the newer version before importing the settings and mail. After the import, restart Pocomail 3, then compress the mailboxes, then restart it again to see your messages.

Filtering Mail

One of the strongest features of Pocomail is its filtering capabilities. At the very least you should enable basic filtering.

Filtering Junk (Spam)

Enable Basic Filtering
  • Click on the Tools Junk Mail Filtering menu. Select Enable automatic Junk Mail filtering to add the basic features, then click OK.
  • As your messages come in they will either be sorted into your In mailbox or sent to the Junk Mail mailbox if Pocomail's Bayesian filters determine that it is junk.
Training the Bayesian Filters
  • Mail incorrectly placed into the Junk Mail mailbox should first be marked as good (click the green check mark on the menu at the top of the message view). Then right-click the message and move it to the folder where you wish to store it.
  • Junk that is not caught by Pocomail's filters should be marked bad (click the red X on the menu at the top of the message view). This will automatically move the message to the Junk Mail folder.
  • Once you've dealt with everything in the Junk Mail folder, click on the Mailbox Empty Junk Mailbox to empty the folder. This will not move messages to your Trash, so you will want to be sure to deal with all messages in the folder before doing this, but it also means that you won't have to get rid of junkmail twice.
  • Over time, Pocomail's filters will “learn” how to deal with your mail with a 98% accuracy so that you will have to spend less time weeding out the junk.

Using Filters to Organize Your Mail

The other aspect of Pocomail's filtering is that you can use it to move messages automatically into selected folders by dozens of criteria including email address, sender, subject, etc.

Sending Messages to Specific Folders
  • If you right-click on a message in the messages listing you can add a quick filter for that message. The process is context-sensitive, so if you click on the subject, Pocomail will set up a filter based on the subject of the message. If you click on the email address it will base the filter on that.
  • How you set up the filter will depend upon how frequently the message subject or address changes. Often, frequent messages have a consistent feature like square brackets: [mailing list name] or a similar item you can use to filter the messages in spite of an otherwise changing subject. You can also use wildcards: *

You can use an unlimited number of filters and Pocomail allows you to set up Incoming, Outgoing, Pre-Download and Post-Send categories of filters as well as four user-defined filtering categories. Most people only use the Incoming filters, but the others are there if you need them.

Customizing Pocomail

Pocomail is extremely customizable. There are several ways to change the way it looks, but these will get you started:

  • The basic look and feel of Pocomail is set up in the Tools Customize menu. You can alter your toolbar, colour scheme, layout and display fonts from this menu.
  • The choice to view certain features is also controlled from the View menu by either adding or removing the feature.
  • By right-clicking on the Address Book entries, you can select how they will be sorted: first/last, last/first or email address and how many lines the information will be carried on.

Keep Pocomail Running Smoothly

Like any program, Pocomail needs some routine maintenance to keep it running as smoothly as possible. These hints will help you to make this maintenance easy.

Keep It Trim

  • Cull your messages regularly. You can set up mailboxes to keep messages for later reference rather than making your In mailbox too difficult to work with. Smaller mailboxes work better than larger ones, particularly if you are running an older computer.
  • Keep your Trash and Junk Mail folders empty and compress them often. This will help prevent problems from appearing. Compressing mailboxes should also be one of your first steps to try to resolve problems with Pocomail.
  • Pocomail (from version 3.4) and Barca will automatically compress certain mailboxes when you open them. If you've not compressed them in a long time, there will likely be a delay. You can press ESC to stop this process if necessary, but don't End Task Pocomail! Letting the process finish will keep your mailboxes small and mailbox index accurately in sync with your mailbox store.

Back It Up

  • Your Pocomail should be backed up at least every several days and immediately before any major changes, including an upgrade.
  • This can be done manually: Click on the File Backup and Restore, then Backup, but it is easier to have it done automatically.
  • Click on Tools Options and make sure that “Backup mailboxes every…” is checked. Every 5 days works quite well for most people.

Check for Updates

Updates are no longer available but be sure you're running the most recent version.

Avoid Problems

You can avoid many problems by reducing the demands you are placing on Pocomail, particularly if your system is older or lacking the resources to operate as efficiently as it once did.

  • I recommend that you deselect the “Check mail on startup” option in Startup Options (under General Options) to help smooth things when your system is busy.
  • If you like to have your messages checked automatically (see Account Settings), don't set the frequency too high or it may interfere with other activities on your system. Checking every 10 minutes is enough for most people, although I do run some at 30-minute intervals for infrequently-used accounts.
  • While it is more convenient to leave received attachments encoded inside messages (Encoding Options is found within the General Options), this practice can lead to a significant overhead in the operation of Pocomail, particularly if the attachments are large and numerous in a mailbox. It might be better to let Pocomail handle the attachments inside the Attachments directory (they are still associated with the particular message they came with).

Return to top

Troubleshooting Problems with Pocomail

Help Resources

These resources can help you make the most out of Pocomail and Barca:

Fixing Problems That Occur

Often just restarting Windows will resolve issues without resorting to a series of troubleshooting steps.

If you do run into problems (usually appearing as error reports on the Progress Window) give the suggestions below a try. The following is a quick link into specific issues:

Emails Blank or Garbled | Connection Issues | Socket Errors | Attachment Issues

Emails Blank or Garbled

AVG Issues

There is a potential issue with AVG antivirus when you allow it to certify your incoming and outgoing messages. This can result in messages being appearing to be blank or messages that are not displaying properly. The fix is quite simple: set AVG to NOT certify messages.

  1. Open the AVG User Interface by double-clicking on the icon.
  2. Click on the Options menu and select Advanced Settings.
  3. From the Advanced Settings window that appears, click the “plus” on Email Protection from the menu on the left to expand the menu then repeat to view the expanded menu under Email Scanner.
  4. Click on Certification and ensure both certification boxes are unchecked (if you're using the free version you may be unable to uncheck the incoming email certification).
  5. Click OK to save your settings.

I tend to do this with all security software installations because the certification means nothing to the recipient (it is advertising for the antivirus software). You can't trust the sender for security — you have to take care of it for yourself.

Headers Showing

You can view

  1. short headers (just the From, Subject and To information);
  2. full headers (adds a tremendous amount of routing and other information that can be confusing to most people but will be required by your ISP if you're having difficulties with spam); or
  3. no headers at all.

Most people prefer the short headers and if there is additional information they have to scroll down the message to view the sender's message.

However, if you are trying to troubleshoot a problem or if your ISP or another service asks for the headers in a message, what they are asking for is the full headers.

Most are Connection Issues

Check Your Internet Connection

Most issues have to do with connection to the Internet:

  • Ensure that Pocomail is online. This may appear on the toolbar, but a check mark should appear next to Online Operation.
  • If you are running a firewall (ZoneAlarm recommended) it needs to be programmed to allow any program requiring access to the Internet including Pocomail. Controlling Internet access is the job of a firewall.
  • If you have your security program configured to check incoming and outgoing messages for viruses, it can stop a message from being delivered (or retrieved) if not working correctly. Most such programs give some indication, such as an animated envelope, near the antivirus or email program's icon located near the Windows clock on the taskbar.
  • When you see error messages, check your firewall settings and ensure that your anti-virus program is activated when you try to send or receive messages. Problems with these applications can prevent your messages from being transmitted or received as you expect.

Socket Errors

Sometimes you see error messages with codes like Socket Error 11004 (the most common) when checking your mail. These have to do with connection issues with your ISP rather than with Pocomail itself.

Attachment Issues

PDFs as .TXT

The most common issue is PDFs showing up with a .txt extension instead of a .pdf extension. Since extensions tell Windows what to do with a file, you will be unable to open this file (or it will open with a lot of garbage in the text editor).

In this case you will not be able to view the PDF until you change the extension of the file from FILENAME.txt to FILENAME.pdf. Note that this action will break the ability of Pocomail (or Barca) to open the attachment, but at least you can then view it. I found that notifying the sender can rectify this issue as most such PDFs are auto-generated by software.

Why This Happens

If Pocomail cannot determine an extension it adds the .txt extension.

This is most common with files sent by someone using a Mac because that operating system handles file types in a manner that is invisible to Windows.

XP Service Pack 2 Errors

You may have connection issues related to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. These can be described differently, but are the same issue:

  1. You may experience problems connecting to your email; or
  2. Programs that connect to IP addresses that are in the loop back address range may not work as you expect.

While installing Service Pack 3 will resolve this issue, support for Windows XP has expired and XP is increasingly unsafe to use, especially online.

Return to top

Windows 7 Issues

Vista and Windows 7 computers deal differently with files than Windows XP.

This can create issues, particularly for modern 64-bit Windows installations — rare when Pocomail was designed.

There are two main problems:

  1. Making Pocomail the default for email and newsgroup messages; and
  2. Issues with opening an email link on a website (even after setting Pocomail as the default email program). This requires a correction to the mailto: class in the Windows registry.

Install Using Default Settings

When installing Pocomail in Windows 7 you'll need to choose the default installation setting: Windows default application folder (supports network roaming).

While XP allowed you to keep the settings in your application installation folder, this won't work in Vista or later, especially if you're running the 64-bit version.

Using a custom installation folder may create problems in the future.

Setting Pocomail as Default

If you are installing Pocomail in Windows 7 you might have difficulty establishing Pocomail as the default email and newsgroup program on a Windows 7 (especially on a 64-bit installation).

Mailto: (email) links on websites may not open Pocomail correctly.

The solution to this problem was provided in the Poco Forums:

I provided the following information while these Forums posts were unavailable and without copies of the extensive (and useful) discussions involved, I'd made notes for my own use and have dealt with this issue on computers running both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.

The following discussions are somewhat technical and you may wish to have assistance. See Obtaining Professional Help.

Administrator Privileges Needed

In order to perform these changes, ensure that you're running Pocomail or Barca with administrator privileges.

  1. Navigate to the program on the All Programs menu.
  2. Right-click on Pocomail and select Run as administrator.
  3. Click on Tools and select Options and choose General Options from the list on the left.
  4. Click on the two Make Default buttons (default email program and default newsgroup reader).They should then grey out.

Test the fix by opening Firefox (or your default browser) to a page containing an email link (try the “Contact Us” page) and verify that Pocomail opens with an email window with the correct address in the To: section of the headers.

Check Firefox Settings

You may also need to go to Firefox Options, click on the Applications tab and ensure the Mailto: entry points to Pocomail. If Pocomail options are absent choose Use Other and navigate to the correct program. Settings for other browsers will be similar.

I've found this to work in most 32-bit Windows 7 installations, but not for 64-bit installations. You'll need to try a registry fix.

Try the “Canned” Registry Fix

Try using the registry patch ( (Pocomail) or (Barca), depending on which program you're running).

These zip files contain executable files with the same name but with an .exe extension and will make the appropriate registry entries for you. They were obtained from the Poco Forums.

  1. Download the appropriate patch file for your program: for Pocomail or for Barca (both 44 KB), noting where you saved it.
  2. Extract the file (right-click and select Extract All).
  3. Make sure Pocomail or Barca is running.
  4. Go back where you extracted the zip file (step 2) and right-click the pocomrf.exe or barcamrf.exe file then select Run as administrator (second option from the top).
  5. The program will automatically make the changes to the registry.

Test the fix by opening your browser to a page containing an email link and verify that Pocomail or Barca opens with an email window with the correct address in the To: section.

If this works, you're good to go.

Otherwise you might want to repeat the step outlined in Administrator Privileges Needed to see if that works now that you've run the automatic registry entries program.

Try the Manual Registry Fix

If the canned fix doesn't work, you'll need to edit the registry directly.

Editing the Registry

Editing the Windows Registry directly is not recommended except for advanced users.

Once you've opened the Registry Editor, navigate to


This entry may be missing, but if it is there, the structure looks as follows:


If the mailto entry or the sub-menu structure is missing, you'll need to add those manually.

Alternatively, allow a program like Thunderbird to make entries (then replace ALL the entries correctly with settings for Pocomail).

Edit or add the correct values including the quotation marks, for the program you have installed (Pocomail or Barca) for 32-bit or 64-bit.

  • Pocomail in 32-bit:
    "C:\Program Files\Pocomail\Poco.exe" /m "%1"
  • Pocomail in 64-bit:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Pocomail\Poco.exe" /m "%1"
  • Barca in 32-bit:
    "C:\Program Files\Barca2\Barca.exe" /m "%1"
  • Barca in 64-bit:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Barca2\Barca.exe" /m "%1"
  • Default Icon:
    • C:\PROGRA~2\Pocomail\Poco.exe,-1
    • C:\PROGRA~2\Barca2\Barca.exe,-1
  • Command:
    • C:\PROGRA~2\Pocomail\Poco.exe" /m "%1
    • "C:\PROGRA~2\Barca2\Barca.exe" /m "%1"

Just copy the selection and replace the existing content (the quotation marks are required) then close the Registry Editor and test to see if your Pocomail or Barca program works normally.

As noted, the base information for this topic was gathered from contributions from threads in the Poco Forums.

Return to top

Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

or check the resources index.

Return to top

If these pages helped you,
buy me a coffee!
Updated: November 1, 2019