How do I assign Gmail as the default for email (mailto) links?

2015-02-27 16:44

Help!  When I click an e-mail link, it launches Outlook! 

Most people have moved to web-based e-mail like Gmail, Yahoo, etc., and away from computer-based e-mail programs like Outlook. However, when you clink a link on a web page to send e-mail to that person, the link may still launch Outlook to send email through. (If you use a Mac, it will launch the Mac Mail client.) Until recently, there wasn’t much you could do about this. You just had to tediously copy and paste the e-mail link into your separate e-mail program. However, there is a better solution for users of Gmail who also login to Google Chrome. There are a lot of prerequisites to make this work, but if you get it all set up, it works really well. 

If you:

a)  use Google Chrome as your web browser,

b)  have and use a Chrome login that saves your settings,

c)  use Gmail (or a corporate or school version of Gmail) as you e-mail, and

d)  are logged in to Gmail at the time you click the mailto link on a web page

then, when you click on an e-mail link on a web page, it will launch and use your Gmail account to send to e-mail links rather than launching Outlook.

Follow these stept to use Gmail to open email links:

  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar. It looks like three parallel horizontal lines at the very top right of your screen.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Scroll down if necessary and click the blue “Show advanced settings” link at the bottom of the page.
  5. In the “Privacy” section, click “Content settings.”
  6. In the dialog box that appears, find the “Handlers” section.
  7. Click “Manage handlers.”
  8. Use the drop-down menu next to a listed protocol to select the web service that should be used by default. If this already exists, make sure it says the right thing (e.g. Click “Done” and skip to step 11.
  9. If there is no “Mailto” option in the protocol box, open Gmail in a Google Chrome browser window. Click on the handler icon (it looks like two overlapping diamonds <<>>) on the right side of the address bar near the favorites star.
  10. You will get a pop-up window that asks “How do you want to pen this type of link (mailto)?” Click the Google Chrome option. (Alternatively, you may get a smaller pop-up that asks you if you will allow Chrome to be the handler. Click “Allow.”) Once you have selected this option, that handler will show up in step 8, above, ant the <<>> handler icon will no longer appear in your browser.
  11. Go back to the Settings tab and click “Done.” Close the Settings tab.
  12. Test the new settings with a mailto link from a webpage. It should launch your Gmail account in another Chrome window and create a draft email to the mailto link address you clicked.


Tags: email, Google
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