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How to get mailto links to open in Gmail

Microsoft and Mozilla have the simplest controls.
By
May 17, 2023

If Gmail is your email client of choice, one of the bigger irritations is clicking on an address on the web and having it open something like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook instead. It doesn’t have to be that way — here’s how to force mailto links to open Gmail in one of the big four web browsers: Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox.

How to make Chrome open mailto links in Gmail

The 2022 Chrome logo
  • Click the triple-dot menu in the upper-right corner and select Settings.
  • In the sidebar, select Privacy and security.
  • Click Site settings.
  • Open Additional permissions.
  • Click Protocol handlers.
  • Enable Sites can ask to handle protocols.
  • Open Gmail.com in a separate tab.
  • In the address bar, click on the double diamonds.
  • When you see “Allow mail.google.com to open all links?”, click Allow.

How to make Safari open mailto links in Gmail

The Apple Safari logo

There’s no built-in solution here. While there used to be a free Safari extension, the best option now appears to be an app on the Mac App Store called Open in Webmail. It’s $2, but can make Safari open email links in many webmail services, some others being Outlook, Yahoo, and AOL. It also works with the Mac versions of Chrome and Firefox.

How to make Edge open mailto links in Gmail

Microsoft Edge logo icon

The instructions here are similar to Chrome, but often a little simpler.

  • Open Edge and go to Gmail.com. Log in with your Google account if you haven’t already.
  • In the address bar, click the double diamonds.
  • When a “Allow Gmail to open all email links?” pop-up appears, select Allow.

If you don’t see diamonds in the address bar, try these steps first:

  • Open the triple-dot menu in the upper-right corner.
  • Click Settings.
  • Click the triple-line menu in the upper-left corner and select Cookies and site permissions.
  • Click on Protocol handlers.
  • Make sure Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols is turned on.
  • If Gmail.com appears in a block list, click the trash icon next to it.
  • Refresh Gmail.com and click on the double diamonds.

How to make Firefox open mailto links in Gmail

Firefox logo
  • Click the triple-line menu and select Settings.
  • Under the General tab, find Applications.
  • Search for mailto, and select it as a Content Type.
  • Click Use Gmail.
  • Close Settings to save changes.