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How to get mailto links to open in Gmail

Microsoft and Mozilla have the simplest controls.
By
January 28, 2024

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

  • 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.
  • Go to 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 and hit Done.

How to make Edge open mailto links in Gmail

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 an Allow Gmail to open all email links? pop-up appears, select Allow and hit Done.

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

  • Open the triple-dot menu in the upper-right corner and select Settings.
  • Click on Cookies and site permissions and choose Protocol handlers.
  • Make sure Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols is turned on.
  • If Gmail is listed in a block list, click the trash icon next to it.
  • Once these steps are completed, refresh Gmail.com and proceed with the instructions above.

How to make Firefox open mailto links in Gmail

  • Click the triple-line menu and select Settings.
  • In the search bar, type mailto, and next to Mailto, click on Use mail (default).
  • Among the options that appear, select Use Gmail.
  • Close Settings to save the changes.

How to make Safari open mailto links in Gmail

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.