How to change your default mail client for mailto links

FundHero
June 16, 2018

If you’ve ever been wary about opening an email link in your browser, probably because you know it’ll open that annoying email software you never use, don’t worry — it’s actually really easy to change your default program.

Those email links are called ‘mailto’ links and it’s up to your browser and operating system to decide how they get opened. Here’s how to change yours:

IMPORTANT: 

  1. If your default is a desktop mail client you need to follow the instructions for “Using a Desktop Mail Client” (found below) before you can connect to a webmail client.
  2. If you need the emails to come from someone else’s email client, you must be logged in to their Google account.

Using Web Mail (like Gmail)

Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and Navigate to settings
  2. Click advanced at the bottom of the page
  3. Under Privacy and Security select site settings
  4. Scroll and select handlers
  5. Make sure your email client is not blocked.
      1. Click on the handler button in the top right URL bar.
      2. Click allow all email linksSign into your gmail (or other) account.

To use any email clients other than Gmail in chrome, the easiest way is using the mailto chrome extension.

1. Open Chrome and Navigate to settings

2. Click advanced at the bottom of the page

3. Under Privacy and Security select site settings

4. Scroll and select handlers

5. Make sure your email client is not blocked

(Step 6 may not be required)

6. Sign into your gmail (or other) account.

      1. Click on the handler button in the top right URL bar.
      2. Click allow all email links

 

FireFox

Go to your Firefox Options/Preferences –> Applications and look for the mailto option under Content Type. You can then use the dropdown menu to specify which mail client you’d like to default to.

 

 

Using a Desktop Mail Client (like outlook)

 

On Windows

Go to your Control Panel > Apps or Programs > Default Apps or Programs > this can go in two routes.

  1. Set Associations and click on Associate a file type or protocol with a program.
    1. Scroll down until you see Set default by apps and click it.
    2. Look for MAIL, click it, then click manage.
    3. Find the MAILTO section, select the app you’d like to use to manage your mailto links
  2. Mail/Email > select the email client of your choice

 

On OS X

Open up the Mail app (through applications) and go to Preferences > General, then you can pick the email program that you’d like to set as the default using the Default email reader popup.

Matt Lyon
Matt’s experience includes overseeing up to fourteen staff members, administering budgets exceeding $1.1 million annually, directing million dollar paid media programs, raising over $5 million for various causes and organizations, and developing and implementing communications strategies that led to dozens of stories in local and national outlets, including the New York Times and Washington Post.
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