When you click email hyperlink, also called a “mailto link,” you may have noticed that your computer will try to create a new email in your default email client, which is typically Microsoft Outlook for most systems where Microsoft Office or Apple Mail for Mac. However, if you do not use MS Outlook or Apple Mail as your primary email client, we might not desire this default behavior. Fortunately, you can follow the steps below to customize your respective web browser(s) to open a different email client (e.g. Gmail) instead.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open your Windows computer’s Control Panel.
  2. Click Internet Options.
  3. Click the Programs tab.
  4. Select the desired email client from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click OK. (Note: To set Gmail or Yahoo! as your default email client for mailto links, see the sections below.)

To install Gmail as your default email client in Internet Explorer

  1. Open your Internet Explorer web browser.
  2. Install the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer by clicking this link: Google Toolbar.
  3. Once installed, click the Toolbar Options icon (wrench icon) in the top right-hand side of the window.
  4. Scroll down to the “Web-browsing tools” section, and select Use Gmail for “Mail To” links.Click Save.

How to Easily Change the Browser Default Email Program

 

To install Yahoo! as your default email client in Internet Explorer

  1. Open your Internet Explorer web browser.
  2. Install the Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer by following this link: Yahoo! Toolbar.
  3. Restart your browser by quitting and reopening it.
  4. Open your computer’s Control Panel.
  5. Click Internet Options.
  6. Click the Programs tab.
  7. Select Yahoo! Mail from the drop-down menu.
  8. Click OK.

Google Chrome

  1. Open your Chrome web browser.
  2. Click the Chrome menu icon in the top right-hand corner of the window.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Show Advanced Settings at the bottom of the page.
  5. Under “Privacy,” click Content Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the “Handlers” section, and click the Manage Handlers button.
  7. Select your desired, default email client (e.g. Gmail).

How to Easily Change the Browser Default Email Program

Firefox

  1. Open your Firefox web browser.
  2. Click the Firefox menu the top left-hand corner of the window.
  3. Click Options (PC) or Preferences (Macintosh).
  4. Click the Applications subtab.
  5. Use the search bar for “mailto.”
  6. Click the drop-down menu under the “Action” column.
  7. Select your desired, default email client (e.g. Use Gmail).
  8. Click OK. (Note: On a Macintosh computer, your settings will automatically be saved, so you will not need to click OK.)

 

How to Easily Change the Browser Default Email Program

Safari

  1. Open your Safari web browser.
  2. Install the “Google Mailto Extension” for Safari by clicking the following link: Google Mailto Extension
  3. Click the Downloads icon (arrow pointing down) at the top right-hand side of the window.
  4. Double-click the extension that you just downloaded.
  5. Click Install once prompted.
  6. In the “Options” section, select your desired, default email client (e.g. Use Gmail). (Note: Once you click on an email client, it is automatically saved.)
  7. When finished, restart your browser by quitting and reopening it.

How to Easily Change the Browser Default Email Program