Chris M. Lindsey

Dad. Assistant City Manager. Surviving.

How To: Open mailto links in Gmail

I just discovered one of the biggest time savers ever.

I use Gmail as my primary email. I have for over a year now. And I send all my emails from Gmail.

But, whenever I click on a mailto link in a webpage, it always opens up in Outlook Express. Yeah, it takes like 2 minutes to open up, and I don’t even use Outlook Express. It is just the default mail client on Windows XP. I try to look at links before I click on them, but a lot of the time it just happens. Call me click-happy.

So how do you make it work so when you click on a mailto email link that it opens up in Gmail?

The Gmail notifier does this, but I hate leaving stuff running in my taskbar all the time, especially when I always have Gmail open in a tab in Firefox.

So what other solutions are there?

I installed Google Talk sometime ago to take advantage of some feature. I don’t have it running all the time, and I think I might have used it twice before now (I just chat in Gmail or Pidgin). But it has a nifty little feature that alters the system setting to allow all mailto links to open in Gmail.

And Voila! Click on a mailto link like this one, and watch it open in Gmail!


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  1. viviana

    dude, thank you for posting this ! i’ve always had google talk but never thought there was such option -___- and i hated opening stupid links in outlook ! now, i’m lovin’ it ! gracias !!!

  2. No problem. I’m happy to see this is actually helping people!

  3. Ah, sadly, it’s not a universal fix. As in, doesn’t work for me. I have Google Talk configged to open GMail for links but it still pops up a new Outlook message. Not critical, but I’d love to have the option. Blast you again, Microsoft!

  4. Hmph. Of course, seconds (seconds, I tell you!) after posting that, I discovered the same setting in the GMail Notifier.

    Ta. Also, da!

  5. Michael

    This isn’t guaranteed to work. If you’re using Firefox, then go to Options/Preferences (I’m on a PC), click on the Applications tab, and then search for “mailto” (without quotes). It will give you a list of options one of which should be gmail. (Mine also shows yahoo.)

  6. Maxwel

    cant show me my inbox after login in are they still capable

  7. Tuko

    simple, efficient, Thanks!!!!

  8. This works because google talk installs the google notifier, so essentially it is the same tool.

  9. Dave

    Thank you so much for the info. I usually use Firefox for my browser, but because we’ve switched over to using GMail at work, I use Chrome only for email, as it is more compatible with GMail.

    GMail Notifier works perfectly! Once I installed it, I went in to Firefox and selected Notifier for the mailto: type and it just works!

    Now when I click on a mailto: link in FF, it switches over to Chrome and brings up a compose mail page!

    I really appreciate you enlightening me (yes, we are not worthy, etc., etc.)

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