How to Open Mailto: Links in Gmail by Default

Have you clicked mailto: links (email links) on websites and want them to open in Gmail. When I decided to install email links at bottom of these posts, I would be redirected to a popup for Outlook Express (or any other default email client in your case). But I wanted these links to open in Gmail in a new tab.

Open Email Links in Gmail

What are mailto: links? They are links that contain a mailto: link instead of  HTTP: – these links point to an email address instead of a web page. It contains an email address to which email is composed and typically might have the page URL, title and some suggested content within the URL … like a very long link.

So here is what I did to enable this feature in Chrome. When you are on your page – click the 2 diamonds you see on the top right side in the url location bar. Click on that and you get a popup with the option to enable mail handlers for the page. This is what we see…

gmail handlers

By default, Chrome does not allow to open email links. I choose ‘Allow’ and that’s it. Now when I click a mailto: link on websites, it opens Gmail compose screen prefilled with email address in a new tab!

Don’t see the diamond icons?

1. Check you are on the gmail page, otherwise you will not see the icons.

2. Go to – Settings> Show Advanced Settings > Privacy > Content Settings Button > Handlers. Check that the options to ‘Allow sites to ask to be default handlers’ is enabled. If it is not enabled, you will not see the double diamond icons on Gmail page. Enable this and try again.

mail handlers

3. Check that Protocol handlers have the mailto links set to open for site

gmail protocol

If all that is set, then you should be seeing the mailto links open in Gmail.


  1. Tom Coleman says:

    nice blog post. You have clearly described about mailto. I did not have much idea about mailto. Thanks again for sharing this post.

  2. Indo says:

    We should not open mailto links in Gmail. As it is problematic in Gmail.

  3. Punjab says:

    Mailto is always a very helpful thing, it saves time.

  4. Shanaya Robert says:

    pleasant blog entry. You have plainly portrayed about mailto. I didn’t have much thought regarding mailto. Much appreciated again for imparting this post.

  5. zubair ali says:

    I liked your post. It was helpful for me. Keep on posting and sharing with us.

  6. honey says:

    thanks got it idea about Gmail by Default 16 Responses

  7. hossaingoni says:

    wow,really that is very brilliant. i was very anxious with it before,Now i think that will not be very difficult for me.

  8. shamit khemka says:

    thanks for making this very easy for all to use and open link default

  9. giao hang nhanh says:

    this option in google chrome setting ? My google chrome is error so i can not do it :(

  10. Christian Boussinot says:

    Thanks i got a great idea how can i open Gmail default i think it a very hard but you make me very easy.

  11. Danny says:

    Ah I knew there must be a way to do this! Thanks so much! I have a personal gmail account, but I am thinking about moving my business email from another place to google too, but links not opening in gmail is a bit of a pain. So glad it’s possible!

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