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.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.