How to Turn Gmail Into Your Default Emailing App

Whenever you click on an email link on the Web, your computer may prompt you with instructions to set up email locally on your computer. If you prefer not to setup your email locally, the best way is to copy the email address, click compose on your Gmail account, then paste the email address to the recipient column of the email composer. It’s a way lengthier process.

Facebook Music

Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to have a new email composer open on your browser when you click on the email address?

Well, Gmail has recently made it that easier for you and in this tutorial, we will show you how to open email links directly in Gmail in the browser of your choice: Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Open Email Links in Gmail with Chrome

When Google first launched the open-all-email-links feature, it will prompt users like me and you the moment we are logged into our Gmail accounts with the question, ‘Allow Gmail to open all email links?’. You can choose to answer with ‘No’ or ‘Use Gmail’.

Enable ‘Open-Email-Links’ in Gmail

The question will only appear, as long you have not selected a preference. When you select ‘No’, it will not make a second appearance to revert your selection.

  1. To use the feature, you need to click the button ‘Use Gmail’.

    use gmail

  2. If you accidentally clicked ‘No’ and decided to use the feature, go to your Chrome browser, type chrome://settings/handlers at the address bar and hit Enter.

    When you are in the ‘Protocol Handlers’ page, scroll down to ‘Ignore protocol handlers’ and delete the ‘mailto:Gmail’ line.

    Chrome Gmail protocol

    Now refresh your Gmail account, and you shall see the question appear again. This time make sure to click ‘Use Gmail’. That’s all it needs to enable the feature.

Opening email links

Now click on any email link found on any web page.

Email Links

Gmail will automatically open an email composer for you in a new Chrome browser tab.

Load email

With the email address updated to the composer, you can proceed to write your email.


Disable open-email-links in Gmail with Chrome

To disable this open-email-links in Gmail feature, again, go to chrome://settings/handlers. When you are in, under ‘Active protocol handlers’ click on ‘remove this site’.


When you refresh your Gmail, Google will ask you the same question to enable the feature. Select ‘No’.

Enable/Disable Open-Email-Links in Gmail with Firefox

To enable open-email-links in Gmail feature in Firefox, first go to your Firefox ‘Application’ settings window.

  1. To get there on your Mac, click on the Firefox tab and go to ‘Preferences’.

    Firefox Mac

  2. If you are on Windows, click on the ‘Firefox’ tab and go to ‘Options’.

    Firefox Windows

Now that the Preference window is already opened, click on the ‘Applications’ tab and at the search bar, type ‘mailto’ and hit enter.

When the options appear, under the ‘Action’ column, click on the dropdown menu and select ‘Use Gmail’.

Applications Tab

And now the feature works on your Firefox too! To disable, simply come back to the ‘Applications’ tab here and revert selection to ‘Use Chrome (default)’.

Enable/Disable Open-Email-Links in Gmail with Internet Explorer

For Internet Explorer users, you first need to download and install Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer to enable this feature. Once installed, click on the wrench icon on the top right corner of your Internet Explorer browser.

IE wrench

Now in the ‘Toolbar Options > General’ window, check the box ‘Use Gmail for "Mail To" links’ and click ‘Save’.

IE Toolbar options

The feature will now work on your Internet Explorer. To disable it, simply uncheck the box and hit save.


It takes only a simple process to activate the feature to open email links automatically on your Gmail in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Now you can use Gmail as your main email without having to copy-and-paste email addresses manually from any web pages on the web, or being promped by your OS to set up your email account locally on your computer.

Related posts:

  1. Schedule (Send later) Your GMail Emails with Rightinbox
  2. How to Track if your Sent Email has been Opened in Gmail
  3. How to Check your Gmail Stats with Gmail Meter
  4. 18 Helpful Tools for Better Gmail Experience