Christian Heilmann

Quick tip: how to make mailto: links open in Gmail in Microsoft Edge

Monday, July 20th, 2020 at 8:56 pm

I like mailto: links. They worked forever and they kind of make sense. Lately there was a discussion around their usability and what can be improved, which is great. I got some good feedback on Twitter and dug a bit into our design research if there’s something in the making to make things more obvious. There is. But for now, here is how to make sure that mailto: links in Microsoft Edge open in Gmail in the browser instead of trying to open an app you don’t use. (By default, my Mac opens mail every time, which I never used).

  • Step 1: Go to in the browser
  • Step 2: Click the handler icon in the URL bar:
    Hander icon showing in the URL toolbar
  • Step 3: Select “allow”
    Allowing Gmail to open all email links

That’s it. From now on each mailto: link on the web you click on will open in Gmail and not leave the browser. Of course this works for any other webmail client that exposes an handler (Yahoo, Office 365’s Outlook…).

The context menu on any mailto: link also allows you to copy just the email (without the mailto: pseudo) and to reset the handling of emails to the OS default.
Context menu on email links showing lots of options

You can also do so in the browser settings under Site Permissions -> Handlers.

Site Permission settings in Microsoft Edge

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