Tech Tips

How to make Gmail your Email Client by Default

If you are a Gmail user, you are probably looking for a convenient way to send emails, avoiding being redirected to the default email app on your phone, which you don’t even use. When you click a link to an email on a website, you will probably be directed to the default email app, which is probably Outlook. If Gmail is not set up as your default email client, you will have to log into your Gmail account whenever an email has to be sent. Since Gmail is such a popular email solution and Google has ensured that it is compatible with all major browsers, you have the option of making Gmail your default email solution. You will have the option of using Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and of course, Chrome. We will go through the steps that you can follow to get fast and easy access to Gmail whenever you want to send an email.

Steps for Chrome

  1. Log into your Gmail account. The Protocol Handler icon appears at the far right of the address bar. This option is not available in all versions, so if you don’t see it, you can move straight to the third step.
  2. If you don’t see the option that says Allow Gmail to open all email links, click on Protocol Handler. Then select the checkbox that says Use Gmail and click Done. This is all you will have to do if the Protocol Handler is available. Otherwise, go to the next step.
  3. If you can’t see the Protocol Handler, go to the browser’s top right corner and click on the menu icon. Then select Settings.
  4. Click on Show Advanced Settings at the top of the screen and go to “Content Settings”.
  5. Scroll down the popup window to find the Handlers section and click on it. Select the option that says “Manage Handlers”. Select Gmail on the mailto drop-down menu and then click Done and that is all.

Steps for Internet Explorer – Make Gmail your Default Email Client

  1. To make Gmail your default email client on IE, you need to download the relevant Toolbar in the following link:
  2. Once the toolbar is downloaded, you will see an installation window. You can select Run to download installation files and then you can install the toolbar.
  3. On the top right corner of the screen, click on the wrench icon to show IE’s Toobar’s window.
  4. Scroll down to the web-browsing tools on the General tab and then select the checkbox that says Use Gmail for Mail to Links.
  5. Select Save and you will be ready to use Gmail and the default email option on IE.

Steps for Safari

  1. The first thing you will need to do is to download Safari’s Mailto extension for Google. It is available in the following link:
  2. Now go to Settings, located on the top right corner of Safari’s Window. Then scroll down to Downloads, click twice on the extension file that you previously downloaded.
  3. A window will pop up and there, you just need to choose the Install option.
  4. Click the checkbox to select Gmail from the email clients listed.
  5. The last step is to restart Safari. From now on, Gmail will be your default email client.

Steps for Firefox

  1. Depending on your Firefox version, the menu button will be on the top right, or left of the browser. Click on it.
  2. Select Options to open the Firefox settings window and then scroll down to Applications and click on it.
  3. Type “mailto” in the search bar to show the default email client. Next to the default email client on the Action column, there is a drop-down arrow you can click on.
  4. Scroll down and select “Use Gmail to set it as the default email client”. Then simply close the Options tab and you are all set.


Making Gmail your default email client is not difficult and you can enjoy the advantages of this setting on Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. Since most of these browsers are generally updated, it should be noted that the steps may change between the different versions of the browsers.

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