ITS Service Desk

How To Make Gmail Your Default Email Program

Many web sites show email addresses as links, like this one: These are called "mailto" links, and their purpose is to allow you to click the email address and have it open a new email, addressed to that email address, using your default email program.

If you're using Chrome and you'd like to have those links launch in Gmail, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Gmail Inbox.
  2. Click the little double diamond icon on the right side of the address bar across the top. This will show a drop down like this:
  3. Select "Allow" and click "Done".

If you don't see the little diamond icon, it could be because you already have a default email program set. To check this:

  1. Visit the following URL in Chrome (you'll have to copy and paste it):


  2. While on the "Handlers" screen, make sure the "Allow sites to ask..." option is turned on.
  3. If you already have an item under "email", click the three dots to the right or click the "x" (depending on where it appears) and remove it.
  4. Go back to your Gmail Inbox and see if the diamond icon is now there.

Note that Chrome has changed the access to this feature over the years, and therefore it may not be easily accessible through the menus.

You can also set this behavior in other browsers:

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