Make Gmail Default Email Client For Mac

I’ve never been a fan of the stock Mail app in OS X, so I generally find myself relying on Gmail inside of Chrome for all of my email needs. In fact, I don’t have any email accounts configured inside of the stock Mail app at all. With this in mind, I always get frustrated when I inadvertently click a mailto link inside of a browser window. Doing so forces the Mail app, which is set as the default mail client in OS X, to open without purpose.

This only means email will open by default in another email client. If you want mailto: links to open in Gmail on Safari or Chrome or any other browser, however, then doing this won’t work.

  • An independent writer who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. The Mail application that ships with macOS and OS X is solid, feature-rich and spam-eliminating software that is also an easy-to-use email client. Optimized to work on the Mac, the Mail app is trouble free.
  • Yes, you have to start with Mail even if you want to configure a different email application as the default The Search for the Perfect Mac Desktop Gmail Client The Search for the Perfect Mac Desktop Gmail Client Need a desktop client for Gmail on your Mac? Here are the best we could find.
  • Set Gmail as Default Email Client for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. If you have Gmail set as your default email client that will open in a new window instead. Mac, 10.11.6, using gmail in Chrome as default email browser. Leave a Reply.
  • After you have selected your default email client, you will always land in the selected email client whenever and wherever you click within the Mac. You can always repeat the above steps to change your email clients or restoring the default Mail app.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could configure Gmail to play the role of the default mail client inside your browser of choice? In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to configure Chrome, Safari, and even Firefox to use Gmail as the default mail client.

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Note:You will need to be logged in to Gmail in your browser of choice to take advantage of these methods.

How to make Gmail the default mail app in Safari

Sadly, setting up Safari to open mailto links in Gmail isn’t as straightforward as it is for browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

With Safari, you’ll need to harness the power of a third-party mailto extension. The good news is that I’ve vetted this extension, checked out its code, and have verified that it’s legit and contains nothing malicious. You can download the extension here. Not only does this extension work for Gmail, but it also works for other popular web-based email services.

Once the mailto extension is downloaded, double click it to add it to Safari. Click Trust when asked in order to successfully install the extension.

After installation, click the Options check box to open the Options page for the mailto extension. From there, click the Gmail radio button to set Gmail as the default handler for mailto links clicked within Safari.

Before you can start using the mail extension, however, you’ll need to quit and restart Safari. Once you do, clicking email links should open a new composition window inside of Gmail directly in the browser.

How to make Gmail the default mail app in Chrome

Making Gmail the default mail app in Google Chrome is actually pretty straightforward. When you open Gmail in Chrome, you should see a handler button located on the right side of the address bar. Click the button to address Gmail’s request to make email links open directly inside of Gmail while using Chrome.

Gmail Notifier

To fulfill the request, click the Allow radio button and click Done. Once you do, you can begin opening mailto links directly inside Chrome.

If you ever need to manage the handlers you have configured in Chrome, just go to chrome://settings/handlers/ to view setup options.

How to make Gmail the default mail app in Firefox

Like Chrome, setting up mailto links to open Gmail while using Firefox is super-easy. Open Firefox’s preferences, and click the Applications tab on the sidebar. Find mailto under Content Type, and use the drop down box to select Gmail. After that, just close the preferences page, and you can start opening email links directly inside of Gmail while using Firefox.

If you’re a big fan of using Gmail on the web, then you owe it to yourself to establish Gmail as your default mail app in your browser of choice. It’s not often that I click on mailto links, but I always find it so frustrating when I see the stock Mail app bouncing in my Dock after accidentally clicking one. Not only will this save you a little bit of time, but it might save you from a gray hair or two in the process.

Email clients come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to the options available on the Mac, we feel that Airmail is the best email client for most people. It’s easy to use, supports a number of different email providers, has a solid search function, and more.

Airmail 3

Platform: macOS
Price: $9.99
Download Page

Features

  • Supports Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Exchange, IMAP, POP3, and local accounts
  • Unlimited email accounts with a unified inbox
  • Gmail keyboard shortcuts, global shortcuts, and custom shortcuts
  • Adjustable interface with multiple themes, modes, and layout options
  • Global search, filters, advanced token search, and a preview mode
  • Integration with Omnifocus, Fantastical, Trello, Asana, Evernote, Reminders, Calendar, BusyCal, Things, 2To, Wunderlist, and Todoist
  • Large contact photos for most contacts
  • Support for Gmail Primary Inbox
  • Support for folders, colors, Gmail labels, flags, and more
  • Attachment support for integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, Droplr, and CloudApp
  • Customizable notifications
  • VIP support with sender-specific notifications
  • Quick replies
  • Send later options
  • Customizable menus, gestures, and shortcuts
  • Today extension and handoff support
  • iCloud syncing with iPhone app
  • Folders and labels for organization
  • Search filters, flags, and message sorting
  • AppleScript support
  • Muting and blocking features
  • Task-based sorting with options to send emails to memos, done, or to-dos
  • Support for Markdown, rich text, HTML, and plain text

Where It Excels

Airmail’s biggest strength is the variety of ways you can customize it. Part of that comes from the fact that Airmail is updated pretty frequently, which means that not only does it regularly get new features, it’s also always up to date with the most modern iterations of macOS. Over the course of its life, those updates have added in features like snoozing, VIP mailbox, and plenty of other modern email features.

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Make

The ways that you can customize Airmail are pretty in-depth. You can alter what’s on your sidebar, what emails you’re notified about, how emails are displayed, how long a “snooze” is, how gestures work, where you save files, and tons more. Airmail also integrates with a bunch of third-party services, so if you use one of the supported to-do apps or notes apps as part of your email workflow then it’s pretty easy to integrate that into Airmail.

Airmail is basically a power-user email app for people who don’t want to go “full power-user” with something like Outlook. It’s great for the niche of people who need an advanced email client on their Mac and who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty customizing it.

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Where It Falls Short

At $10, Airmail is a bit of an investment and while it’s well worth the cost if you use all is features, not everyone needs a ton of features to begin with. While Airmail is very customizable, it’s not great out of the box, which means you’ll want to spend a 10-15 minutes playing around with various settings, options, and other things to tweak it to suit your needs. If you use email a lot for work, this isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re a casual user who just want to send and receive some mail then Airmail is overkill.

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The Competition

Apple Mail is probably the most obvious competition here. The packed-in email client is... fine. It works on a fundamental level, but since it’s only updated when Apple updates its entire operating system, it’s pretty devoid of modern features. If you just check and reply to emails, it does the job though.

Make Gmail Default Email Windows 7

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Spark(Free) is easily the best alternative to Airmail for people who don’t need as many of the advanced features that come packed into it. Spark has a lot of the modern razzle-dazzle of Airmail without the clutter. It has smart inbox sorting, iCloud syncing with the free mobile app, email snoozing, and quick replies. The free part might seem like its main strength, but it gives me pause because it’s unclear what the business model is, and therefore hard to tell what will happen to the app in the future. We’ve seen far too many abandoned email apps over the years to trust any free app moving forward, even if it is run by a company with a whole productivity suite. Still, it’s a great alternative to Airmail and free to check out if you’re curious.

Postbox ($40) is another great competitor. Like Airmail, Postbox excels in search options and additional powerful features you won’t find in most other mail clients. For example, you get message summary mode, sorting by type/subject of email (called the Focus Pane), add-ons, easy archiving of messages, and more. It’s a little clunky to actually use though, and Postbox doesn’t feel as at home in macOS as Airmail does. While you can check out a trial of Postbox for free, it’s a tough sell at $40 unless you really enjoy it.

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How To Make Gmail Default Email

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