How to Set Gmail as the Default Mail App in Various Browsers on Your Mac

If you use Gmail on the Web, and you often encounter email links on various web pages that launch in the stock Mail app on your Mac, then I can understand your pain. A link opening in an email client that you do not use just does not make sense.

In this article we are going to show you how to change your default Mail app to the Gmail website so that all of your future clicks on email links open there rather than the stock Mail app.

Configuring various web browsers, namely Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, to use the Gmail website as the default Mail app is fairly easy, and here’s how you can go about doing that on your machine.

1. Launch Google Chrome on your Mac.

2. Head to the Gmail website and log in to your account.

3. Once you are in your inbox, in the address bar of your browser you should be able to see an icon that looks like the one shown in the following screenshot. You need to click on it and select “Allow” and then click on “Done.”


The steps above are to allow the Gmail website to open all of the email links and not redirect you to the stock Mail app. You have successfully configured Chrome to open all of the email links in the Gmail website.

You can confirm that by going into “Chrome settings -> Content settings” and clicking on “Manage handlers…” You should see that the “mailto” type of links now point to “,” which is the Gmail website.


1. Launch Firefox on your Mac.

2. Click on the “Firefox” menu and then select “Preferences…” to be taken to the Firefox Settings panel. That is where all of the Firefox configuration options reside.


3. When the Preferences panel opens, head to the tab that says “Applications.” In that tab you will find a Content Type that says “mailto,” and next to it is a drop-down menu where you can specify what app should be used to open this type of content, i.e. email links.

Select “Use Gmail” from the dropdown menu and that will set the Gmail website as the default mail app in Firefox.


From now on all of the email links that you click inside Firefox should launch in the Gmail website.

Unlike Chrome and Firefox, Safari does not let you easily add a configuration that handles email links. To do this task in Safari you will need an extension.

1. Launch Safari and head to the mailto extension download page and download the extension.

2. When the extension has been downloaded, double-click on it in Finder to install it.


3. You will get the following prompt on your screen that asks if you would like to install the selected extension. Click on the “Trust” button to allow the extension to be installed.


4. Once the extension is installed, you should see “Options” with a checkbox. Checkmark the box to enable options for the extension.


5. You should now see various email programs that you can use in Safari to handle email links. Select “Gmail” from the list and then restart the browser for the changes to take effect.


Safari will now open all of the email links in the Gmail website.

If Gmail is your primary email client, setting it up the website as the default one in various web browsers on your Mac is highly recommended so that all of your email links open on the Web and not in the stock Mail app. The guide above helps you do exactly that.

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