How To Handle MailTo Behavior in IE, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari on Windows 7


Chrome released a new feature yesterday that makes Gmail to be one of the handlers to handle “mailto” links in Chrome. Instead of covering what it is all about, let’s take look how to properly handle MailTo behavior overall in detail on Windows 7.

To set up for all browsers

1. Click Start orb and go to Default Programs.

2. Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program.

Windows 7 Set Program

3. Locate MAILTO from the list near the bottom. If you don’t see it there, you may not have any valid mail client installed, such as Outlook, Live Mail.

Windows 7 MailTo Setup

4. Click Change program… button to make the change.


The change takes effect right away for all browsers you have installed on your computer, including IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

Now, let’s back to Chrome.

How to make Chrome as the mail client in Windows

Simply access to your Gmail website, and click Use Gmail button in the prompt bar below the address bar.


Once set, Google Chrome will be set as the default mailto handler for all browsers you have installed on your computer.

You can also see it listed in Chrome’s handlers page (Chrome link) as one of the handlers.

Note that changing the behavior in Windows won’t affect the way how Chrome handles MailTo links, unless you remove the handler from the list.


Firefox handles mailto behavior the best

Among 5 browsers I checked, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera all have their own ways to deal with mailto links.

Chrome offers the least with only supporting for Gmail, see above.

Opera has a bit more and can be treated as a dedicated mail client but don’t seem to support Gmail or Yahoo mail by default.


Firefox seems to be best one handling mailto with more choices.

Go to Applications tab in Options in Firefox, and you can change the way how you want your Firefox to handle the mailto link.


This feature actually has been there since version 3 released back in 2008…wow.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here