Setting Gmail as default mailto link handler in Chrome 24+

26 Jan

I’m a Gmail addict. We run our company email on it. All my personal mail has been based on it for years. Lately, I got annoyed that whenever clicking a mailto: link anywhere on the Web, Apple Mail launched.

Now, Apple Mail likely is the worst email client ever written and – frankly – using Gmail with anything else than the Web based interface is just plain stupid from a productivity standpoint, so I really had to force my Mac to open mailto: links in Google Chrome.

Googling the problem returned lots of results telling me I should go to Settings > Show advanced settings… > Content settings… > Manage handlers… and set up the mailto: handler there. Unfortunately, as of my current Google Chrome version 24.0.1312.56, the settings for handling mail simply aren’t available. Whether it’s a bug or by design, I can’t tell.

Here is how you bring it back anyway:

  • Launch Gmail in a new tab or make Gmail the active tab.
  • With the tab active, launch Chrome’s JavaScript console by entering Cmd+Alt+J.

In the JavaScript console, paste the following code and hit Enter:

Notice, in the address bar, next to the bookmark icon (star), the protocol handler icon appears. Click it and set Gmail as your handler for mailto: handler. When you navigate to the handlers settings, you’ll also see the setting just came back.

I hope this helps! Want to stay in touch? Follow me on Google+ and Twitter.

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11 replies
  1. Iain says:

    Excellent – I had the same problem you had and your fix worked for me (Windows 7, Chrome version 28.0.1500.72 m). Thanks!

  2. Cris says:

    This is the most helpful article I’ve found so far because it, at least, acknowledges that the Handlers setting in chrome has been so altered so that you no longer have the option to choose your mail and calendar handlers. It used to work and I’m not sure why it doesn’t now. (Is no one else getting that blank box in the settings?)

    Unfortunately, when I follow the instruction above I get ‘undefined’ as a response. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

    I’m using Version 29.0.1547.76 on a Windows 8 PC.

    • John Wilson says:

      Same problem, same system, same result (“undefined” and a blank protocol handler box).

  3. Steve says:

    Hi Ralf,

    Thanks your solution to this problem worked a treat on Win 7 with chrome version 29.0.1547.76 m

  4. steve says:

    This is no longer working, any new ideas on how to make this happen?

    Version 33.0.1750.117 m

  5. Leo says:

    it works for me!! Thanks a lot! I also face the same problem….
    OS X 10.9.2
    Chrome version 33.0.1750.152

  6. BernT says:

    Thanks. This was not working in my version of Chrome (Version 36.0.1985.125) and was driving me nuts!

  7. Steve-O says:

    Worked for me! Chrome 64-bit version 37


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© Copyright 2017 by Ralf Rottmann.