How to Make Gmail Your Default Email Program

Open new messages in Gmail every time

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If you read and write all of your emails in Gmail, consider setting Gmail as default email service. Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 can all be set up to use Gmail as the default, whether you use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge as your default web browser.

Instructions in this article apply to Gmail on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.

How to Set Gmail as the Default Email Service in Google Chrome

When you set up Gmail as your default email program in Chrome, email links on webpages will automatically open in Gmail when selected.

  1. Open a Chrome browser window.

  2. Select the More button, which is three dots in the upper-right corner of the Chrome window, and select Settings.

    Screenshot of Chrome Settings
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Advanced.

    Screenshot of Advanced in Google Chrome settings
  4. Select the arrow to the right of Site Settings in the Privacy and Security section.

    Screenshot of Site Settings in Chrome Advanced Settings
  5. Scroll down and select the arrow to the right of Handlers.

    Screenshot of Handlers in Chrome Site Settings
  6. Toggle Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols (recommended) to On.

    Screenshot of Allow sites to ask to become default handlers in Chrome settings
  7. Open Gmail in your Chrome Browser. A popup window will open requesting to allow Gmail to open email links.

    Screenshot of Gmail request to open email links
  8. Select Allow. Gmail will be set as the default in Chrome.

How to Set Gmail as the Default Email Service in Firefox

Although Firefox typically uses the Windows default email program to open email links, changing the settings will enable Gmail to become the default.

  1. Open a Firefox browser window.

  2. Select the Open Menu button in the upper-right corner of the Firefox window.

    Screenshot of Options in Firefox Open Menu
  3. Choose Options.

  4. Scroll to the Applications section of the General tab.

    Screenshot of Applications in Firefox general settings
  5. Enter mailto in the Content Type search box and select it from the results list.

    Screenshot of mailto in Applications Content Type search
  6. Select the dropdown arrow to the right of Use Mail and choose Use Gmail.

    Screenshot of Use Gmail in Action list in Firefox settings
  7. Close the about:preferences page. The changes will automatically be saved and Gmail will now be the default email program.

How to Set Gmail as the Default Email Service with Microsoft Edge as the Default Browser

Microsoft Edge uses the Windows email default setting. While there is no direct way to choose Gmail as the default email client in Windows or in Microsoft Edge, one workaround is to first set up Gmail as the default email program in Google Chrome and then select Chrome as the default for all emails.

  1. In Windows 10, type default into the Windows search box and choose Default App Settings in the list of results. In Windows 8 or Windows 7, select Start, select Control Panel choose Programs and select Default Programs.

    Screenshot of Default App Settings in Windows 10 Search
  2. Select Email under Choose Default Apps in Windows 10. In Windows 8 or Windows 7, select Associate a file type or protocol with a program and then choose MAILTO under Protocols.

    Screenshot of choosing Gmail as default email app in Windows 10
  3. Select Google Chrome as the email client and close the window. When you click on an email link in MS Edge, a new Google Chrome browser window will open with Gmail.