How to Make Gmail Your Default Email Program

Open new messages in Gmail every time

What to Know

  • Chrome: Go to Settings > Site Settings > Additional permissions > Handlers. Toggle to On. Open Gmail. In pop-up window, select Allow.
  • Firefox: Go to [menu] > Options > General > Applications. Enter mailto in search box and select result > Use Gmail > Use Gmail.
  • Edge: In Windows 10, go to Default App Settings. Under Choose Default Apps, select Email > Google Chrome.

If you read and write all of your emails in Gmail, consider setting Gmail as your default email service. You can set up any Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7 device to use Gmail as the default email program. Learn how to do so using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge as your default web browser.

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 web pages open automatically 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.

    A screenshot of Chrome with the Settings command highlighted
  3. Select the arrow to the right of Site Settings in the Privacy and Security section.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Site Settings heading highlighted
  4. Scroll down and select Additional permissions > Handlers.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with Handlers highlighted
  5. Toggle Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols (recommended) to On.

    A screenshot of Handlers in Chrome settings with the switch highlighted
  6. Open Gmail in your Chrome Browser. A pop-up window opens requesting to allow Gmail to open email links. Select Allow.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Allow button highlighted

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 enables 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.

    A screenshot of Firefox with the More menu highlighted
  3. Choose Options.

    A screenshot of the More menu in Firefox with Options highlighted
  4. In the General tab, scroll to the Applications section.

    A screenshot of Firefox settings with the General heading highlighted
  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 drop-down arrow to the right of Use Mail and choose Use Gmail.

    A screenshot of Firefox's Applications settings with Use Gmail highlighted
  7. Close the about:preferences page. The changes are saved automatically and Gmail is now 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 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.

    A screenshot of Windows 10 with the Default App Settings setting highlighted
  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 an email link in MS Edge, a new Google Chrome browser window opens with Gmail.

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