How to Insert a Text Link in an Email With Mac OS X Mail

Use clickable text links instead of pasting an entire URL in the email

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Inserting a link to a web page is easy in the default mail app on the Mac. First, copy the web site's URL from your browser's address bar and paste it into the body of your email. Sometimes, though, the way Mail program formats outgoing mail conflicts with the way the recipient's email client reads it. When that happens, sometimes the link is not in clickable. Let's take a look at some ways to make sure links you include in your email always work.

How to Create a Hyperlink in Mac Mail in Rich Text Emails

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In order to add a clickable link, your message has to be composed as rich text. This works in the Mail app on both OS X and macOS (OS X was renamed to macOS):

  1. In the Mail application on your Mac, open a new email.

  2. Go to Format in the menu bar and select Make Rich Text to compose your message in rich text format. (If you see only Make Plain Text, your email is already set for rich text, and you don't have to do anything.)

    Make Rich Text menu item in OS X Mail app
  3. Now, type your message and highlight the word(s) or phrase in the text of the email that you want to turn into a hyperlink.

  4. Go to the Edit menu and select Add Link...

    Add Link... menu item in Edit menu of macOS Mail app
  5. A box will pop up and ask for the link. Just paste it in and click OK.

The appearance of the linked text changes to indicate it is a link. When the email recipient clicks the linked text, the web page will open.

Creating Hyperlinks to URLs in Plain Text Emails

Mac Mail won't place a clickable text link in the plain text version of an email (the plain text format by its nature does not support text links). If you are not sure the recipient can read emails with rich or HTML formatting, paste the link in the message body directly instead of linking text to it, but take the following steps to prevent Mail from "breaking" the link:

  • Paste the URL on a line of its own.
  • If the URL is longer than 69 characters, use a service like Bitly or TinyURL to make the URL shorter. Mail breaks lines at 70 characters. If the break occurs in the middle of a URL, the link can become non-clickable.

Edit or Remove a Link in an OS X Mail Message

If you change your mind, you can change or remove the hyperlink to which a text link points in OS X Mail:

  1. Click anywhere in the text that contains the link.

  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Edit Link.

    Edit Link... menu item in macOS Mail app
  3. Click Remove Link and click OK.

    Remove link button in macOS Mail app
  4. Now the link will be gone from the highlighted text.