Home > Miscellaneous > Set mailto to use Gmail in Chrome

Set mailto to use Gmail in Chrome

Who doesn’t use webmail these days?  I use Gmail, and I’m sure most everyone else does too.  I also use Google Chrome, yet for some reason all those ‘mailto:address@email.com’ links don’t shoot you over to Google’s Gmail, they try and open your desktop email client!  Anyways, I remembered changing this in Firefox a while back, and just now decided it was time to change it in Chrome.  I found several articles online telling me to download and install GMail Notifier, which constantly runs and notifies you on your desktop of any new emails.  I didn’t want to download and install anything, much less something that’s going to constantly run.

NOTE: The following requires you to edit your registry

 

  1. Open your registry editor: In Vista, goto the Start Menu and type ‘regedit’. (XP users type ‘regedit’ in Run)
  2. Goto HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command
  3. There should be a ‘(Default)’ variable of type ‘REG_EXPAND_SZ’.  Right-click on it and select ‘Modify…’
  4. Copy and paste the following string into the value:

C:\Users\Nate\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=%1

 

WARNING: Replace ‘Nate’ in the string with your user name

 

There you have it, now when you click on an email address while browsing a new Chrome window should open to GMail’s Compose window.

 

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  1. April 24, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Hi,

    This works a treat, but you might want to make a little change to the string.

    C:\Users\Nate\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=”%1″

    You need to have quotes around the %1, otherwise if the mailto link has spaces in for the body or some such, it chops off at the first space.

    The quotes fix this problem.

    Thanks!

  2. April 24, 2009 at 11:59 am

    On my machine, the quotes didn’t work. I have heard of this, so perhaps I should’ve mentioned it in the post.

    It appears that quotes work on some machines and doesn’t work on others.

  3. dcuptoejuice
    May 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I can’t get this to work on XP. Is the address different?

  4. May 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Try putting quotes around the entire string.

  5. jubbly
    May 22, 2009 at 8:31 am

    It works! thank you so much.
    I went through the reg editor searching for mailto, and killing off outlook and windows mail (i am certain i dont like them!) and its now perfect. even in a different browser e.g. ie8, when i click on a mailto link a little chrome window appears with only the gmail compose screen, not even the full browser. Brilliant.

  6. May 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Yeah there’s no point in using a desktop mail application. Glad it worked for you!

  7. Jeff S
    July 27, 2009 at 5:12 am

    I’ve been using this for quite some time. An easier way to implement this would be to open up any folder window, like “My Documents”, goto Tools/Folder Options. Click on the “File Types” tab, find the “URL:MailTo protocol” file type, click Advanced button, and change the “Open” action to the string you listed.

    This would be probably for more novice users. No regedit required!

  8. gk
    September 13, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    it worked like a charm, and a million thanks for that! only problem– it doesn’t seem to take the address from that mailto link and into the message window it opens. any idea why?

  9. dave
    October 1, 2009 at 8:05 am

    any ideas if this should work in vista? i did the regedit thing and windows mail is still popping up.

  10. Glenn
    October 28, 2009 at 11:21 am

    For XP you need to use:

    C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=”%1″

    Thanks for posting this!

  11. Dan
    January 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    On my XP box the string was
    C:\Documents and Settings\Dan\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=%1

  12. Tom
    January 27, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Little more tweaking necessary to get it into XP, but otherwise GREAT suggestion! Keep in mind that you need to already be logged into the specific gmail account you’d like the email to be sent from (important to those of us who use multiple gmail accounts).

    Thanks!!

  13. Ande
    February 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

    My XP took a little tweaking too. It was pretty easy using folder options. This is what worked for me:

    “C:\Documents and Settings\HP_Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=%1

    Mine didn’t work without the quotes around the file path….Works now, thanks for pointing me in the right direction!!

  14. Todd
    February 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Finally got this to work in XP with the quotes…one issue still remains…it just opens a gmail window but FF would include the email address and pre-populate the subject line, so now I still have to copy and paste them. Any help would be great.

    thanks,

  15. March 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for this fix! I wanted to respond to Jeff’s comment:

    >This would be probably for more novice users. No >regedit required!

    Unfortunately, going through the file type associations did NOT work for me on XP. It seems the issue is the default mail client in Control Panels: Internet Options always overrides the file type association, and you cannot set it to blank. However, using regedit it works perfectly.

    Long story short: XP users, skip the file type route and go for regedit.

    Thanks again.

  16. April 2, 2010 at 6:50 am

    I tried it for Chrome. I used to click and Outlook would pop up. After I edited this string, nothing happens anymore. No Gmail and no more Outlook. :(

  17. Jamaican
    June 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Ok thanks for all the steps. Her eis one final way to do it.

    Search for *chrome.exe* on your computer in your
    C:\Documents and Settings

    It should give you the exact path to the exe.

    if it gives you one to the URL on your desktop. Go there Right click; open properties; and copy the TARGET PATH

    Do the whole regedit deal above and past the path you found and add

    -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=%1extsrc=mailto&url=%1

    Thats what i had to do, but it works. Hope I didnt confuse anyone ;)

  18. Midge
    June 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks for the XP info. I got it to work, but it opens the wrong G-Mail account. My “Main” mail is through my local phone company and is apparently Google Apps because the start of the URL is “mail.google.com/a/homesc.com”.

    Any suggestions how I direct it to the Google Apps mail instead of the plain G-Mail?

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Nicole
    July 19, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    This kind of works, maybe because I’m on Windows 7? I don’t know. But it’ll open a window with a gmail message, and will properly fill in the email address, but will only fill in the first parameter (usually the subject) and then ignore the rest (usually the body).
    If the link is mailto:email@here.com?subject=test&body=hello
    I’ll get an email as follows:
    to: email@here.com
    subj: test
    body: [blank]
    But if the link happens to be mailto:email@here.com?body=hello&subject=test
    I’ll get an email as follows:
    to: email@here.com
    subj: [blank]
    body: hello
    It doesn’t make any difference with or without quotes around the %1. Any ideas?

  20. July 28, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Great job!
    Worked like a charm

  21. Vikram Rao
    August 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    This is awesome….

    I have looked before but it always suggested to install gmail notifier. It was easy with firefox but with chrome it just doesnt seem to work. Its fixed thanks to this post.

  22. Krista
    August 17, 2010 at 8:42 am

    This is great! Thank you. It works when I click on a mailto link online, but now when I’m using programs like Adobe Acrobat or Word. Any ideas?

  23. Moshe Flam
    August 24, 2010 at 12:44 am
  24. Alan
    September 3, 2010 at 10:02 am

    You might have noted that this is a Windoze only solution

  25. Jman32ny
    September 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, read all these and it came down to the last one to make it work. Thanks so much Moshe Flam. That was easy and worked like a charm!

  26. Karen
    September 16, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Midge :
    Thanks for the XP info. I got it to work, but it opens the wrong G-Mail account. My “Main” mail is through my local phone company and is apparently Google Apps because the start of the URL is “mail.google.com/a/homesc.com”.
    Any suggestions how I direct it to the Google Apps mail instead of the plain G-Mail?
    Thanks in advance!

    I’ve just been sorting out exactly the same thing with my work email account. Follow the steps above in regedit and, after your path for Chrome, put

    -app=https://mail.google.com/a/homesc.com?extsrc=mailto&url=%1

    instead of the address they’re using above. It works a treat for me.

  27. Serena
    October 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Worked perfectly! Thanks!

  28. kee
    November 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

    And how do you read your emails when you don’t have an internet connection?
    doh!

  29. coolraoul
    April 23, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Jeff S :
    I’ve been using this for quite some time. An easier way to implement this would be to open up any folder window, like “My Documents”, goto Tools/Folder Options. Click on the “File Types” tab, find the “URL:MailTo protocol” file type, click Advanced button, and change the “Open” action to the string you listed.
    This would be probably for more novice users. No regedit required!

    I do not see any “file types” tab there

  30. August 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I want to add this feature when I use the “send to” action as well, but I don’t know much about this stuff. I tried to add Chrome shortcut to the “Send to” folder with the same string we added to the registry, but just as I thought it doesn’t solve the “attach” action and it gives me an error message.

    There must be a way to do this.

    Try to go to the Folder Options > “File Types” tab > MAPMAIL and than create a new action which I wish I new how to write… Or maybe there is another Registry modification to be done.

    To add icons to the send to action, just go to “Start Menu” than press “Run” write in: “sendto” and press “ok”, a folder window will pop up and anything you add to it will show up in the “send to” menu (Use shortcuts of applications like folders or hard drives).

    Please try to figure something out and let me know about it!

    Thanks.

  31. August 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

    knew*

  32. November 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm

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  33. December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm

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  34. Brian C. Farmer
    December 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve made this happen on several computers since discovering it a few weeks ago.

    However, I just got a new Windows 7 machine, and my registry editor only goes as far as HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto. There is no shell\open\command beyond that. There’s a default key in the mailto folder, but changing it doesn’t make this work. What gives?

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