How to Make Gmail Your Default Mail Client (Chrome, Safari, Firefox)

Gmail Default Mail Client

We have a feature in Process Street that allows you to create email templates and send them straight from within the app.

This is great if you are using a mail client such as Outlook, Mail, Thunderbird or a mobile device. It works smoothly.

But some people (like myself) prefer to use Gmail as their default mail client and don’t want to install a bulky desktop app.

Not to fear! With just a few simple steps you can configure Gmail to be your default mail client and have Process Street emails open Gmail compose, pre-populated with the template right in your browser!

Set Gmail as default email client in Chrome

Browse to Gmail, find the double diamond shaped icon in the search bar at the top of your browser, and click it.

After clicking the diamond icon, you’ll be prompted to allow Gmail to become the mail handler. Select ‘Allow’, and hit ‘Done’.

If you don’t see the diamond icon, follow the steps below:

  1. Click here to navigate to Chrome’s handler settings
  2. Set the switch to allow sites to ask to become default handlers

Now, when you navigate back to Gmail, you should see the diamond icon and be able to set your default mail client as previously explained. Click it, click allow, and you’re done.

Go back to Chrome’s handler settings to check that is listed.

Set Gmail as default email client in Safari

If you use Safari as your browser, there’s an extension you can install to ensure that your outgoing webmail goes through Gmail. Just follow this simple step:

Download the Safari Mailto Extension and then double-click it in your downloads.

The extension will open in Safari, and ask you which email service you want to open mailto links with. Select Gmail from the list, and that’s it!

Set Gmail as default email client in Firefox

If you use Firefox as your browser, then you can adjust a setting in your Firefox preferences to enable Gmail as your email provider of choice. There’s no need for an extension, or to navigate to Gmail. Try this:

  1. Click here to open Firefox preferences
  2. Scroll down to Applications
  3. In the search bar enter “mailto”. Change the Action for this to “Use Gmail”.

Bonus: Get 25 Gmail Tips

Before we start, I wanted to offer you a bonus upgrade of 25 Gmail tips you can use to get super-fast at reducing your inbox to zero.

Just click the button below to access your Gmail tips.

Looking for how to change your default mail service to other non-Gmail options? Read this article.

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Vinay Patankar

CEO and Co-Founder of Process Street. Sign-up for his free systems masterclass or find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


If that little icon existed on the address bar that would be nice, but it is not there, so your instructions are not going to work.


Hi Stephen, once you activate it the icon will disappear for that particular gmail account.

Have you already activated gmail as the default mail client?

I just tested this today on my Macbook Pro using Google Chrome and it worked for me.

What system are you using?

I have my own domain through gmail and he Firefox. Followed instructions for mailto above and it didn’t work. So annoying, what next

Hey Pam,

It shouldn’t be an issue with your own domain, because I’ve managed to set this up even though I have an email. We’ve since updated this article’s Firefox section — still having issues?

Hey David!

I’ve added a series of steps for people having a problems:

If you are still having problems after you do that, try the below steps:

1. Click the Chrome Menu icon on the browser toolbar.
2. Select Options (Preferences in Mac and Linux; Settings in Chrome OS) > Under the Hood.
3. Click Content settings.
4. In the dialog that appears, find the “Handlers” section:
5. Select “Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols.”
6. Click Manage handlers and Delete Gmail from Ignored protocol handlers
7. Logout and Login to Gmail and click the small gray icon in the omnibox
8. Select Allow Gmail to open email links

Does that help?

If you don’t see the double-diamond icon: In Chrome, go to SETTINGS —–> Show Advanced Settings —–> Privacy —–> Content Settings… —–> Handlers —–> Manage Handlers… find “mailto” under “Type” and choose “” If it’s already chosen, that’s why your double-diamond icon isn’t there.

What if there are no Active Protocol Handlers in the pop up window? How do I add the type and site?

Hey Peter,

Do these steps work for you:

6. Click Manage handlers and Delete Gmail from Ignored protocol handlers
7. Logout and Login to Gmail and click the small gray icon in the omnibox
8. Select Allow Gmail to open email links

when I do this the page I’m on changes to the compose page, but I want to keep the old page open. Any way to make this open a new window in gmail?

Hi there

I have an email account on gmail which is [email protected] it is now blocked because I have forgotten my password and I need that email account as most people have and it was the way I communicate with.

I wish you can help me as I need to check my emails on it.


I cannot see a double diamond on my Chrome. I tried to use the alternate method suggested. (Change/add modifiers) There is nothing there for managing handlers. I only see “Allow sites to ask to become the default handlers for protocols (recommended) and a toggle switch …

Any updated solutions?

Chrome Settings Update: This final step (which I didn’t see in any above comments) enabled this for me – thought I’d pass it along.
The email Handler in Chrome Settings (see steps above) already showed, but a new email draft still opened in Outlook (desktop app).
Fix: In the Handler settings, I clicking the 3 dots besides and selected ‘Set as Default’ and that opened the PC’s Windows Default Apps settings. I clicked on Email (currently showing Outlook/Exchange) and switched to Google. Tried my Checklist again and opened in Gmail.

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