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How do I change the default email client in Safari on the Mac to Gmail? Mailto tags currently open in Eudora, but it's time to move to Gmail.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Update (2016): find up-to-date advice in this question on Ask Different: How can I use Gmail as the default mail client app in Mac OS X?

The remainder of this answer (written in 2009) is obsolete, as Google Notifier for Mac is no longer supported.

Here's one way:

  1. Install Google Notifier for Mac
  2. Open, go to Preferences -> General, and set "Default email reader" to Google (Yes, you need to set this in Mail even if you don't want to use Mail...)

alt text

Works great for me. And in general I can vouch for Google Notifier too. It's a nice little app that adds an icon (like this: alt text) in the menu bar and notifies you (if configured to do so) about new mail in your Gmail box.

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This notifier is really annoying. Can I make it alter safari but not constantly throw up overlays about new mail? – Nick Retallack Sep 12 '09 at 20:42
@Nick, easy; open its Preferences (from the menu bar icon) and uncheck "Display new message pop-up" (or "Enable Gmail notification" altogeter). Mailto links still go to Gmail. – Jonik Sep 12 '09 at 21:10


Gmailto No. 2 is a little app that allows you to set Gmail as your default email client in, so that any email link you click opens a new email in Gmail’s web-based interface.

Download it, put it wherever you like and then open Apple Mail’s General Preferences. Select Gmailto (2) from the list like this and you’re all done:

alt text

As you can see from the screenshot, two Gmail notification utilities — GmailStatus and GmailNotifier — allow you to do the same thing, but if you don’t want to use either of them, this little app will get the job done.

Edit: Apparently this app was created in 2004. I found a Greasemonkey alternative.

But I also found a mirror!

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Gmailto seems like the thing, but the link to the download file doesn't work. Do you have a direct link? – WireGuy Aug 10 '09 at 18:59
You ask, I serve – Ivo Flipse Aug 10 '09 at 19:30

There is also a Safari extension (and Chrome extension) called mailto: which also offers the same functionality.

Unlike some of the other solutions posted here this still works as of 2013.

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I used Webmailer years ago, when I was on Tiger. I’m not sure if it works with Leopard, but back then it worked pretty well. You could use it to set pretty much any webmail as the default mailto client, not just Gmail.

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If you simply want to use GMail within your default browser in the regular fashion, the other answers you've already gotten are the way to go. If you'd like to run GMail in its own application wrapper (with some nice extra OS integration features), though, I'm glad to suggest Mailplane. It's awesome. You can then set it as the default mail client like any other email app.

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