I have recently decided to use Windows 10 rather than MacOS as my main OS (for many reasons, which I could go into somewhere else), and find that occasionally I would like to send a file to someone via Gmail. I would like to be able to right-click on a file in Windows Explorer, select "Send to", then "Mail recipient" and have a Gmail compose window open in Chrome with the file already attached. Is there any way to do this?

I have tried setting Chrome to be the default email handler, and in Chrome, setting Gmail to be the default email client; and I have also tried setting Windows Mail to be the default mail handler, and adding my Gmail account to Mail, but in both cases, when I right-click on a file, send to, mail recipient, I get a popup:

There is no email program associated to perform the requested action. Please install an email program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel.

I really do not want to use a client like Outlook or Thunderbird which, from past experience, will insist on downloading literally hundreds of thousands of message headers (I am not even attempting to be inbox-zero!), I just want to send a file quickly without having to open Gmail in Chrome, create a new message, click Attach, find the file, attach it. I want a way of doing all that automatically from Explorer. Any ideas?

  • For sending email, you only need SMTP. You can use either outlook or thunderbird with a dummy inbox as long as you have a valid SMTP server with credentials. It will store sent items in the local folder, and not in your account, which is the only downside for what you want, but otherwise, that is going to be your only option.
    – LPChip
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


If you have an email client installed, you may in Explorer "Share" tab use the Email button, and you could also use "Share" in the right-click menu.

If you don't have an email client installed, you still need something installed. A light-weight solution is using Affixa, free for personal use. It replaces Windows Explorer context menu "Send to > Mail recipient", provides an attachments drop box, supports drop.io for large files, replaces mailto links, and more.

For a review of Affixa, see the article Send Attachment To Gmail And Other Webmail From Desktop.

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