I just installed 12.04 and when clicking mailto: links Thunderbird opens. I want Gmail to open in the browser that the mailto: link is clicked. So if I am in Firefox and click a mailto: link a new FF tab opens with Gmail loaded. And if I am in Chrome and click a mailto: link then a new Chrome tab opens up with Gmail loaded.

Is there a way to do this via some script? Or would I need to set this in some system settings?


You can make Chrome open when you click a mailto: link:

Access Gmail, and click an icon of the shape of overlapped double diamonds, next to the star icon in the omni-box where the URL is displayed.


If you don't see it, try reloading the page.


  • 1
    If the diamonds don't appear there is also this option: developers.google.com/web/updates/2012/02/… – nedned May 24 '17 at 7:29
  • @nedned I seem to have broken my configuration trying to test that. I unset the handler in Chrome and followed the instructions, but when the popup appeared, I accidentally closed it. Now I've tried everything but I can't get it back. – wjandrea Jun 6 '17 at 21:17
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    @nedned I was just digging through my Chrome settings when I noticed Gmail was blocked from becoming an email handler. (In Settings -> Content settings -> Handlers.) Not sure how exactly that happened, but I got it working now! – wjandrea Oct 18 '18 at 1:01
  • Note that this option doesn't appear on inbox.google.com, you have to go to mail.google.com. – 6005 Nov 8 '18 at 22:06
  • @6005 Worth noting btw that Inbox is being retired in March. – wjandrea Nov 8 '18 at 23:38

There is an option for that in firefox.

Edit -> Preferences -> Applications -> mailto


Firefox menu -> Options -> Options -> Applications -> mailto

Firefox Options Page

  • 1
    This should be marked as the "accepted answer" assuming that OP is using the currently default Firefox browser with Ubuntu. – Petrus K. Apr 22 '15 at 12:20
  • we should merge this answer with the answer above, both are useful. – Jared Chu Aug 25 '17 at 9:11

gnome-gmail lets you do exactly that.

This is what reads from the Description section in the control file of gnome-gmail package.

support for Gmail as the preferred email application in GNOME

To install gnome-gmail, run this command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-gmail

After installing, open gnome-gmail and adjust your settings.

However, if and when you click on the mailto: links, it will open a Gmail tab in the preferred browser instead of whichever browser you are currently in.


As of Ubuntu 14.04, these instructions did the job under Chrome:

  1. Open your Gmail account
  2. Open the Javascript console. (ctrl-shift-J)
  3. In the Javascript console, enter:

  4. Press Enter, and you should get the confirmation popup to approve.

This needs to be repeated for each browser profile you have.

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