Make Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Google Apps, or any other webmail the default mailto: client in all browsers with GmailDefaultMakerJanuary 3, 2011 8 Email article | Print article
Firefox has this nifty feature that allows users to set mailto: links to open in Yahoo or Gmail. But what if you aren’t a Firefox user? Or, what if you are a Firefox user and want to open mailto: links in a webmail service other than Yahoo or Gmail? That is where GmailDefaultMaker comes in.
Despite what its name may suggest (the program was named GmailDefaultMaker back when it only supported Gmail), GmailDefaultMaker is a program that allows users to set Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Google Apps, or any webmail as the default mailto: client in all browsers. In other words, anytime you click a mailto: link on a website, such as email@example.com, a new e-mail is composed in the webmail you designated in your default Internet browser instead of a desktop e-mail client. (You still have to manually login if you aren’t logged in already.) GmailDefaultMaker even works when clicking on links in applications as long as they use the mailto: format for e-mail links.
Using GmailDefaultMaker is very easy. You simply install it, picking the webmail you want during installation…
…and forget about it. GmailDefaultMaker does not need to be run manually nor does it stay on in the background; GmailDefaultMaker automatically runs when you click on a mailto: link, directs the link to the webmail you picked during installation, and then closes. GmailDefaultMaker is a program that you run once and never see again, unless you want to uninstall it – you may even forget you have it installed. Yes, it is that easy.
Whenever you decide you no longer want mailto: links being directed to the webmail you picked, all you need to do is uninstall GmailDefaultMaker and the mailto: links will go back to their lame desktop-client-self. If you ever want to change the webmail associated with mailto: links, you must uninstall and reinstall GmailDefaultMaker picking the other webmail client.
Things do get a tiny bit more complicated if you want GmailDefaultMaker to use a webmail other than Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, and Google Apps. If you want GmailDefaultMaker to direct mailto: links to an unsupported webmail, such as Inbox.com or a webmail provided by your ISP, you need to do a little bit of work:
- Login to the webmail you want GmailDefaultMaker to use.
- Find the URL the webmail uses when creating new e-mails. For example if your webmail service is example.com the URL you are looking for is something like https://firstname.lastname@example.org&subject=Hello&body=Goodbye. This URL can typically be found by composing a new e-mail and copying the URL found in the address bar of your browser; but this may not always work and you may have to do a little bit of digging. (E-mailing tech support may help.)
- Once you have found the URL, copy it.
- Install GmailDefaultMaker picking Gmail as the webmail.
- Go to where you installed GmailDefaultMaker, which should be C:/Program Files/GmailDefaultMaker/ unless you changed it, and open link.txt. It should look something like this:
- Delete everything in link.txt and paste in the URL you copied earlier. At this point link.txt should look something like this:
- Edit the URL replacing the e-mail address, subject, and body with %RECI% %SUBJ% %BODY% tags receptively:
- Save and close link.txt.
If you did it properly, all mailto: links should now be directed at the custom webmail that you selected.
Pretty neat, huh? No more having to copy and paste e-mail addresses in order to use your webmail to send e-mails. Best of all GmailDefaultMaker is open source so anyone can easily pick it up if development is stopped. You can download GmailDefaultMaker from the following links:
Version reviewed: v2.0.0
Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7
Requires .NET Framework 4.0
Download size: 1.5 MB