Once upon a time there was a person named Jeremy. He used Google Chrome as a browser. He was very happy. One day Jeremy clicked on a
mailto: link. Some program (Google Chrome or Windows) helpfully asked how it could handle that action. Jeremy, who hates modal windows and was not paying attention, hastily clicked on the first thing that looked like it would close the modal. He soon found that his hasty actions lead to a larger problem. Now,
mailto: links did not do anything when clicked on within Google Chrome.
(Spoiler: Jeremy is me.)
Today I got fed up with
mailto: links not working as they should in Google Chrome. So I went looking for a solution. I found several different potential solutions. My goal was to get
mailto: links to open in Mozilla Thunderbird.
- Remove the
I tried this, unfortunately there were no handlers listed under:
- Register a new setting with
I stumbled upon this Paul Irish post. However, it seemed hacky to use a handler to open Thunderbird.
I decided to take a look at my Windows settings. I’m using Windows 10 so I brought up the Start Menu and searched for “Default Programs”. I found
Control Panel\Programs\Default Programs. From there I saw an option to “Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program”. This led me to
Control Panel\Programs\Default Programs\Set Associationswhich displays a LONG list of associations, and unfortunately no intuitive way to search through them. So I scrolled and scrolled and eventually found an option named “MAILTO”.
Lo and behold the Current Default for this option was set to “Google Chrome”. That looked suspicious. So… I changed the Current Default to “Thunderbird”. Saved the setting, restarted Google Chrome, and BOOM,
mailto: links started working correctly.