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Summary:

If you use a webmail service, you’ll find that clicking on email links on the web won’t work properly; your computer will try to open a desktop client. Fortunately, there are a couple of free apps that you can use to fix this behavior.

Screen shot 2010-11-02 at 15.50.42

If you use a webmail service, like Gmail or Hotmail, you’ll find that clicking on email links on the web won’t work properly; your computer will often irritatingly try to open a desktop client that you don’t use, such as Outlook Express or Apple Mail. Fortunately, there are a couple of free apps for both Windows and Mac that you can use to fix this behavior.

On Windows, GmailDefaultMaker is a handy free lightweight application that will open mailto: links in your preferred webmail client; despite its name it can route email links to Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo! Mail.

During the installation, you’re asked to specify which webmail provider you’d like to use. It then runs in the background; any time you click on an email link , it will open the compose screen of your webmail client in your default browser with the To: field filled out. It’s simple but effective, although if you want to switch webmail providers you’ll need to re-install it.

On the Mac, you can use Belkadan Software’s Webmailer, a utility that catches mailto: links and sends them to your preferred webmail client. It’s also a free download, and comes pre-configured for several popular webmail clients, including Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Gmail and Hotmail.

(via Download Squad & Lifehacker)

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub. req.):

  1. Ubuntu:
    Gnome Gmail which comes with some more options (but it’s only for Gmail), or use Desktop Webmail application in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid to set your email client as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or Zoho instead of regular email clients such as Evolution or Thunderbird.
    http://www.webupd8.org/2010/04/desktop-webmail-sets-gmail-hotmail-and.html

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    1. Thanks Bill, that’s a very handy comment.

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  2. I’ve always been irritated that I couldn’t do this…now I can. Thanks so much for this post!

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    1. No problem. I always found it irritating, too.

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  3. So cool. This is so timely – I was just trying to click on a weblink yesterday and cursing the multiple times that I had to click “cancel” on the Outlook dialog box. Thanks much!

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    1. Glad to be of help :)

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  4. I’ve used GMailNotifier to accomplish the same thing, but it’s sorta a clumsy solution. It does pop up a temporary notification when new mail arrives.

    Good to know there is another solution other there though.

    Brett

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