A couple of days ago, logging into Gmail, I noticed a new tip in the upper right corner: , linking to the “Become a Gmail Ninja”-page. In the mean time it was replaced with the news of the default https access for Gmail. While the “ninja” page isn’t new, I want to elaborate a tip in the ‘master’ section:
9. Set Gmail as your default email client.
Instead of automatically opening other email clients when you click mailto links, you can set Gmail to be the default in your browser. If you use Firefox 3, just go to Tools, click Options, select the Applications tab, search for "mailto" and select "Use Gmail" from the list of actions. If you use Internet Explorer, you'll need to download and install Google Toolbar. In Toolbar, just click the wrench icon, go to the Search tab and select the "Use Gmail for 'Mail To' links" checkbox.
Gmail can be set as the default email client in at least two other browsers as well. In Google’s own Chrome, version 4, you can install the Send from Gmail (by Google) from the official extensions site. If you haven’t switched to version 4, there is also an user script written for the same purpose: GmailDefaultClient. You can find instructions how to install user scripts in Chrome here.
Like Firefox, Opera also has built-in support for using a webmail service as the default handler for the mailto: protocol. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ship with settings for the more popular webmail providers, like Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail, but this can be added fairly easy. You need to add the configuration in the file webmailproviders.ini located in the defaults directory of the Opera install directory. This article gives detailed instructions where to find the file on different operating systems (check the comments also!). Make sure Opera is no longer running, then open the file and add the following lines before [Yandex]:
[Gmail] ID=1 URL=https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=%t&su=%j&body=%m&cc=%k&bcc=%l ICON=https://mail.google.com/favicon.ico
[Gmail] ID=1 URL=https://mail.google.com/mail/?compose=1&view=cm&fs=1&to=%t&su=%j&body=%m&cc=%k&bcc=%l ICON=https://mail.google.com/favicon.ico
Both versions work with Opera 10, the difference is the first opens only the ‘compose’ window like a popup, that closes automatically after you send the message, while the second loads the full Gmail interface, with sidebar and search, alongside ‘compose’.
After you save the file, open Opera and navigate to Tools ► Preferences… (or use Ctrl+F12) ► Advanced ► Programs, select the mailto protocol and click Edit…, select the second option “Use a Web mail service” and choose ‘Gmail’ from the drop-down list. Confirm and you’re done!
If you want to use Yahoo! or Hotmail instead, check out the longer article from Opera Browser Wiki, along with an “explanation” why Opera doesn’t include any of these webmail services by default.
A small draw-back of this tip is that this configuration file is located in the default installation folder of the browser, so each time Opera updates, the file gets overwritten with the default settings. It is best that you make a copy of the file and store it in another location on the hard drive, this way you can restore the settings quickly after an update.
I don’t know any way to make Safari use Gmail for mailing, especially on Windows. If you have some solution for this, please let me know!