How to make Gmail your default email program

Updated a year ago

Email button Beacon email

You can send emails directly from Beacon with or without email templates, but when you choose to send an email to someone in Beacon from your own email provider (or when you click an email address on a website), your computer will automatically open the default Mac or Windows email program installed.

What if you prefer to use your Gmail account?

There's two steps involved:

  1. Set your browser to open when you want to send an email
  1. Set Gmail to open the link once the browser opens

link Step 1: Change default email program

link Mac

On a Mac, you actually change the default email program from inside the default email program... how meta!

  1. Open the Mail appMail app in dock
  2. Click the Mail menu, and then choose Preferences
  3. Open the Default email reader dropdown, and select the browser you'd like to openMail preferences

link Windows 10

  1. Click the Windows button, then the Settings cog wheelWindows 10 settings
  2. Type 'Default apps' into the search bar
  3. Under the Email header, click to choose the web browser you'd prefer to use for Gmailwindows 10 default app

link Step 2: Set Gmail to open in your browser

The process will be a little different depending on which browser you use. The most common browsers are below.

error_outline Beacon does not support Internet Explorer. Please download Microsoft Edge instead (or try Google Chrome, our personal browser of choice).

link Chrome

  1. Open Gmail normally in your browser:
  2. A small pop-up should appear to ask if you'd like to allow to open email links. Click 'Allow'.Gmail open email links pop up
  3. If you don't see the pop up, there should be a double-diamond shape icon in the far right of your address bar. Click it to show the allow option.Gmail chrome
  4. If you don't see either of these, enter this into your address bar:


    Then make sure that 'Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols' is ON, and that there isn't a blocked entry for If there is, simply remove it and try again.Chrome handlers

link Edge

Microsoft Edge is built on a similar framework to Chrome, so simply follow the steps above. Firefox double diamond

If you don't see the double-diamond, type the following into the address bar:


Then make sure that 'Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols' is ON, and that there isn't a blocked entry for If there is, simply remove it and try again.

link Safari

Safari is unfortunately the only major browser that doesn't have a way to open Gmail as default built-in.

Fortunately, there is a simple app available from the Apple App Store (£0.99/$0.99) that makes it easy to manage: Open in Webmail

link Firefox

  1. Click on the Firefox menu (the three lines in the top right), and choose PreferencesFirefox menu
  2. Scroll down to Applications, and change the mailto action to 'Use Googlemail' or 'Use Gmail'.Firefox mailto

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