It’s pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a human being. You innocently click a link only to find Mac Mail opening and asking you to set up your default email account. Such is the occasional, profound misery of the Mac user who prefers a web client to Cupertino’s default email software. I may be exaggerating the extent of the problem, but it’s still pretty freaking annoying.
A “mailto” link looks like any other link, but instead of opening a website it opens your default email client and creates a new outgoing email. This can be convenient at times, but for those of of us who prefer web-based email tools like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or any webmail platform it can be extremely annoying. Default email software asks to be configured every time such a link is clicked, wasting valuable seconds of time that could be spent avoiding work.
Webmailer is a simple addition to the Mac OS X settings panel that allows you to set any webmail service to act as your default system-wide email client. It can even be used to stop these links from working altogether, if that’s what you want.
We’ve shown you how to set Gmail as your default email in your browser, and how to make Gmail your default email client on Windows. Webmailer works for more email services than just Gmail, applies system-wide on your Mac and is easy to set up. Stop the madness now. Install Webmailer and banish Mail.app from ever showing up again.
First things first, you’re going to want to install Webmailer. Head to the Webmailer website and download the program. Installation is easy. Just double-click “Webmailer.prefPan“, and enter your password if necessary. Once you’ve done so, you’ll find Webmailer on your Mac’s preferences panel, highlighted below:
Click this button and you’ll be presented with the Webmailer options. If you use a fairly common webmail client, such as Gmail or Hotmail, all you need to do is set Webmailer as your default email program and click your preferred client in the list.
You might need to slightly edit the entry, particularly if your preferred client uses the word “SITE” in the screenshot above.
Do you want to use a different browser for email than your default browser? That’s weird, but perfectly possible. Set this in the default settings:
Can’t find your preferred webmail client in the settings? You can write your own, if your skills are sufficient, or you can find a list of other email clients on the Webmailer website:
Check out the list here. It includes Squirrel Mail and several email services I’ve never heard of, so it probably includes yours.
Webmailer won’t solve all of life’s problems, but if you’re a Mac user who loves a particular webmail client – and sees no reason to set up Mac Mail – it could solve one. That’s all you can reasonably ask from software built for a particular purpose.
Do you know of any other software for the job? Please share it in the comments below, along with any other misery-inducing annoyances your computer causes. I look forward to the conversation.