I have Microsoft Outlook installed on my home computer, but I only use the Gmail interface – I have made the choice not to use Outlook at home (I use it quite a bit for work).  Unfortunately, though, my computer still thinks Outlook is my default email provider, and so when I click on an email address in my web browser, it opens Outlook and begins to create an email there.  I have been looking for ways to make Gmail the default email, and wanted to share some of the different options I discovered with you.

First, you can download the Gmail Notifier.  It’s an application that lives in your system tray, and you can use it to change your “MailTo” settings.  If you have Windows, right-click on the Notifier icon and select Options.  Then make sure the box is checked next to Use Gmail for internet mailto: links.  If  you’re a Mac user, open the Notifier on the Menu Bar and go to Preferences.  Select the Gmail tab and choose Gmail from the Compose mail in drop down menu.  But the Notifier hasn’t been updated since 2006, so you might want to try something different.

If you use the Chrome browser, download and install the Send from Gmail extension – it will automatically override the default Windows settings for email.

If you want a more powerful tool, or you use other webmail sites, then check out Affixa.  It will allow you to choose the email program to use whenever you want to send a message.  There are other features available too – check it out if you’re interested.