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How to Make Gmail the Default Email on Mac

Making Gmail the default email service on Mac is a must if Gmail is your primary email account.

By setting it as default, when you click on a link to email someone online, it will automatically start creating a new email from your Gmail account – instead of iCloud. You can choose whether you want to open the Apple Mail app with your Gmail account for sending and receiving emails or if you’d just like a Gmail to open up in a web browser.

Personally, I opt for having Gmail open in a web browser. It feels less clunky, I never need to sync my account with the Mail app, no software updates are needed, etc.

Whatever you choose, the methods for setting Gmail as the default email service on macOS are in the video above and the text below.

Use your Gmail account with Apple Mail

  1. Open the Apple Mail app.
  2. Click on the Mail dropdown menu in the top toolbar.
  3. Click on Add Account…
  4. Login in with your Gmail account username and password.
  5. You should now be able to send and receive emails using your Gmail account in Apple Mail.

Set Gmail to open in Chrome as default on Mac

Set the default mail reader to Chrome

  1. Open the Apple Mail app.
  2. Click on the Mail menu from the top toolbar.
  3. Click on Preferences.
  4. In the General section set the Default email reader to Google Chrome.

Make sure Gmail isn’t blocked as the default email in Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the Chrome dropdown menu in the top toolbar.
  2. Click on Preferences…
  3. Click on or scroll to the Privacy and security section.
  4. Click on Site Settings.
  5. Navigate to the Permissions section and click on Additional permissions.
  6. Click on Handlers.
  7. Make sure Allow sites to ask… is activated.
  8. Remove mail.google.com from the blocked list if you see it in there.
  9. Alternatively you could right click on mail.google.com and click Set as default.

Install a service handler in Chrome for Gmail

  1. Go to http://gmail.com and login with your account.
  2. On the right side of the address bar click on the squares with a circle handlers icon to the left of the star and share icons.
  3. Click Allow on the popup box.
  4. Gmail should now open in Chrome by default for all mail links.

Anson Alexander

I am an author, digital educator and content marketer. I record, edit, and publish content for AnsonAlex.com, provide technical and business services to clients and am an avid self-learner. I have also authored several digital marketing and business courses for LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com).

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