Configuring Browser for Banner Email Icons


Some people have reported difficulty using icon links in Banner that should open your college email client and a new mail form with the recipient’s email address filled in. These links are called mailto links, and when you point to the link, you should see a link destination in the lower-left corner of your browser window that looks like the one shown here:

Zoomed-in screen capture of the lower-left corner of a browser window showing the destination of the link the user is hovering over. This link says mailto:helpdesk at pima dot edu.

Mailto links can fail to open your college Gmail if your preferred browser is not configured to handle that kind of link. To correct that, complete both steps in the following procedure.

Step 1: Set Default Email Application

To open email links in Gmail via your browser, first, set your browser as the default email application on your computer.

Windows Computers

  1. Press the Windows (Start) key on your keyboard.
  2. Search for Default apps and select it.
  3. Under the Email section, choose your browser as the default app, as shown here:

Screen capture of the Windows Settings window with Default Apps selected, showing a browser being selected as the default email app.

MacOS Computers

Note: To change the default email application setting, you must have already added an email account in the macOS native email app, Mail.

  1. Open the Mail app. If necessary, add an email account. (For help, see this Apple guide.)
  2. Press command-comma. The Mail Settings (or Preferences) window opens.
  3. Click General.
  4. Choose an email app from the Default email reader pop-up menu. If you don't see your email app in the menu, choose Select from the menu, then select your email app from the file dialog that opens, as shown here:

Screen capture of the General tab of the Mail settings window with the Default email reader menu open and Select highlighted.

Step 2: Configure Your Browser

Use these steps to ensure your default browser is configured to handle mailto links. If your preferred browser is not Google Chrome, skip to Mozilla Firefox or to macOS Safari.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. In the address bar, type chrome://settings/handlers and press Enter. The Chrome settings page opens.
  3. Ensure the Sites can ask to handle protocols option is selected.
  4. Below that, if you see listed as an option, ensure it is set as the default, as shown here:

Screen capture of the Google Chrome browser's Settings page with Privacy and Security selected in the left pane. On the right, in the Protocol handlers section, the Sites can ask to handle protocols option is selected, and under Email, the default shown is

  1. If is not shown as an option, perform the following steps:
    1. Open a new tab and go to to load the Gmail website.
    2. In the address bar, on the right side, locate the small double-diamond icon.
    3. Click that icon to allow the page “to install a service handler.”
    4. A dialog box opens asking if you want to allow to open all email links, as shown here:

    Screen capture showing the right-most portion of the Chrome address bar, with a small icon of two horizontally overlapping diamonds selected. Also shown is the drop-down from that icon, what asks whether the user wants to allow mail dot google dot com to open all email links, with the options of Allow, Deny, or Ignore. The Allow option is selected.

    1. Select Allow, and then click Done.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox on your computer.
  2. In the address field, type about:preferences and press Enter (or, on macOS, press command-comma). The Firefox settings page opens.
  3. On the left side, ensure that General (gear icon) is selected.
  4. Scroll down to the Applications section.
  5. In the table, select the mailto row, and then, select mailto, and then, in the Action column, select Use Gmail, as shown here:

Screen capture of the Mozilla Firefox browser's Settings page with General selected in the left pane. On the right, in the Applications section, the Mailto content type is selected, and for the corresponding Action, the default selected is Use GMail.

  1. If you don’t see Use Gmail as an option, at the bottom of the list, select Application Details.
  2. In box that opens, select Gmail, and then click OK.

MacOS Safari

While it is possible for you to select Safari as the default email reader in step 1 above, Safari cannot be configured to open a webmail service such as Gmail by itself. You purchase an app that helps Safari to accomplish that task, such as Open in Webmail, which is available from the macOS App Store.

If you are using an iMac or MacBook that you own personally, and you want to have it automatically use Safari to open mailto links in your Gmail account, consider spending the $1.99 to purchase the app.

If you are using a college-owned iMac or MacBook, you must create a software purchase request in the service request system to request purchase and installation of the app.

Questions or Issues

If you have questions about this or encounter issues executing the process, use the service request system to Report a Software Problem for further assistance.


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Article ID: 158832
Thu 11/9/23 5:20 PM
Tue 3/26/24 2:49 PM