If you use a webmail service, like Gmail or Hotmail, you’ll find that clicking on email links on the web won’t work properly; your computer will often irritatingly try to open a desktop client that you don’t use, such as Outlook Express or Apple Mail. Fortunately, there are a couple of free apps for both Windows and Mac that you can use to fix this behavior.
On Windows, GmailDefaultMaker is a handy free lightweight application that will open mailto: links in your preferred webmail client; despite its name it can route email links to Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo! Mail.
During the installation, you’re asked to specify which webmail provider you’d like to use. It then runs in the background; any time you click on an email link , it will open the compose screen of your webmail client in your default browser with the To: field filled out. It’s simple but effective, although if you want to switch webmail providers you’ll need to re-install it.
On the Mac, you can use Belkadan Software’s Webmailer, a utility that catches mailto: links and sends them to your preferred webmail client. It’s also a free download, and comes pre-configured for several popular webmail clients, including Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Gmail and Hotmail.