Modified 07 March 2017 by Ian Weatherhogg


Configure Chrome with service handlers to enable email and calendar links to open in your Chrome browser.

With a web page certain types of special links known as protocols can open programmes or invoke specific actions known as handlers. Examples of these special links are mailto: (which contain email addresses and sometimes subject lines) and webcal: (which contain calendar item details).

In Chrome a special protocol handler icon (see circled in image) may be displayed in the omnibox (at the far right-hand-side near to the star). On click it asks whether to allow Gmail to open all email links and shows the following options:

  • Use Your Domain Mail - choose this to start opening mailto links in Gmail
  • No
  • Ignore

Calendar options are similar, except you can choose to use Google Calendar to open webcal links.

Service handlers often provide helpful features to deal with specific protocols and in Chrome they are enabled by default. You can disable or re-enable them via the Chrome settings menu:

  • Select the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar
  • Select Settings
  • Select Show advanced settings
  • In the Privacy section select Content settings
  • Locate the “Handlers” section:
  • To enable: select Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols
  • To disable: select Do not allow any site to handle protocols

Put this tip to the test and let us know how you got on in the comments section below.