How To


Email Links

When you see an email address on a web page that is a hyperlink, like, the underlying assumption is that when you click on it you will be able to send an email to that email address.  This type of hyperlink is a MAILTO: link. 

MAILTO: clickable links do not always function correctly for the site visitor. The software mechanism activated by the link requires that a default email client be installed on the visitor's computer. This must be a local program (local mail client), resident on the visitor's computer.  Examples of such local programs:

With the rise in use of webmail-based email (where email is accessed through a browser), many computers do not have local email client software. Alternatively, email client software may have been preinstalled by the computer vendor, but never used or configured. When such a visitor clicks on a MAILTO: link in their web browser, either the browser will display an error to the effect that no default email client exists, or the user will be subjected to a series of installation questions by the unconfigured email client.  Neither is a desirable outcome. Most web browsers can be reconfigured (a one-time event) to redirect clicks on MAILTO links to a chosen  webmail service:



If you use a webmail-based email and choose not to reconfigure your browser, a few simple steps are required: