Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Social Media

How to make Gmail your default email program

No more extra work

Over the past year, I’ve been writing about my quest to help us all become free of Internet Explorer and Outlook by switching to Google. There isn’t much grey area here, some people love it while others hate this concept. For those that love it, I’ve found one more way to break free from the restraints of Microsoft.

Whenever you click on a link that is an email and you’ve already switched to Gmail, you’ll experience that lag as Outlook (or your default software) takes the time to load not only the program but the hundreds of emails you’ve already had forwarded to your Gmail account. What a drag.

If you’re using Google Chrome as your browser, there is a simple extension that is free to download and requires one click to set Gmail as your default email. If you’re using Firefox, there is a simple settings change you can use, instructions are found here.

No more slow Outlook loads, no more copy and paste or hovering over a mail to link so you can see the address then transferring it somewhere then to Gmail. This extension fixes one of the few remaining problems I had with living in the cloud, this is great!

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Ben Goheen

    June 22, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Affixa is a program that will accomplish this, even if you still use Firefox or the dreaded IE. They offer a free version or multiple account paid version for about $2.95/year:

  2. Jim Gatos

    June 22, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I can’t work with GMail…

    Problem I have is I use an Android. When I use GMail to check all 6 emails I have my emails show up twice on my phone.

    Besides, I think an email that comes from or seems MORE professional than

  3. Susie Blackmon

    June 22, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I freed myself from Outlook over a year ago and it STILL feels good! Love everything about Gmail. Wish I knew an easy way to get rid of [delete] emails. I went through ‘globally’ and deleted emails and even emails in my ‘folders’ disappeared. So now I’m back up to 35k emails and counting. (I’m aware this is mostly my fault…)

  4. Fred Romano

    June 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Gmail is the BEST thing since sliced bread – seriously!

  5. Miami Condo Shop

    June 22, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I’ve never been a fan of Outlook. It’s such a drag. Gmail is peerless. Great post btw and thanks for the Firefox tip.

  6. Maxwell McDaniel

    June 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Great tip Lani! I use Google to do all of my hosting for email and now my domain as well. Free hosting is pretty hard to beat, and I have the Gmail client (which is really my domain also checking my pop accounts (Hotmail, other gmail, etc) and pulling them right into my inbox.

    One thing that I haven’t figured out though, maybe somebody here can help me out. When I’m using resident applications (non-web) like Adobe Acrobat, how can I make their email pdf icon to to my Gmail? Right now it trys to open Outlook. I’ve thought about uninstalling Outlook, but there are many gigs of old files that I man need access to at some time, so I’m keeping it around. So, thoughts anyone?

  7. Dave Lopez

    June 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I like this idea. Question I have is I was told by a tech guy to be careful of Google Chrome, even though he is using it, stating it takes over as a browser and he had a hard time using other browsers because of it. makes sense?

  8. Ben Goheen

    June 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Jim: I’m using an Android phone also and have no problems. I’m guessing you have your Gmail check your other email accounts. In the settings and under the ‘accounts and import’ tab, make sure you have the button with ‘reply from the same address the message was sent to’ checked.

    A bit more technical, but you could also setup Google apps for your domain. I wrote an article about it here:

    Those messages are kept separate on my Android.

  9. Ben Goheen

    June 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Maxwell – give Affixa a try. I paid for the $2.95/year upgrade and it works, but I believe the free version will do the trick.

  10. Jim Gatos

    June 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm


    When I receive the emails on my android, I get them twice.. Once in the gmail account I have and once in the other NON gmail account I have. I have 6 non gmail accounts and one gmail account. I get ALL 7 email accounts emails on both that ONE gmail and then I get the individual emails on the 6 other accounts on their respective inboxes.



  11. Jim Gatos

    June 27, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Well, due to the lack of an answer I guess I won’t be using GMAIL for ALL my needs..

  12. Ben Goheen

    June 28, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Jim – I had family in town over the weekend, and didn’t see your prior comment until now. I don’t fully understand your explanation. Even if I did, I’m by no means an expert with Android phones and why you’re receiving the same message several times. Try looking up the solution on or elsewhere on the interwebs

  13. Jim Gatos

    June 29, 2010 at 4:55 am

    No problem.. I tried everything and it doesn’t work, I decided to just stick to my Thunderbird – Google Provider Extension, Gcontactsync Extension setup. It’s free and it works.. It’s amazing you can stay away from the computer for more than 2 days.. LOL…


  14. Braxton Beyer

    February 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

    If you’re on a Mac, is also worth looking into. Been using it for a few weeks now and think it is becoming my default mail app.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.