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Google Chrome and Gmail

I’m an avid Gmail and Google Chrome user, but if there’s one thing I hate, it’s wasting time checking my emails every ten seconds while I’m waiting for an important one. I always seem to be checking my Gmail account, only to be greeted with spam or a cheery message, “No new mail!” In addition, since I use Gmail’s web interface instead of an email client such as Microsoft Outlook, I can’t use those ‘email me’ buttons on web sites which automatically open up a blank email message pre-filled with ‘To:’ information when clicked. Through some nifty add-ons that can be installed for Google Chrome, these problems can be overcome. Here’s how!

Early in 2010, a Google Chrome extension was released called Google Mail Checker. This extension places a small icon in your browser toolbar and monitors your inbox, notifying you when you get a new email. To install Google Mail Checker, go to the Google Chrome Extensions web page and click Install. Click Install again…


… and a Gmail icon will appear in the top right-hand corner of your screen!


Whenever you receive an email, the Google Mail Checker extension will animate and the number of emails received will appear next to it.


If you use Google Apps for Your Domain, as I have in the past, no problem! Simply right-click the extension icon, select Options and enter the domain where your email is located. Hit Save, and you’re done!

If you’re an exclusive webmail user like me, you’ve probably encountered more than one ‘mailto:’ link during your time online. A ‘mailto:’ link automatically opens your default email client (on Windows, it’s usually Microsoft Outlook or Windows Mail) with pre-filled address information. The problem is, you can’t send email using your Gmail account from your default email client unless you configure it to use POP3, which is a completely different issue. A recently-released Chrome extension tells Chrome to open up Gmail instead of your default email client when you click one of those mailto: links. To install it, simply go to the Google Chrome Extensions web page again and hit Install, then Install again. The extension will install automatically, and you can start using it right away!


Now, whenever I click on a ‘mailto:’ link, I get a pre-filled email in my Gmail interface instead of my default email client.

Have fun with these two Chrome extensions – they’re sure to save a lot of time!

~Brandon Zubek