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Old 5 Jan 2018, 10:12 AM   #1
Master of the @
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Boston USA
Posts: 1,026
embedding email links

My website is hosted by fastmail. At some point in the distant past I was able to offer people visiting that website a link that would allow them to send me email. For various reasons I wanted to present this link as one of a list of options in a table as follows:
<a href="">Email</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;

Very simple. I just discovered that this has stopped working. Huh. I cannot guess why it stopped working or what it is I should do to get this simple functionality back. What should I try???
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 12:31 PM   #2
The "e" in e-mail
Join Date: May 2003
Location: mostly in Thailand
Posts: 2,712
When you say "it has stopped working", what do you mean exactly. A Mailto link relies on suitable configuration of a default email client on the computer where the Mailto link is clicked. Since people started using web clients, there has been a tendency for Mailto links to fail because the special support needed to open the client in the browser has not been installed.

Unfortunately, the very limited functionality in websites hosted by FastMail does not provide a good alternative to Mailto links. The usual method (contact forms) require scripting support on the server which is not available.
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 03:07 PM   #3
Intergalactic Postmaster
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 8,431
Arrow Setting default mailto: email app

As BritTim says, this depends on the URL mailto: association set up on the computer. This is a combination of browser and operating system, and it's been messy to get this working correctly in the past. It works moderately well with Windows 10, as far as I can tell. To see how this works:
  • Log into your Fastmail account.
  • Go to Settings>Mail>Preferences
  • In the General section at the top of that page, click the link:
    Open email links from other sites in FastMail
    If you haven't done this before you will probably then need to answer a confirmation query. This is a one-time setup which you only need to run again if the Windows mail client associaiton is corrupted.
  • Now go to your website and click on the mailto: link you described. In Windows this should open a Launch Application window which lists Fastmail as an email application. Choosing FastMail and Open link will cause Fastmail to be started in the Compose screen with your email address in the To field. In my case, I can also choose the default Windows 10 Mail app, Yahoo! Mail, or Gmail. Each of these email clients or websites has automatic or manually controlled setup features which adds the email system to the Launch Application window which is opened when you click a mailto: link.
To see how you can manually change some of the mailto: URL associations, in Windows 10 search for Default app settings.
  • With Default apps selected at the left, click Email in the Choose default apps list.You can then choose an app to be used for Email by default. For my installation, the choices which work are Mail (Microsoft default email app in Windows 10), Outlook 2016, and Thunderbird.
  • If you scroll down to the bottom of the Choose default apps list and click Choose default apps by protocol, you can scroll down to MAILTO (URL:MailTo Protocol) and the same client you chose for Email in the Choose default apps list will be shown again.
  • The settings I just described allow you to choose the top choice which appears in the Launch Application window which appears when you click a mailto: link. The other selections (such as Fastmail) are set up through the webmail websites or through your browsers, I believe.
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 05:21 PM   #4
The "e" in e-mail
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 2,124
Unless I've missed something here, it doesn't really matter if Fred solves the problem on his own computer, but what about others viewing his website and clicking the link?

I host my personal website with FastMail, but use a link to a contact form (via Google) which works very well and also means you don't have to make your e-mail address visible.

Fred, if that's your real e-mail address in your post I suggest you obfuscate it.
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