Changing your email to Gmail in Mac is easy

How to change the Default Email on Mac to Gmail

In today's digital age, email communication plays a pivotal role in our daily lives. For Mac users who rely on Gmail as their primary email service, setting it as the default email client can significantly enhance productivity and streamline workflow.

This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of changing the default email on your Mac to Gmail. From understanding the importance of default email settings to optimizing Gmail for Mac, we will cover all the essential aspects to help you make the most of your email experience.

Understanding Default Email Settings on Mac

Before diving into the process of setting Gmail as your default email client on a Mac, it's crucial to understand what default email settings are and why they matter. The default email client is the application that opens automatically when you click on an email address link in a web browser or document. For users who primarily use Gmail for their email communications, setting it as the default email client ensures a smoother, more integrated experience.

When you set Gmail as your default email client on your Mac, any action that requires email access (like sending a document or photo via email) will automatically launch Gmail, saving you the extra steps of copying email addresses or content between applications. This seamless integration can significantly enhance your productivity and streamline your workflow.

Checking macOS Version

Before proceeding, ensure your macOS version supports the latest features and integrations with Gmail. To check your macOS version:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.

  2. Select "About This Mac."

  3. The macOS version number appears in the overview tab.

It's important to have a recent version of macOS to ensure compatibility with Gmail and to access the latest features and security updates.

Opening Mail Preferences

To start the process of changing your default email client to Gmail, you need to access the Mail preferences:

  1. Open the Mail app from your Dock or Applications folder.

  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click "Mail" and then select "Preferences."

Selecting Gmail as the Default Email Client

Within the Mail preferences, you can select Gmail as your default email client:

  1. In the "General" tab of the Mail preferences window, look for the "Default email reader" option.

  2. Click on the dropdown menu next to "Default email reader" and select "Select."

  3. Navigate to the application you use for accessing Gmail (this could be the official Gmail app if installed, or another email client that supports Gmail accounts) and select it.

For a visual guide on this process, you might find this video helpful on changing your default email client on a Mac:

Remember, setting Gmail as your default email client on Mac not only streamlines your workflow but also ensures that you're utilizing all the features and integrations Gmail offers for macOS users.

Additional Settings for Optimizing Gmail on Mac

After setting Gmail as your default email client on Mac, there are additional settings you can adjust to optimize your Gmail experience. Integrating Google Contacts and Calendar and managing passwords and security are crucial steps to ensure a seamless and secure workflow.

Integrating Google Contacts and Calendar

Integrating Google Contacts and Calendar with your Mac allows for a unified experience, ensuring that you have access to your appointments and contacts across all your devices. Here’s how to integrate these services:

  1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and select "System Preferences."

  2. Internet Accounts: Click on "Internet Accounts."

  3. Add Google Account: Click on the "+" sign to add a new account and select "Google" from the list.

  4. Sign In: Enter your Gmail address and password. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, you will need to complete this step as well.

  5. Select Services: Choose the services you want to integrate with your Mac (Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Notes).

  6. Complete Setup: Click "Done" to complete the setup. Your Google Contacts and Calendar will now sync with your Mac.

For a more detailed guide, consider watching this tutorial on integrating Google services with macOS:

Managing Passwords and Security

Ensuring your Gmail account is secure on your Mac is paramount. Here are some tips for managing passwords and enhancing security:

  • Use Strong Passwords: Ensure your Gmail password is strong and unique. Consider using a password manager to generate and store your passwords securely.

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Adding an extra layer of security, 2FA requires a second form of verification in addition to your password when signing in to your account. You can enable 2FA from your Google Account settings.

  • Regularly Review Account Activity: Keep an eye on the activity in your Gmail account. Google provides tools to review security events and devices that have accessed your account.

For managing passwords, LastPass and 1Password are excellent tools that integrate well with macOS and browsers. They can generate strong passwords, store them securely, and autofill them when needed.

Enhancing your Gmail experience on Mac doesn’t stop at setting it as the default email client. By integrating Google Contacts and Calendar and managing your passwords and security effectively, you can enjoy a more streamlined and secure workflow.


Setting Gmail as your default email client on a Mac is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your email management and overall productivity. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you are well-equipped to make Gmail work seamlessly with your Mac. Remember, the goal is not just to change a setting but to optimize your workflow and security for a better email experience. With Gmail as your default email client, you're leveraging one of the most powerful email platforms directly from your Mac, ensuring that your communication is as efficient and integrated as possible.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

  1. Can I set Gmail as my default email client on any version of macOS?

    • Not all versions of macOS may support the latest features required to set Gmail as the default email client seamlessly. It's recommended to have macOS Sierra (10.12) or later to ensure compatibility and access to the latest functionalities. For the best experience, always keep your macOS updated to the latest version.

  2. What should I do if Gmail doesn't appear as an option in my Mail preferences?

    • If Gmail does not appear as an option in your Mail preferences, ensure that you have the Gmail app installed on your Mac or that you have added your Gmail account to the Internet Accounts section in System Preferences. If the issue persists, restarting the Mail app or your Mac can help refresh the settings.

  3. How can I ensure my Google Contacts and Calendar sync with my Mac?

    • To ensure your Google Contacts and Calendar sync with your Mac, add your Google account to the Internet Accounts section in System Preferences. Make sure to check the boxes next to Contacts and Calendars to enable syncing. Changes made in Google Contacts and Calendar should now reflect on your Mac.

  4. What are some security measures I should take when using Gmail on Mac?

    • Enhancing your security when using Gmail on Mac involves several steps: use strong, unique passwords for your Gmail account, enable two-factor authentication for an added layer of security, and regularly review your account activity for any unusual access or behavior. Additionally, keep your macOS and Gmail app updated to benefit from the latest security patches.

  5. Where can I find further assistance if I encounter issues setting up Gmail as my default email client on Mac?

    • If you encounter issues setting up Gmail as your default email client on Mac, the Apple Support website and Google's Gmail Help Center are excellent resources for troubleshooting and guidance. For more specific issues, consider reaching out to Apple Support or the Gmail Help community for personalized assistance.