I have done some basic research on this topic, but didn't came with valid conclusion as resources were not from well known or reputed sources.

Hypothesis: (Especially for residential users), people don't use local Mail programs (as Outlook).
Hypothesis2: When an e-mail link occurs, people will rather copy e-mail and paste it in Browser E-mail message than use Mailto option.
Hypothesis3: Mailto option will by default open Email software that is not configured, and cause user frustration.

Conclusion: Mailto option should not be set as default on E-mail links, and should be provided with redesigned replacement.

Any thoughts or ideas on this topic?

1 Answer 1


The problem is not with the mailto: but with the format of the link. If you format your email link like this:


Then you will run into the issues you described. Users may just want to read or copy the email address but they can't (easily) because the only option is to click the link and leave it up to the browser/mail client to handle it. However, if you format your links like this:

Contact Us: [email protected]

Users can still read the email address, copy and paste the email address to their mail client of choice, or click the link and allow the default actions to take place. The mailto: link in this circumstance only acts as an enhancement as opposed to the primary action. This format also allows for you to give more descriptive labels, as "Email" is not much better than a "Click me" link.

  • Mere possibility doesn't means is good enough for the users. Default function still seems only half way there, as for large part of the users it doesn't do. To copy it in the middle of the text is hard. Accessibility here is not ensured. Email links could be styled and distinguished from normal a href links(?). What do you think, would placing small copy icon right next to the "[email protected]" make sense? Any ideas for better design?
    – xul
    Aug 15, 2019 at 13:53
  • You can always add a "Copy" button next to the email id. Aug 22, 2019 at 6:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.