I'm a web developer working on macOS "Big Sur". I've noticed recently that if I create a web page in Visual Studio Code that contains an HTML anchor tag with a "mailto" href attribute and I launch a local web server using the Live Server extension, if I click that link, my Brave browser opens up. What I would expect is that the Apple Mail application would open.

  <a href="mailto:[email protected]" id="email">[email protected]</a>

Is this a macOS problem or should I blame the Visual Studio Code extension?

  • Note that mailto: (like http:) indicates the URI component called protocol or scheme. So your application (like VS Code) or OS may have a protocol-handler pointing to an unexpected application.
    – hc_dev
    Feb 8, 2021 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


mailto: links open in the system's default Email Reader. You might have this configured as Brave.

On macOS you change the default Email Reader from Preferences inside the Apple Mail app. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201607

In Chrome, there is also a setting to determine which website (e.g. Gmail) handles the protocol, I assume Brave works similarly: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9308783?hl=en

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