Mailto (the theory)
When you see an email address, on the internet, in an Office document or in Blackboard, and it is a live link (like a web link) - this will usually be aMailto link.
It allows users who click that link to send an e-mail without first having to copy the destination e-mail address and open an e-mail client. But there is a problem:
Mailto (the problem)
Mailto clickable links do not always function correctly for the end user. The software mechanism activated by the link requires that a default email client be installed and setup on the computer. An example of this might be Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.
Because most people now use Webmail (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) there is little or no need to install and/or configure an email client on your computer; because you simply open a web-browser and login to your email.
When such a visitor clicks on a mailto link, either the web browser will display an error to the effect that no default email client exists, or the user will be subjected to a volley of technical questions by the unconfigured email client. Neither is a desirable outcome.
In short - clicking an email link (like this one: email@example.com) will not allow you to easily email the person unless you have a dedicated email program or have already applied a fix.
Mailto (some fixes)
Gmail users: The following article shows you how to set Gmail as your default desktop email client; when using the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers:
Hotmail / Outlook.com users: The easiest way to do this is through a third-party piece of software called an "email client". Outlook 2016 is available to University of Cumbria students through the Office 365 download program. When you are no longer a student, you may want to purchase Outlook or use on of the suggested alternatives:
Mailto Links and Mobile Devices: There is no longer an issue for most users of Smartphones. Your Android phone, iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry are already registered with one or more of your own email addresses.
The Email App, on your device, will automatically open for Mailto Links and allow you to send an email from your preferred account.