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"Mailto" link in Win 10 Pro not working on my system only.

Explorer ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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Hello.  Three of the websites I manage have contact pages for sending email to the officials.  When I tested these links yesterday, they don't work.  Well, not quite true.  They 'almost' work.  On one of my machines, It does open the mail program, but that's all.  It does not open a new email with the name and subject line.  It just sits there.  On another win 10 laptop, clicking the link opens a screen (see below) that lists parameters for such an action.  However, if I open that site on my phone, it works fine.  Up comes the new email ready to be filled in and sent.  I can't say whether it works on any other outside computer because I haven't tried it on another machine.  Since it does work on one device, I'm assuming there is no code issue going on in Dreamweaver and must be related to settings on both local machines.  I just can't figure out what those might be.  I've tried all the usual suspects.  The default mail program is set; the privacy issues are set. I even thought it might be something as simple as blocking pop-up screens, but that is turned off, so I'm at a loss.  The screen below only shows up on one laptop (also a win 10 pro machine).  If anybody has any suggestions, I would appreciate reading them.  Thanks.

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Code , Error , Performance , Product issue

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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First, I wouldn't recommend ever posting emails publicly like this in contact links. They are just going to be harvested by bots and eventually those emails will get spammed. You are much better off setting up forms to capture and send the emails.

 

With that said, can we see the code you are using for your links? I have not come across that error before, but with mailto links there needs to be a configured mail client either online (ie: gmail) or as a desktop/phone app (ie: outlook).  Also as you are including a subject, have you encoded the subject so that there are no spaces and only encoded characters (ie: space characters become '%20')?

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Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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All of these links worked fine for years.  I would code them in and when published never had a problem.  The code used was always the same, as in: mailto: NAME@Example.COM?subject=Web Site Inquiry. That has always worked.  Even the previous laptop running win 10 had no issues.  The site on my phone has no issues.  I realize the risk(s) of posting active emails, and I have discussed them with the folks for whom I'm setting up the sites, but that's what they want. So that won't change.  My issue is why all that link does on one machine is open the mail client, but not a new email screen, and on another just opens  the screenas posted above.

 

[Email address removed by moderator.]

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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Your screenshot says there's a problem opening Contacts.  This is an independent action beyond the boundaries of Dreamweaver or a proper hyperlink expressed this way.

 

<a href="mailto:NAME@EXAMPLE.COM?subject=Web%20Site%20Inquiry" title="Send Us an Email">Contact Us by Email</a>

 

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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I'll go a step further and say using a plain mailto: link isn't really acceptable in today's website design at all.

 

1. Security. As mentioned above, email harvesters eat up mailto links, it's what they're for. Your clients may not be very happy when their email address is used by a spammer resulting in a large corporate email filter blacklisting their entire domain.

 

2. Email client usage is down. Way, way down. Mailto links, as you've found, only function when the viewer has an email client installed on their device. For anyone who uses browser-based email, like Gmail through Chrome, the link will do absolutely nothing when clicked. 

 

3. Spotty support among email clients. Some will allow you to set the subject, body and other parameters, some won't. You can't control who uses which client, browser, etc. so you can't control how the email appears and what gets filled in.

 

4. Spam responses. Mailto: is open to any and all robots that love nothing more than to send your clients an email from a bogus Nigerian doctor, counterfeit little blue pill advertisements, and "Dear -client name here- I'm in jail, please send money" scams. With form-to-email scripts, you have the ability to validate human interactions and secure the form against robot intrusion, cutting out nearly all spam your client will get from a contact link.

 

Instead of using simple mailto: links, look into adding a form-to-email script in a language your client's servers support (usually PHP). You'll have a much more secure and consistent experience for your clients potential customers.

1. Some hosting companies offer simple, but secure, form scripts with easy instructions to implement them. Talk to the hosting company, or dig into their website to see if they have one available.


2. There are alaso a good number of well-made third party scripts available, though this is usually less ideal if you're not sure how to code forms and what security is necessary.

3. Finally, you can let a third party service, like Wufoo.com handle all the heavy lifting. They host the form and database, all you do is set up the desired form on their site and embed it in your client sites.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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we can't answer better

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Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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You can give me a hundred reasons not to do it, but as I said.  Not my choice and that's not how they want the sites to work.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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I don't like , nor recommand, this one... any way that open the mail programm, set the TO: value, add a subject and place the cursor in the body...

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Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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Even that sample link opened the email program, but did not open a new email screen.  Maybe there's some internal win 10 security issue at work here I'm not aware of.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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It's irresponsible to post a MAILTO link on a website these days.  Spambots will exploit it which could cause your client's email address and URL to be blacklisted for spamming.  It's not worth the risks.

 

If the hosting server supports PHP, use a secure contact form with PHPMailer which hides email addresses from robot harvesters and prevents other exploits.

https://github.com/PHPMailer/PHPMailer

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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I think that such a strong or categorical opinion masks a lack of debate.


The opinion of Ben's client is quite revealing. Many users don't use forms and prefer direct links.

 

And as a late night Harlem philosopher used to say, if the person wants something that we think is bad, explain it and give him a lead that goes in his direction

So, Jon's advice is one aspect (thanks Jon), and George's (a.k.a. Wrappler's) overtures are really interesting leads...

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Community Expert ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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The biggest problem with MAILTO links is that they rely entirely on the web device's email client (Outlook, WinMail, so on...) to send mail which most people don't use anymore.  Web based email platforms like Gmail and Yahoo don't automatically open when a MAILTO link is invoked.  In the absence of an email client properly configured on the web device, the user is left wondering what went wrong...  😞

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Explorer ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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As I once replied to a professor who took way more time that was necessary to address a question.  I'm asking for the time.  You're telling me how to make a watch.  The right/wrong/ethical/responsible use of the format is not the question. The why win 10 is having an issue running it is.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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quote

The right/wrong/ethical/responsible use of the format is not the question. The why win 10 is having an issue running it is.

=========

You'll need to ask Microsoft about that. 

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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LATEST

@MalibuEd wrote:

As I once replied to a professor who took way more time that was necessary to address a question.  I'm asking for the time.  You're telling me how to make a watch.  The right/wrong/ethical/responsible use of the format is not the question. The why win 10 is having an issue running it is.


 

This might be a deeper win 10 issue with your machine unfortuantely based on what you are experiencing and not specific to the mailto function. From your original screen the wab.exe file that is throwing the error is the Windows address book. There is this KB article from MS if you are experiencing issues with that executable: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/error-message-when-you-open-the-windows-address-book-or-yo... .  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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basically, I agree with all that has been said, especially @Jon Fritz 's excellent answer.

 

However, I had a client who was adamant, he wanted a mailto link. According to him, people tend to use the link before filling in a form. So I gave him a mailto link.

 

I then decided to bring the proof to the pudding on my own website. Glory be. the guy is right. No one uses the form, they all use the mailto link.

Wappler, the only real Dreamweaver alternative.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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quote

No one uses the form, they all use the mailto link.

=========

@BenPleysier 

Humans or robots?

 

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021

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No robots, the link is well disguised 

<p><a href="javascript&colon;void(0);" class="btn reverse btn-outline-light btn-sm" wappler-command="editContent" dmx-on:click="browser.goto(scOrganisation.data.eml_link)">{{scOrganisation.data.eml_displayed}}&nbsp;<i class="fa fa-envelope-o"></i></a></p>

and in the inspect panel

BenPleysier_0-1634362144361.png

 

Wappler, the only real Dreamweaver alternative.

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