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Stop Gmail from Wrapping Your Phone Number into Text Links

Posted October 12, 2011 by Michelle Klann

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Both the desktop and mobile version(s) of Gmail now insert an anchor link around phone numbers.

In the desktop version, the link opens Google's new voice/chat console which is displayed along the right column of the Gmail interface.

In mobile versions, the link opens up the mobile phone console with your phone number pre-populated making it very easy to dial numbers directly from your email.

Each of the following formats will get converted to links:

212-389-3934
212.389.3934
(800) 389-3934
1-800-389-3934
(212) 389-3934
212–389–3934
212—389—3934
212–389–3934
212–389–3934
1–212–389–3934
212 -389 -3934

So how do you get around it?

1.) Use an HTML entity in your phone number that Gmail does not recognize:

212­-389­-3934

In the example above I used the following entity just before each dash: "­"

212­-389­-3934

In the example above I used: "­"
Unfortunatly, this HTML entity renders a dash "-" in Lotus Notes 6.5 and 7 (only) so the phone number appears like this: 212--389--3934

2.) Wrap an anchor tag around the phone number with an inline style that matches the rest of your text:

<a href="#" style="color:#0F3; text-decoration:none">342-389-3934</a>

3.) If it's possible, use the text version of the phone number:

555-212-SHOP

If you can find any additional ways to bypass the text links in Gmail, don't hesitate to share them below!

Update October 14, 2011: This fix also works if you want to block Gmail from inserting links around your URLs and Email addresses.

So change name@test.com to:
name@test­&#173;.com 

Change www.mydomain.com to:
www.mydomain­&#173;.com 

Change http://www.mydomain.com to:
http:&#173;­//www.mydomain­&#173;.com

Comments

Eli pic
Eli
This is great. Just implement the first work around in our enewsletter template. Much appreciated!
Posted 10/18/2011

Mindius pic
Mindius
You could use spans to achieve the same thing. Set som span-tags around both parenthesis for example. (else span inside the phone number somewhere should work)
Posted 02/07/2012

Colleen pic
Colleen
Is there anything that might work in email signatures?
Posted 03/29/2012

Mike pic
Mike
Just use an anchor tag leaving the href completely out. <a > content</a>. It will show up as a clickable link in hotmail, but do nothing when clicked on. It won't show up as a link at all on any other email client (yahoo, outlook, gmail....)
Posted 04/06/2012

francadaval pic
francadaval
I found in stackoverflow.com a less intrusive way to resolve it. You can use <span> html tags around '.' or '@' to avoid gmail to convert to links. It may wark also with phone numbers.
Posted 05/06/2012

IndyRob pic
IndyRob
You can permanently turn off this feature by going into
Settings--> Chat--> Call Phones: Disable Outbound Outbound Voice Calling
Posted 05/07/2012

Dano pic
Dano
You can use middle dots (·) instead of periods:
212·389·3934
Posted 06/07/2012

Clayton pic
Clayton
Great idea Dano! Works great.
Posted 06/19/2012

foo pic
foo
The ­ or ­ method does not work for me. The <span> method does, however.

I just replace all "." with "<span>.</span>" in a text with many numbers (readings, not phone numbers).
Posted 10/09/2012

DLM pic
DLM
You can permanently turn off this feature by going into
Settings--> Chat--> Call Phones: Disable Outbound Outbound Voice Calling

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was infuriating.
Posted 11/06/2012

neuroxik pic
neuroxik
@IndyRon & DLM: However helpful that may be to others searching how to disable it on THEIR client-side, the issue here is what gets to be seen on the customer's device (which probably DIDN'T disable that "feature").

@author: Thanks so much! It's funny because just before I searched and fell here, I tried the HTML entities for the numbers themselves but Gmail still recognized them (which is reassuring in some way).
Posted 12/14/2012

Avatar
Fathom
Does this interfere with the ability of a mobile phone user to dial a number? (We don't want them to stop calling us, only for Google to stop turning our phone numbers blue!)
Posted 01/24/2013

Steve pic
Steve
Thnx for such an intersting post Michelle. I just triend it in personal blog. Its working great thanks again. Steve
Posted 02/04/2013

David pic
David
Fathom: You brought up a VERY good point. Since most people check their email on their smartphones, the chances of them clicking on a phone number might decrease because the phone number doesn't look 'accessible.'

One would have to decide the best way for their subscribers to contact them... via phone or email... then code and style the HTML accordingly.
Posted 03/12/2013

staz pic
staz
To add the style you wish on a phone number and keep the tap to call function on a mobile, you have to consider the phone number as a link, into a class.
Like this :

HTML :

<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
<tr>
<td class="call">Call us : 212-389-3934</td>
</tr>
</table>

CSS :

.call {
font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size:12px;
color:#FFF;
}
.call a {
color:#FFF;
text-decoration:none;
}

Tested on iOS and Android.
Hope this will help !
Posted 03/28/2013

MarketAgent 007 pic
MarketAgent 007
The following CSS and HTML code will allow you to style your phone number anyway you wish while also keeping the tap to call function on mobile.

1. Insert the following <style> tag within the <head> tag:

<style type="text/css">
.ii a {text-decoration:none; color:#464646 !important;}
</style>


2. Wrap the telephone number with an <href> tag. Then add a class name plus an inline style to the <href> .

Example:

1.555.555.5555

This was tested in all major web browsers plus iOS and Android.
Posted 04/26/2013

brendan pic
brendan
thanks for the post.
Posted 06/06/2013

laurie pic
laurie
What about dates? No one would want to add my dated enewsletter to their calendar. Links to mmm dd, yyyy so I tried Euro dd mmm yyyy but still links. I'd prefer not to do mm/dd/yy. Thanks for any suggestions
Posted 06/28/2013

Jodi pic
Jodi
In my situation, I needed two different colors for different locations where I had the phone number listed. What worked for me was to wrap the phone # with what Gmail is going to wrap it with anyway, then add a span tag with the style applied (otherwise the span was added outside the link).

<span style="color:#fff; text-decoration:none;">888-555-1234</span>

Although I told it text-decoration:none, I still got a thin blue underline so I added this to my stylesheet:
.ii a[href] {text-decoration:none;}

If I only had one color to deal with, adding the color to that bit would perhaps be all I needed to do.
Posted 07/17/2013

Laurie Chu pic
Laurie Chu
As far as I can tell, this works for inline date and time:

JUL 17, 2013 =
<span style="font-size: 12px; font-family:Georgia, Times, serif; line-height:24px; text-transform: uppercase; color:#ffffff;"><strong style="margin-left:10px;"><font color="white">JUL</font> <span><font color="white">17,</font></span> <span><font color="white">2013</font></span></strong></span>

(4:02 mins.) =
(<font color="black">4</font><span><font color="black">:</font></span><font color="black">02</font> mins.)
Posted 07/18/2013

Erin pic
Erin
I don't mind Gmail converting phone numbers to a link, I just want it to be styled the same as other links in the same section. What I don't want to do is set phone numbers to look like links to nowhere in all email clients. Is there a way to simply overwrite Gmail's default link styling? Or are my only options to have the number look like a link in all clients or to not look like a link in any?
Posted 09/20/2013

Leonardo pic
Leonardo
Hello, Gmail is parsing numbers that look like phones but aren't also. I've tested adding a ­ between all the numbers and didn't work, gmail continue on parsing as phone number.

I think this solution is not working anymore
Posted 09/26/2013

mediagistic pic
mediagistic
What about?

123-456-7890
Posted 10/15/2013

Ralf pic
Ralf
Isn't it amazing, all the automatic stuff that Google does to our stuff these days?
I saved my phone number from being converted by wrapping parts of it in spans:
<span>031</span> <span>412</span> <span>61</span> <span>18</span>
Posted 10/21/2013

Android pic
Android
Great Idea , thank you
Posted 11/03/2013

Brian Hogg pic
Brian Hogg
Another thank you! Worked great for a recent e-mail template.
Posted 01/08/2014

Torbjørn pic
Torbjørn
This worked for me in a Mail signature on Mac OSX:

<html><body><span style="font-family: Helvetica, Calibri, Verdana, Arial, Sans-Serif; font-size: 9pt; color: #000; margin-top: 0pt; a:link=#000 !important">
NAME

TITLE

COMPANY

Mobile: +1 555 222 333

Web: [url=http://www.company.com]http://www.company.com[/url]


</span>
http://company-logo.jpg
</body></html>

Not very neat, but keeps the phone number black on the phone, while retaining the call-function.
Posted 01/29/2014

Jodi pic
Jodi
Here's my current method that works:

<span style="color:#d20000; text-decoration:none;">800-555-1234</span>

Plus this in my style sheet:

/* Gmail Fix */
.ii a[href] {
text-decoration:none; !important;
color: #001;
}

I'm not certain I need the <span> tag ... I might even be using that for another reason, or maybe it's something I tried in the past. So it may be overkill, but it works (for now).
Posted 02/28/2014

Seth pic
Seth
9/29/14
Noticed this morning that it looks like gmail has implemented new email reader code that breaks these work arounds. I'm using styled <a href="tel:12345678910"> and <span> tags and gmail is still adding their own blue hyperlink.

SO annoying... has anyone else noticed this?
Posted 09/29/2014

Seth pic
Seth
Ha, this seems to work- breaking the phone number into separate hyperlinks- a lot of work, so thanks for that google. I use the span, because yahoo adds their own bland style to hyperlinks if you don't- thanks fro that yahoo.

<span style="color:#000001;">(123</span><span style="color:#000001;">) 456</span><span style="color:#000001;">–7890</span>
Posted 09/29/2014

Marco pic
Marco
You could also simply copy Gmail's output of the phone number, paste that to your template and add a style-attribute in it, styling it as not being recognizable as a link.

If you want to hide the pointer, add "cursor: default" to your inline style.
Posted 10/15/2014

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