How to Open Links in App Instead of Web Browser in Windows 11

Let’s learn how to open links in app instead of a web browser in Windows 11. On your device, you might notice that some links open using the in-app browser instead of the application. This function is commonly found in mobile applications.

Whereas the same functions are now available on your Windows PC. This creates a future of PCs that open any link with the related application instead of using the default browser. Applications for websites is a feature that uses the web-to-applications linking process.

The associates an app with a website so that when someone opens a link to a website, the app is launched instead of opening using the default browser. If that application is not installed, then the link opens in the browser without asking for any grant/permission from the current user.

The apps for websites associate your app with a website, when someone opens a link to your website, it launches the application is launched instead of opening using the default browser. If the application is not installed on your device, then the link opens using the default browser.

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How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 1
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 1

Ways to Open Links in App Instead of Web Browser

In Windows 11, hyperlinks such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Firefox open in a web browser. However, in some cases, the links open directly in an app. In mobiles, these functions are more common, like using Facebook, Gmail, etc., but your device applications also allow permission of the policy.

You can use the options that are Microsoft Office, Adobe, Facebook, etc. So, now you can enable or disable the system using some methods listed below:

  1. Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Settings
  2. Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Registry file
  3. Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Registry Editor
  4. Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Local Group Policy Editor

Method 1: Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Settings

Open Windows Settings by pressing Win Key + I. Go to Apps, and click on Apps for websites under System. Where you can enable or disable the respective setting.

How to Open Links in App Instead of Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 2
How to Open Links in App Instead of Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 2

You can turn On (default) or Off available website links that you want, toggle the adjacent button to make ON or OFF the apps link as shown below in the image.

Adaptiva
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 3
How to Open Links in App Instead of Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 3

Method 2: Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Registry file

The next method to open links in an app instead of a Web Browser is by using a .reg file. To create a .reg file, open a NotePad, type the following code, and name it EnableUrlHandler or as per your choice for enabling the URI handler, then save it on the desktop using the .reg extension.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System]
"EnableAppUriHandlers"=-
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 4
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 4

When the file is saved at your selected location double-click on the file, the User Account Control Window open click Yes to continue. Then the Registry Editor Waring window opens.

Adding information can unintentionally change or delete values and cause components to stop working correctly. If you do not trust the source of this information in the path you created do not add it to the registry otherwise click on Yes to continue.

The next window shows the key and value added by you have been successfully added to the registry editor. Now click on OK and restart your PC, to add the applicable test.

How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 5
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 5

The next method to open links in an app instead of a Web Browser is by using a .reg file. To create a .reg file, open a NotePad, type the following code, and name it DisableUrlHandler or as per your choice for disabling the URI handler then save it on the desktop using the .reg extension.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System]
"EnableAppUriHandlers"=dword:00000000
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 6
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 6

When the file is saved at your selected location double-click on the file, the User Account Control Window open click Yes to continue. Then the Registry Editor Waring window opens.

Adding information can unintentionally change or delete values and cause components to stop working correctly. If you do not trust the source of this information in the path you created do not add it to the registry otherwise click on Yes to continue.

The next window shows the key and value added by you have been successfully added to the registry editor. Now click on OK and restart your PC, to add the applicable test.

How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 7
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 7

Method 3: Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Registry Editor

Another way is to open links in an app instead of a web browser from the registry. This procedure is done using the Registry Editor. Let’s check how you can open links in an app instead of a web browser using Registry Editor.

Note! take Backup – Registry Editor may affect the system if any mistake occurs. It is advisable to take a backup of the Registry before proceeding. In the Registry Editor, go to File in the left top corner for backup. Click on it, then select Export and save the backup.

  • Go to File
  • Right-click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • Click on Export
  • Save it
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 8
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 8

After taking the backup for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, you can now follow the process listed below to enter into the registry editor to modify changes.

  • Window Key + R (To open run command)
  • Type ‘regedit‘ and press OK
  • Administrator permission press Yes
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 9
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 9

Now, the Registry Editor opens. Find the path ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System.’ Following the trail, reach the required folder for further modification.

How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 10
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 10

Double-click to modify on it to modify. The new window opens as edit DWORD. To disable EnableAppUriHandlers, set the value to 0 and enter. To enable EnableAppUriHandlers, set the value to 1 and enter.

How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 11
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 11

Method 4: Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Local Group Policy Editor

You can also open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser Using Local Group Policy Editor. Open Local Group Policy to allow enable or disable updates and follow the process.

  • Open the Run command, press Win Key + R
  • Type gpedit.msc
  • Click OK or press Enter
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 12
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 12

When the Group Policy Editor opens, navigate to the following path to reach the required policy settings and select Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser to make changes.

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Group Policy

EditRequirementsDescriptionNote
Policy SettingsAt least Windows Server 2016, Windows 10 onwardsThis policy setting determines whether Windows supports web-to-app linking with app URI handlers.
Enabling this policy setting enables web-to-app linking so that apps can be launched with an HTTP(s) URI.
Disabling this policy disables web-to-app linking and http(s) URIs will be opened in the default browser instead of launching the associated app.
If you do not configure this policy setting, the default behavior depends on the Windows edition. Changes to this policy take effect on reboot.
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Table 1
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 13
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 13

Now scroll down and double-click on Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handler and then Disable Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handlers settings open, which default setting is “Not Configured“. Select Disable to stop Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handlers. Select Enable to stop Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handlers.

  • Not Configured: If you do not configure this policy setting, the default behavior depends on the Windows edition.
  • Enabled: Enabling this policy setting enables web-to-app linking so that apps can be launched with an HTTP(s) URI.
  • Disabled: Disabling this policy disables web-to-app linking and http(s) URIs will be opened in the default browser instead of launching the associated app.
How to Open Links in an App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 - Fig. 14
How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 – Fig. 14

I hope that How to Open Links in App Instead of a Web Browser in Windows 11 information is helpful. Please follow us on the HTMD Community and visit our website HTMD Forumif you like our content. Suggest improvements, if any, and we love to know which topic you want us to explore next.

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Author

Alok is a Master of Computer Applications (MCA) graduate. He loves writing on Windows 11 and related technologies. He likes to share his knowledge, quick tips, and tricks with Windows 11 or Windows 10 with the community.

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