Allow sites to open special types of links (handler)

Chrome allows web services to ask if you’d like to use them to open certain links. While most links generally take you to another page, some links can open programmes and perform other actions. For example, mailto: links can open your email programme and webcal: links can add events to your calendar programme. These links are referred to as protocols, and the programmes that they use are called handlers. Many web services these days, including Gmail and Google Calendar, can act as handlers.

For example, when you open Gmail in Chrome, a protocol handler icon Protocol Handler may appear in the omnibox next to the star bookmarks icon. Click it to show the following options:

  • If you'd like to allow Gmail to open all email links, select the Use Gmail radio button. When you click a hyperlinked email address on a page, Gmail's compose window will open.
  • Select No to keep how your computer opens email links the same as before.
  • Choose Ignore to prevent the request from appearing again when you visit Gmail.

Allow or disable site handler requests

By default, web services are allowed to show messages about protocol links when you visit their sites. To disable or re-enable these messages in Chrome, follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings > Show advanced settings.
  3. In the "Privacy" section, click Content settings.
  4. In the dialogue that appears, find the “Handlers” section:
    • To allow requests, select “Allow sites to ask to become default handlers for protocols”.
    • To disable requests, select “Do not allow any site to handle protocols”.

Choose a default handler or remove a handler

Use the Settings page to manage the web services that you’ve allowed to act as handlers.

Choose a default handler

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings > Show advanced settings.
  3. In the "Privacy" section, click Content settings.
  4. In the dialogue that appears, find the “Handlers” section.
  5. Click Manage handlers.
  6. Use the drop-down menu next to a listed protocol to select the web service that should be used by default.

If for some reason you’d like to use a different handler to open a link on a page, right-click the link and select “Open link with” to choose a handler. Your default handler settings won’t be affected.

Remove a handler

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings > Show advanced settings.
  3. In the "Privacy" section, click Content settings.
  4. In the dialogue that appears, find the “Handlers” section.
  5. Click Manage handlers.
  6. Mouse over the items that you'd like to remove.
  7. Click remove this site.