For example, I get an email from Pinterest with interesting links for the week. When I click a pin, it opens in Chrome and not in the Pinterest app. This happens with a few apps and was wondering if there's a way to "open link with" type of feature.

Is it possible to force the links to open in their respective application and not in the default browser (e.g. Chrome)?


Apps can request that links be opened using the app, using an API called an "intent filter".

If the app has the correct intent filter, you will be prompted to open the link using that app, and the app will then do something with it.

This has to be coded in by the app developer, and there is no way to implement it yourself unless you decompile the app and add it in.

An example of an app that does this is the Google+ app.

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    More examples include: Twitter, Google Maps, Foursquare. So it completely depends on the app developers. – ale Jan 15 '13 at 20:06
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    I find it strange that the Gmail app isn't doing that. For instance: on Chrome on Android, click on recent tab showing an email on Chrome desktop; it would make sense in that case to open that email in the Gmail app. – avernet Nov 12 '14 at 18:46
  • Please could you provide some documentation or further information regarding intent filter? Thanks a lot you'll probably get a lot more credit for this answer, very helpful. – 1984 Mar 24 '19 at 0:03

This helper app makes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GitHub, and Goodreads links open in their apps instead of the browser: Open Link in App

It doesn't yet support Pinterest, but if you're technical, it's easy to add new apps, and doesn't require writing code! Details in the GitHub repo.

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    I installed Open Link in App and it's working! I have a database app and added a field for URL in one of the tables and it always open on browser before. Thank you for sharing. – Mr. Xymon Oct 8 '15 at 12:41
  • This doesn't work with Firefox in Android though? – endolith Jul 30 '17 at 17:38

If the links were opening in Chrome by default, all I had to do was, go to Settings -> Apps -> Set as default, choose the Chrome app and hit Clear defaults.

Next time when I clicked the link, the phone asked me to Open with with only two options: Chrome & Samsung Internet Browser. When I choose Chrome then Just once, once again the Open with came up but this time with 3 options: Pinterest, Chrome & Samsung Internet Browser. I chose Pinterest followed by Always and that is it.

Not sure why but this worked.

  • I don't use Pinterest, but I might have a guess that the first link is a shortened/compact URL that is not recognized by the Pinterest app, then the browser redirects to the link that is now recognized by the Pinterest app, hence the additional option on the 2nd link. (further info on how this works is on existing answer) – Andrew T. Feb 15 '19 at 21:38

In general, you can't do it. The reason behind the links opening in a browser is that they use the same protocols of normal web links. So if the particular app is not a browser, the links have to be opened with a browser app.

But you may have seen some links (particularly links to Android apps on the market) can be opened with the Android Market/Google Play Store app. This is possible because those links use market:// in their links rather than typical http://

If you need to confirm it, try clearing the defaults of your Chrome browser. It will make you choose an app to open a link when you click them. This will give you an open link with option (of course, to use the browser apps)

To do this, go to Settings -> Apps and select the Chrome app. Scroll to the bottom and find a clear defaults button and click it.

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    This isn't actually true. An app can register an intent to open any URL, even if it uses http. For example, the Play Store app will handle http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=foo links, as well as market:// links. – Dan Hulme Jul 9 '13 at 22:36

The developers of the apps are the ones who add a browser into the app via an update. If the app developer of the Pinterest app has not added a browser functionality, then there's no way to make external links open in the app.

When developers add a browser to the app, then you can choose whether you want to use the default app on your device or the in-built app browser.

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    I don't think this is quite what the questioner is looking for. The question isn't about apps with a built-in browser, it's about using the app to open content from that app, instead of opening a browser and going to the app's website. In the example, the link is in Gmail, and the questioner wants to open the Pinterest content with the Pinterest app, not a web browser of any kind. It's not a "cut down" browser built into an app. – Dan Hulme Mar 9 '17 at 13:50
  • Sorry, but I have to remove the last section because it's considered as "link-only" without mentioning the steps directly. Feel free to add the link back, but also by quoting the relevant content to make the answer stand-alone (if the link rots, then the content is still preserved). Also, if you're affiliated with the site, then you have to mention it on every post/comment (further reading: How to not be a spammer). Otherwise, you can disregard this. – Andrew T. Feb 15 '19 at 21:37

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