Microsoft Edge will soon get link handling for web apps

Many users may be aware of how Android apps are able to intercept certain links from the browser and open the associated content. To name a few, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube are popular ones. Microsoft brings the same capability to the Windows desktop via Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and "regular" web apps installed in Edge.


The appropriate option has already landed in Edge Canary. Since it is a work-in-progress, it is hidden behind a special flag. You need to enable it manually if you want to give it a try.

Please pay attention that Edge allows installing any website as an app. But not every website provides a PWA. Sites that don't provide a PWA which can't register known links obviously can't handle links. What Microsoft is working on is to unify the link handling experience  between PWAs and web apps. So regardless of the web app type, it will be able to intercept its "home" links.

Enable link handling for web apps in Microsoft Edge

  1. Update Microsoft Edge to the latest build.
  2. Open a new tab (Ctrl+T) and paste edge://flags/#edge-webapp-link-handling in the address bar.
  3. Select Enabled from the drop-down menu next to the "Enable opening supported links with installed web apps" option.Edge enable edge-webapp-link-handling flag
  4. When prompted, restart the Edge browser.
  5. Now, install some app (YouTube, Twitter, or Reddit) or website as app from menu (alt+f > apps > install...). Even will do.
  6. Click on the Details link below the app name.Click on the Details link
  7. Finally, enable the "Link handling" toggle option.Edge Web App Link Handling 01

You are done. Now, if you click on the YouTube link, it will open in the web app instead of the new tab. The same will happen with all apps you have turned on the Link handling feature.

Again, it is still a work in progress. The link handling may fail for subdomains and short URLs on specific websites. But the current implementation of the feature gives the idea in which direction Microsoft is moving.

Microsoft is working on link handling since Edge 97. The company added URL handling for web apps back in 2020.

Besides the Link handling, one of the recent additions in Edge is the ability to pin a group of tabs. Instead of pinning individual tabs in the group, you can get all of them pinned with one click.

Thanks to Leopeva64 for the tip!

Support us

Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:

If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!


Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Using Telegram? Subscribe to the blog channel!
Hello. Add your message here.