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How to bring back ‘Always open links of this type in the associated app’ option in Chrome

Chrome can open external apps on Windows 10 if it needs to. A common example of this type of behavior in Chrome is when it encounters a mailto: link or a phone number or Skype ID. When you click such links, you see a confirmation pop-up asking if you want to allow Chrome to open the app it’s trying to open. This pop-up used to have an ‘Always open links of this type in the associated app’ option which allowed you to permanently grant Chrome permission to open an external app. It seems to have been removed. Here’s how you can bring it back on Windows 10.

Restore ‘Always open links of this type in the associated app’

In order to bring back the ‘Always open links of this type in the associated app’ option, we’re going to have to edit the registry. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. Enter ‘regedit’ and tap the Enter key. This will open the registry editor.

Navigate to the following key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome

It is possible that the Google key does not exist. In that case, right-click the Policies key and select New>Key from the context menu. Name it Google. Next, right-click the Google key you just created and select New>Key from the context menu again. This time, name it Chrome.

Once you have the keys set up, you need to right-click the Chrome key and select New>DWORD (32-bit) Value from the context menu. Name this value ExternalProtocolDialogShowAlwaysOpenCheckbox, and set its value to 1.

Restart Chrome and the next time Chrome asks for permission to open an external app, the prompt will have the ‘Always open links of this type in the associated app’ option. Enable this option and Chrome won’t ask for permission again next time.

You should be careful about which apps Chrome is allowed to open automatically. Chrome does its job by confirming that you want to open an app but it’s up to you to not install a malicious/dangerous app on your PC. Likewise, you need to also be careful about which links you click on.

This setting can be revoked/reset by clearing your cookies and site data. It will also be reset if you change the default app that handles a particular type of request e.g., if you change the default email client from Outlook to Thunderbird, Chrome will ask for permission to open it when you next click on a mailto link.

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