How to Stop Links from Opening Apps on iPhone or iPad


By default, links you tap on your iPhone or iPad that are associated with an installed app will open in the app rather than in Safari. While this is mostly a convenience, there may be times you don’t want that to happen. Thankfully, you can use a simple gesture to open links in Safari rather than in an associated installed app.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

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  1. Navigate to the link you want to open on your iPhone or iPad that you want to make sure doesn’t open in an installed app.
  2. Hold a finger against the link to perform a long press, which will bring up an onscreen menu. In this example I’ve got a Google search link to the LinkedIn page for Satya Nadella.
  3. Tap “Open” in the menu with the Safari icon next to it. The link will open the associated web page in Safari rather than in an installed app.

Reasons to Stop Links from Opening Apps on iPhone or iPad

1. Enhancing User Experience

When a link opens in an app, the layout can differ greatly from the website. For example, navigation menus may change location, some features may not be present, and the interface might appear unfamiliar. This abrupt shift can disrupt your browsing flow, making the experience less seamless and intuitive. Therefore, keeping links in Safari can provide a more consistent, comfortable user experience.

2. Managing Resource Usage

Apps are typically resource-intensive, utilizing more of your device’s processing power, memory, and battery than websites. This higher consumption can make your device run slower, heat up, or drain its battery faster. By opting to open links in Safari, you can minimize these resource demands, helping your device perform more efficiently and maintain its battery life.

3. Addressing Privacy Concerns

Apps often have access to more data than websites, including your location, contacts, and more. This increased data collection can raise privacy concerns, as apps can potentially use this data in ways you might not be comfortable with. By using Safari to open links, you can limit the amount of personal data that apps can access, offering better control over your privacy.

4. Accessing Latest App Updates

Apps require frequent updates to introduce new features, fix bugs, and improve security. If an app isn’t updated regularly, you might miss out on these improvements. On the contrary, websites automatically present the most up-to-date version, ensuring you always have access to the latest features and the most secure experience.

5. Managing Limited Storage

Apps consume storage space on your device, which can be a concern if your storage is nearing its limit. Websites, however, use only temporary cache space, which is regularly cleared. Thus, opening links in Safari instead of apps can help manage your device’s storage space more effectively, preventing unnecessary strain on its resources.

6. Facilitating Multi-tasking

Switching between apps can disrupt your workflow, making multitasking harder. However, if links remain within Safari, switching between tabs becomes a breeze. You can conveniently navigate between different websites, promoting a more efficient and streamlined multitasking experience.

7. Avoiding App Errors

Apps can sometimes have bugs that interrupt the user experience. They might crash, fail to load content, or display incorrect information. By opting to open links in Safari, you bypass potential app errors, ensuring a smoother and more reliable browsing experience.

8. Ensuring Faster Loading Times

Websites often load faster in Safari than in standalone apps, especially if the app isn’t already running in the background. This speed difference can be significant, leading to quicker access to information. Hence, opening links in Safari can help to minimize wait times, making your browsing experience more efficient.

9. Avoiding Sign-in Hassles

Many apps require you to sign in before accessing their content. This requirement can be a nuisance if you’re just seeking quick information. In contrast, most websites don’t demand sign-in, making it simpler to access the content. Thus, opening links in Safari can bypass the need for unnecessary sign-ins.

10. Maintaining Consistency

Consistency is key for a smooth browsing experience. When every link opens a different app, your browsing context continually shifts, leading to a disjointed experience. Keeping all links within Safari maintains a consistent user interface, enhancing your overall browsing comfort and ease.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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