How to disable in-app browser Gmail for Android
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If you were asked to name the worst thing about the internet, you could select cyberbullying, hacking, or information warfare.
You would be wrong.
The worst thing about the internet are in-app browsers.
These horrible creatures appear when you click on a link in countless apps. Instead of opening the page in your choice of external browser, they cruelly launch an embedded web view.
These features are meant to speed up browsing (and keep you trapped in the app for as long as possible.) Unfortunately, that extra speed comes at a cost.
My colleague Napier eloquently detailed these drawbacks in the Before Times:
- You cannot open multiple tabs in an in-app browser
- You cannot enter a new URL
- You cannot go back and read another email without losing your place or any information you filled in. The same applies if you accidentally close the site
- If you want to do anything other than the most basic navigation, you have to press the menu button and then “Open in Chrome”, which adds two unnecessary clicks
Luckily, most apps offer a way to turn off in-app navigation on Android, but it’s often hidden away in the settings.
We’ll show you how to bypass these features, starting today with Gmail.
(If you’re an iPhone user, I’m sorry you’re not welcome here.)
How to Disable In-App Browser on Gmail
- Open the Gmail app on your Android device
- Tap the three-line hamburger icon in the top left corner of the app
- Scroll down the side menu until you spot “Settings”
- Scroll down to “Open web links in Gmail” and uncheck the box
There you have it, you’ve escaped the in-app clutches of Gmail. You are free to indulge in all your revolting pastimes in the browser of your choice.