I'm using Google Chrome to set up site-specific browsers for Gmail, Google Reader, and such, so that I can use them like desktop applications. I've pretty much gotten it to work, except that external links open in a new Chrome window instead of my preferred browser, Firefox. Even if Chrome was my preferred browser, this still wouldn't work right, because the links open in the same instance of chrome as the site-specific browser (instead of my "normal" non-app Chrome). I want these site-specific browsers to work like desktop apps (e.g. Thunderbird) and open links in my preferred browser. Is there any way to do this?

  • 1
    I got this working the way I want it by switching my webapps to Prism. Prism has this feature. Jan 23, 2010 at 20:41
  • It looks like Prism was replaced by Webrunner which is no longer available that I can find. Or do you know if it is still available? Mar 1 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


No, even though you are making "applications shortcut" it is still using Chrome browser. Thus any link open in the "application shortcut" will be open by the corresponding application. Unless there is an extension, which I checked. You can drag the link to firefox and that should open it too.

Good Luck.


The Open in Firefox extension for Google Chrome supports this feature. To make it work you have to:

  • Install the browser extension
  • Install the native client companion (because Chrome extensions can't open external apps on their own)
  • Configure the extension to work in "Reverse mode" (so that it opens all URLs except those on a white list in the external browser rather than the default mode of only opening the URLs on the white list.)
  • Use the "Close the source tab when link is pushed" configuration option
  • Add the domains or URLs that use use in Chrome app mode to the whitelist.

In practice this doesn't work all that well for me. When I click on a link in a Chrome app, it still opens a new Chrome window, sends the URL to Firefox, then closes the new Chrome window. Maybe there is a configuration step I'm missing.

This also makes Chrome effectively useless as a stand alone browser. You can no longer use Chrome to check out a site without adding to the whitelist.

I'd also prefer if the extension didn't require a white list, but had an option for opening any external link in the external browser.

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