Protocol handlers are now available for web apps in Microsoft Edge

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
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  • Edge users can be happy with the latest decision that Microsoft made.
  • Starting with Edge build 96, the browser gets another new addition.
  • Web apps will now be able to use Protocol Handlers in the browser.
  • Thus, users can now use PWAs to navigate pre-set or custom protocols.

Just in case you were wondering what else was going on behind the curtain at Microsoft, the company just announced that web apps will now be able to use Protocol Handlers in Microsoft Edge, starting with Microsoft Edge 96.

This latest feature will allow installed web applications, also known as PWAs, to navigate pre-set or custom protocols.

Furthermore, already installed web applications will also be able to register with the operating system as protocol handlers and initiate once a particular protocol is invoked.

Web apps in Edge can use protocol handlers

Yes, if your web app has the capability to register as protocol handlers, it will have better integration with the operating system and can be programmed to open specific protocols.

Also, it can be set as a default handler, which means that if you are developing a web app that is an email client, you can provide the users with the option for it to be the default application for generating new emails.

Note that you can produce custom schemes that your web app can manage by registering protocols that are prefixed with web+, as well.

As an example, the Redmond tech giant uses the PWinter PWA, which is an installable web application that allows the user to create custom PWA logos by selecting 3 colors.

"protocol_handlers": [
        "protocol": "web+pwinter",
        "url": "index.html?colors=%s"

According to the Microsoft documentation, in order to register your installed web application as a protocol handler, you need to employ the protocol handlers field in the manifest file.

However, if the protocol-handlers field is available in the manifest, in that case, the web app will be registered as a protocol handler for the protocols defined in the collection, during installation.

These Protocol Handlers offer support for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and Microsoft also said it contributed this work to the Chromium open-source project and the feature is available in other Chromium-based browsers as well.

Remember that we’ll also be able to follow our favorite creators more easily within the Edge browser soon.

Excited about this new Edge feature? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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