Open In App prompts are soon a thing of the past in Brave Browser

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 25, 2023
Updated • Feb 25, 2023

Brave Browser will soon prevent so-called open in app prompts from websites when users load sites that make use of the functionality. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of enabling the protections right now.

websites open in app prompts

The prompts are common on mobile devices, but may also be experienced on desktop devices. Sites like Instagram, Reddit, Twitter and many more try to get the user to open the content in the dedicated app of the service, and not in the browser.

Some sites even go as far as to limit access to the available content, or display the prompt multiple times to make it as annoying as possible to the user.

Brave plans to enable a custom filter lists in Brave Browser 1.49 for Android and desktop operating systems that hides these prompts automatically when the user visits a site that makes use of those. The feature has been enabled on iOs for some time already.

Brave 1.49 is the next major release of the web browser. Once enabled, many of the "open in app" prompts are not displayed anymore on sites visited in the browser. A quick test on popular destinations confirmed that Brave did indeed hide the prompts when opening most of these sites.

Brave states that native apps do not offer the same privacy protections as Brave Browser. Clearly, Brave is also interested that users keep on using Brave, instead of switching to a dedicated application their device to access the content.

Enable this right now

Brave users do not need to wait until Brave 1.49 to enable the new feature. It is powered by Fanboy’s Mobile Notifications List, which users may enable in current versions of Brave Browser as well.

Here is how that is done:

  1. Load brave://adblock in Brave for Android or Brave for the desktop.
  2. Find Fanboy's Mobile Notifications List on the page (you may need to zoom out to make the page readable on Android devices), and check it.

That is all. Brave will use the list now for all sites that are loaded from that moment on. Note that sites open in existing tabs need to be reloaded before the new list is applied to them as well.

The entire list is available here as a text file. You can check it out to see what is is blocking once it is enabled. The list of supported sites is large and some sites have multiple instructions, as they may be using different types of banners and code to display the prompts to visiting users.

Please note that you may enable the list in several other content blockers as well. Users of uBlock Origin may import the URL on the custom filter lists page in the extension's settings to enable support for it. Similarly, imports should be available in several other content blockers.

Closing Words

Open in app prompts make accessing specific content annoying. This is especially the case when users follow links to sites that use these. Instead of accessing the linked content right away, they get bombarded with prompts to open the content in dedicated apps instead.

While it may make sense to install dedicated apps if a service is used regularly, it is usually not the best option for occasional visits.

Now You: web browser or dedicated apps, which do you prefer, and why?

Open In App prompts are soon a thing of the past in Brave Browser
Article Name
Open In App prompts are soon a thing of the past in Brave Browser
Brave Browser will soon prevent so-called open in app prompts from websites when users load sites that make use of the functionality.
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  1. GoodMeasure said on February 27, 2023 at 12:31 am

    Hi Tom, I was afraid you were going to say that!

  2. Anonymous said on February 26, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    Never seen an Open in App prompt on desktop, Are we all using the same internet?
    Palemoon, an old Edge that came with 10 never updated and a Tablet through win10 Hotspot.

    None have any ads or popups anywhere.

    How?, a HOSTS file that I update about once a year.

    Guess I am just not one of the cool kids doing whatever the cool kids do.

  3. GoodMeasure said on February 26, 2023 at 8:46 pm

    -Thanks Fanboy, you are one of my heroes!

    -I just added this blocklist to uBlock Origin on my mobile browser, Mull, which has been great. Mull supports add-ons and is available on F-Droid. It is still getting regular updates. I left Fennec for Mull.

    -I am also using NetGuard (paid version) on my Android phone. It runs in the VPN slot Android allows you and is a nice firewall that even can block a lot of system stuff if you allow that. I has a feature where you can have it DL a HOSTS file from StevenBlack (the default) or another site so it protects the whole phone, not just the browser. If you get Netguard, do not get it from the “play” store, but get it from its own site. Otherwise you will get a lesser “different” version.

    -If you don’t use NetGuard, there are other apps you can install in the VPN slot on an Android that let you use MULTIPLE blocklists, so you should be able to have this and other lists while using any browser. Almost like having a pi-hole for the phone.

    -Does anyone have an easy link to a “bad” site to test this blocklist?

    1. Tom Hawack said on February 26, 2023 at 10:01 pm


      > “Does anyone have an easy link to a “bad” site to test this blocklist?”

      Maybe the one which appears in the article’s screenshot?

  4. TelV said on February 26, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    I use the Brave search engine on both Firefox and Floorp, but because the Brave browser is a Google Chrome itineration for which there are no free addons to turn those ugly pale grey fonts to black I avoid it like the plague.

    On FF and Floorp I use Text Legibility which is free:

  5. ShintoPlasm said on February 26, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    One of the few things that still stops me moving from Fennec to Brave full-time is the lack of extension support. Some of things I need simply can’t be replicated as adblock lists: Dark Reader, Bypass Paywalls Clean (the alternative userscript/adblock lists are rubbish)…

    1. Iron Heart said on February 27, 2023 at 10:07 am


      There’s Kiwi but the developer really is lackluster at keeping the application updated. It’s currently at Chromium 107 while the other Chromium-based browsers have moved to Chromium 110 by now. It might be better to use privacy-friendly versions of Firefox like the mentioned Fennec F-Droid or Mull in this case, as they are updated regularly.

      1. Kiwi4life said on February 27, 2023 at 10:52 am

        @Iron Heart
        Yeah because on android it’s really crucial to have the latest chromium so you won’t download an infected cracked file for Photoshop..or get your whole phone encrypted by ransomware because you clicked on a macro file for Microsoft Office….?

        The biggest security threat on android is chinese/russian adware, spread via Google Play Store.

        Kiwi works flawlessly and it gets updated often enough.

        But sure, use whatever makes you feel safe. If you ARE safe, that’s another story.

      2. Anonymous said on February 28, 2023 at 7:36 pm


        Vulnerabilities are more than just ‘downloading’ stuff, if you don’t know how vulnerabilities work, then please don’t comment on that with really ridiculous claims, there are vulnerabilities of many types that get patched every month.

        Also, there is a reason why updating Chromium is important, for example, Chromium 111 has many new improvements in CSS4 selectors and CSS color and font units and even trigonometric functions, they are also supporting a new API ‘Document picture-in-picture’ which will be useful on Desktop… so the more websites use those features, the less and less websites will be compatible with old Chromium versions.

        You make it seem like all Chromium team does is patching vulnerabilities and never adding any feature that some developers will want to use.

      3. Iron Heart said on February 27, 2023 at 12:24 pm


        My man, every browser out there gets, and needs, security updates. Falling behind 3 major versions is not fantastic no matter how you spin it. The dev should put more effort into tracking Chromium’s releases more closely given that he makes a browser. The browser itself is good, I am criticizing the update schedule here.

    2. Kiwi4life said on February 26, 2023 at 7:14 pm

      Join the Kiwi clan.

  6. Tom Hawack said on February 26, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    “The prompts [open in app prompts] are common on mobile devices, but may also be experienced on desktop devices.”

    I’ve never encountered this prompt here with Firefox (desktop), yet I’ve added the list [] to uBO.

    uBO reports now : ‘Fanboy’s Mobile Notifications List _ 1,733 used out of 1,811’ which means that 78 of which were already handled by other lists.

    Good. Always better to anticipate. Merci beaucoup, Martin (with the English accent phonetically renders as “Mercy bowkew” :=)

  7. Paul(us) said on February 25, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks, Martin,
    ferry helpful.

  8. Old Grumpy said on February 25, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    Yeah, doesn’t work properly on ublock origin with Kiwi Browser. Shame, this is surely needed. Websites that pretend to be apps should all burn in Hell. All 600 million of them. Disable Android WebView on your phone and watch them all shrivel up and die. Same thing goes for every app that needs Google Play Services to function, results of lazy incompetent amteurish “developers”…

    1. FanboyNZ said on February 26, 2023 at 8:16 am

      It’s using standard Adblock and uBO syntax, so it should work.

  9. ECJ said on February 25, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    It’s great to see a browser maker continuously adding things to the browser that actively improve the web for users, rather than just adding a bunch of pointless junk some C-level executive thought was a good idea.

    It’s good to see procedural cosmetic filtering keeps getting improved with time as well.

    Brave is such a great browser; I don’t know why I didn’t switch to it earlier. It makes a change to read browser release notes and want to use the new features, rather than read the release notes to see what the latest junk is that needs to be disabled.

    1. Anonymous said on February 25, 2023 at 10:29 pm


  10. FanboyNZ said on February 25, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Like any list, this will improve/mature over time. If I’ve missed any major sites feel free to ping me

    1. Tom the Cat said on February 28, 2023 at 7:41 pm


      are you supporting the new CSS Selectors 4 Pseudo-Class :nth-child(an + b of S) from Chromium 111 in Brave?

      I would like to write some rules with them, they seem useful!

    2. foghorn leghorn said on February 25, 2023 at 7:28 pm

      uBlock Origin has stopped me from going to really bad websites many times!
      Kudos for you!

    3. Jay said on February 25, 2023 at 1:43 pm

      To me, the filter list breaks reddit! It hides the notification but its not possible anymore to scroll through the threads anymore (which is normally re-enabled after clicking away the “open in app” notification.

      P.S.: FanboyNZ, thank you very much for improving my quality of life.

      1. FanboyNZ said on February 26, 2023 at 12:31 pm

        Which platform? Just tested on ios Try clearing private data then close/restart Brave.

    4. Frankel said on February 25, 2023 at 10:40 am

      Thanks, added your list to uBlock in Firefox Fennec on Android!

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