How to turn off Facebook's in-app browser for external links

In August of last year, Facebook started rolling out an in-app browser that let you view links completely in the app without being thrown out to your own installed browser of choice. That's all fine and good, but if you want the additional features, bookmarking, familiarity or added security of choosing your own browser to open links, you'll need to dive into the Facebook settings and change this setting. It's a quick process with just a few steps, and this is how you do it.

Unfortunately for us Facebook is happily changing the interface of its app on a near-weekly basis (even more if you're in the beta track), but thankfully you can hunt down the browser setting pretty easily even with these subtle changes.

For the time being, you'll want to open your Facebook app, tap the menu button (three horizontal lines on the far right), and then scroll down and tap App Settings. This simple set of settings handles notifications and video auto-play, but you'll want to look for the "Always open links with external browser" option and check the box next to it.

After doing that, back out of the settings and go back to your timeline. You'll notice now that when you tap on a link you want to view, your default browser will open the link for viewing. If you have yet to select a default browser to open links in from Facebook, you'll be given the choice when you first tap a link. The setting will always be there to go back to Facebook's internal browser, but for many people the option to continue to use their browser of choice will be a better one.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

29 Comments
  • Nice follow-up, guys!
  • One of the reasons uninstalled one of your competitor apps with the inapp browser fecken hate that, to much control given over.. Thank you so much for also giving us the choice to open in browser as well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Any idea how to disable it on the latest version? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thank you! Everytime you open a page or God help you a YouTube link it caches it in the browser. That's why your app boats to 500mb. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thank God! This was becoming one of the most annoying things in that app. Nothing would ever load properly in their garbage in-app browser. What a joke. Didn't realize you could change it. Will be doing that asap now.
  • Thanks guys! Whoot whoot! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Total love hate relatIonship with Facebook. Like the article states, ever changing settings and updates. Posted via the Android Central App
  • ^^^ This! I'm all for innovation but geez Facebook take a chill pill. The user experience seems to just be getting worse and worse. Maybe focus on getting something right before moving on to the next thing.
  • Like they used to not have a prioritized news feed? Now it's stuff I don't care about, that's Four days old. Thanks FB, if I care that much about my friends and family, I will click on their profile and see what they have been up to. Just go back to the Most Recent default please. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Tell me about it. Once in a while I go back to FB and see things in my news feeds that are months old, weeks old etc. Thanks for the articles, updates weeks and months old that were once relevant. It seems with every update the app is getting worse and worse. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's not innovation. They are tracking which link you're opening, and by using an in-app browser, they'd know even more about how far you've read the page, etc etc... There are already enough services spying on me, I don't need yet another one. Frankly I'm quite close to ditching the app...
  • Wow thank you! I didn't know I could turn off their crappy in app browser. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is the sort of stuff Facebook keeps doing that has kept me from updating the app in nearly a year. Posted via Android Central App
  • Next please let us disable the call feature
  • I hate it when apps have an in-app browser. They're never as optimized as the actual browser. At least Facebook had the sense to let users disable it.
  • thanks for the info!!
  • Such an easy fix. I rarely click on links so I never even looked for this setting. FB browser is horrible Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thanks! I have hated this and was too lazy too look for the solution. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Am I really the only one that doesn't mind the in-app browser? Most of the inane crap that is posted on facebook, that I hate myself for even clicking into, I don't really need it to load in my preferred browser (for bookmarking or any other crap like that).
  • I hate the in app browser since I never have used Facebook to follow friends etc. my news feed is exactly that 99% brands and productivity web sites. Many of which post great content I like to save for later reading by using Evernote.
  • This. I actually like the in app browser and if I do want to open something in my regular browser they have the option in the menu to do so. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I actually like it, that way another window doesnt pop up and disrupt what I have in my normal browser. It's useful to quickly check a link and get back.
  • I also like it, for the back button on the top. Doesn't matter how many pages you have scrolled through in the browswer, especially those stupid 'what kind of old person will you be' quizzes, one tap at the top brings you straight back to your feed page. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Facebook should stop videos from autoplaying. Not that'll be some good improvement to the app. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's a setting for that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Barely use FB and if I do, I strictly access it via mobile bookmark in Chrome, and the bookmark is hidden inside a folder on my home screen. So I never get notifications and simply check on it once a week...maybe, which is great. I haven't used/installed the actual intrusive app in over 3 years. Zenwatch rhymes with Winwatch. Coincidence? I think not.
  • SO glad I'm still running version 7. None of this crap, no Messenger app and Most Recent feed set as default.
  • Has this setting been removed? And the complete FB browser for Android? Links open in Chrome and I can't find the setting under App settings (or anywhere else).
  • This option doesn't seem available anywhere. And to make matters worse, the old version of Facebook at least gave you the option, once you were in the in-app browser, to open the link in Chrome. That option is now gone. So if i want to open the link in Chrome, I have to open up chrome and navigate to it manually. Also, when opening up gawker sites in the FB browser, the comments aren't shown. It really sucks now.