What are Chrome Service Handlers?

Written by Alan Monday, 5 November 2012 07:00

Those who use the Chrome web browser from Google may have noticed that, when visiting certain pages, a tiny double-diamond icon appears in the address bar next to the star icon that allows for bookmarking.  If you hover your mouse over this icon it will display a message that says “This page page wants to install a service handler”.  So what exactly does that mean?

“Chrome allows web services to ask if you’d like to use them to open certain links. While most links generally take you to another page, some links can open programs and perform other actions. For example, mailto: links can open your email program and webcal: links can add events to your calendar program. These links are referred to as protocols and the programs they use are called handlers. Many web services these days, including Gmail and Google Calendar, can act as handlers.”

If you click the double-diamond icon a small box will pop up and give you a choice of three settings – Use, No and Ignore.  By default the ignore option is set.  There is also a link to “Manage handler settings”.  This will take you to the Chrome settings page in the “Privacy” section and will display any active protocol handlers.

chrome handler settings What are Chrome Service Handlers?

You will likely see this on very few web sites and if you are in doubt then it’s best to leave it set to Ignore.  In most cases a web site will still work just fine without the added ability that the handler can provide.

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 What are Chrome Service Handlers?


Alan is the owner and editor of Making Windows Easy. In addition to writing about technology he is also an avid distance runner and hiker. Read More

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  1. Cynthia   |  Wednesday, 15 January 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I appreciate the explanation as I had no idea what a “service handler” was. I used to know a lot about the internet, but now I’m not up on new technologies.

  2. Clare   |  Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 8:55 am

    Thank you! Like Cynthia I didn’t know what it meant. It’s refreshing to read an explanation that makes clear whether or not it is necessary to comply with such notices.

  3. Roy   |  Saturday, 01 March 2014 at 7:23 pm

    I’m in the same position with Cynthia and Clair.

    Thanks Alan.

  4. Susan   |  Thursday, 27 March 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Me, too. Thanks. This helped.

  5. Hanora   |  Monday, 18 August 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks. You explained it better than Google did on their site

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