Don’t let native apps hijack links, keep browsing in Brave

One of the main reasons for using Brave is reducing the amount of tracking data collected.

While I have some native apps installed (e.g YouTube, TripAdvisor, some publications, Google Maps) I am using brave to search for content and expect search results to be opened in the browser rather than invoking the native app’s deep-linking.


  1. Search for a topic
  2. Click a result from YouTube
  3. YouTube app is opened, Google tracks the view and associates it with the current logged in account, and will start bothering the logged-in user with recommendations.

Expected behavior:
3. YouTube link is followed in brave as if the app was not installed. Google would track the view only if I was signed in to YouTube previously (on brave).

The only way I’ve found so far to force Brave into opening a link in Brave, is to open the link in a new tab. This is quite cumbersome to do on a regular basis though…


sadly that’s outside the control of the browser itself … iOS has some pretty annoying limitations on default apps (unlike Windows, macOS, and to a large extent Android) so unless Apple are willing to relax those rules we’re going to be stuck with manual workarounds (or jailbreaking the device, which I don’t want to do)

Thanks for your message, however this is inaccurate.

The user can already bypass the problem (apps hijacking the links) by:

  1. opening the link in a new tab (long press > open in new tab) or
  2. copying and pasting the link to the address bar.

In conjunction with my experience in iOS, I believe the team can fix this behavior and actually turn brave into a self contained browser that does not leak data to native apps, and not a browser that will “only keep your privacy if you uninstall youtube”.

P.S. Firefox Focus does not “leak” youtube links to the native app, search results open within the Firefox app.


Adding a feature that will block the hijacking of links by installed apps would be greatly appreciated.

1 Like

Completely agreed. The ability to toggle this on/off (or only enabling it when in private browsing) would be amazing.

Brave should have a self contained (i.e private) experience, as advertised.
It does not make any sense that by one tap on YouTube/amazon search result, a supposedly private link would be opened in the amazon or YouTube apps, basically tracking even more than before (now they know I use brave because of the referrer…)