In Windows 11/10 OS, we have a built-in Apps for websites feature to let websites or links open in an app instead of a browser using web-to-app linking. That means if a link can be opened with, say, Microsoft To-do or Microsoft Teams, etc., then that particular app is launched directly (if installed on your system), or you’re prompted to open that link in an app instead of opening it in a browser. The feature can be pretty useful sometimes as an app could have a better and richer experience with added benefits than a browser. Therefore, Windows set the Apps for websites feature turned on automatically. But, if you don’t like this default behavior, you can disable Apps for Windows on your Windows 11 computer. For this, you can use the Settings app, Group Policy Editor, and Registry Editor options. All these native options are covered in this tutorial.
Disable Apps for Websites in Windows 11 using Settings, GPEDIT, REGEDIT
To disable Apps for websites in Windows 11 using the Settings app, Group Policy Editor, and Registry Editor, we have added separate sections. Each option works in a different manner. So, you can check the steps and take action based on your choice and requirement. Let’s first start with the Settings app option.
Turn off Apps for Websites in Windows 11 using the Settings app
The Settings app in Windows 11 lets you disable the Apps for websites feature for all the associated and supported apps or only the selected website links. Here are the steps:
- Open Windows 11 Settings app using Win+I hotkey or you can use any of your preferred ways
- Select the Apps category from the left section
- Use the Apps for websites option present in the right section. After that, all the associated website links (like maps.windows.com, teams.live.com, etc.) for apps will be visible to you
- Use the toggle available for a website link to turn it off
- Restart the PC if needed.
To enable or turn on Apps for websites in Windows 11 for website links, you can follow the above steps and then turn on the toggle available for a website link.
Disable Apps for Websites in Windows 11 using Group Policy Editor
GPEDIT (or Group Policy Editor) feature in Windows 11 lets you disable Apps for websites for all users on your system. But, this built-in feature is not present in the Home edition of Windows 11. You can add Group Policy to the Home edition and check if this setting is available there. Or else, you can use the Registry Editor options covered below. If you can use the Group Policy feature, then follow these steps:
- Open the Group Policy Editor window
- Access the Group Policy folder
- Access the Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handlers setting
- Disable that setting
- Save the change
- Restart your system.
A detailed explanation of these steps is as follows:
Type gpedit in Windows 11 Search box and hit the Enter key. It will open the Group Policy Editor window. There are multiple ways to do that, but using the Search box is easier.
Now you need to access the Group Policy folder that contains various settings. The path for the Group Policy folder is:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Group Policy
On the right section of the Group Policy folder, access the Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handlers setting via double-click to edit it.
In the edit setting window, select the Disabled option. Save the change using the Apply button and OK button.
Finally, restart your system to take effect on the change made by you. Now the http(s) URIs will open with your browser and not the associated app.
Later, to enable Apps for websites on your Windows 11 PC, you can follow the steps covered above with a little change. All you have to do is in the edit setting window for Configure web-to-app linking with app URI handlers setting, select the Not Configured option (for default behavior) or Enabled option, and use the Apply button, and OK button to save the setting.
Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
Use Registry Editor to disable Apps for Websites for All Users in Windows 11
This option works the same as Group Policy Editor. Also, the Registry Editor feature is present in all the editions (Pro, Home, Enterprise, etc.) of Windows 11. If you are not able to use Group Policy Editor, then this option will surely be helpful. You should back up your Windows Registry before using this option, just in case. The steps to disable the Apps for websites feature for all users using Registry Editor on your Windows 11 system are as follows:
- Open the Registry Editor
- Jump to the Windows key
- Create a System key
- Create an EnableAppUriHandlers DWORD value
- Restart your PC.
Use the Windows 11 Search box or Run Command box and type regedit to open the Registry Editor window. After this, jump to the Windows key by following this path:
Create a System key. To do this, open the context menu of the Windows key, select New, and then the Key option. Rename that new key to System.
This time, open the context menu of the System key or right-click on an empty area of the System key, select New, and then DWORD (32-bit) Value. Rename this DWORD value to EnableAppUriHandlers.
In the end, restart your PC to apply the new Registry tweak.
In case you want to enable Apps for websites for all users via Registry, you can repeat the given steps, and access the EnableAppUriHandlers DWORD value. Right-click on that key and select the delete option. In the Confirm Value Delete box, tap on the Yes button for confirmation.
Restart the PC and the Apps for websites feature will be enabled again.
Disable Apps for Websites for the Current User using Windows Registry
This option is similar to the Settings app. Here, you can access Registry entries related to website URLs associated with apps and then turn off such entries. Here are the steps to disable the App for websites for the current user using Windows Registry on Windows 11 computer:
- Open the Windows Registry
- Jump to the AppUrlAssociations key
- Expand a website link Registry key
- Select the UserChoice sub-key
- Change Value data of Enabled value
- Save the Registry tweak
- Repeat these steps
- Restart your computer.
In the first step, open the Search box or Run Command box, and type regedit there. Hit the Enter key to open the Windows Registry.
Now jump to the AppUrlAssociations key. Here, do note that you won’t see this AppUrlAssociations key and its sub-keys until you have turned off and on website links for the Apps for websites feature in the Settings app (as mentioned in option 1). The path to the AppUrlAssociations Registry key is:
Now expand the AppUrlAssociations Registry key and you will see different sub-keys. Each sub-key will have a name as a website link. For example, if the Apps for websites feature is enabled for Microsoft Teams, then you will see a teams.live.com sub-key as its Registry name, as visible in the image added above.
Expand a sub-key until you see a UserChoice folder and select that folder. In the right section, you will find an Enabled DWORD value. You need to change its Value data. To do that, double-click that value. In the edit box, add 0, and press the OK button to close that box.
You need to repeat these steps for all those website links for which you want to disable the Apps for websites feature on your system. Each sub-key will have a UserChoice folder and an Enabled DWORD value. Finally, restart your computer.
Later, to enable Apps for websites for the current user using the Windows Registry, follow the steps mentioned above and do a minor change. You only have to add 1 in the Value data of Enabled DWORD value for each website link Registry sub-key one by one.
Restart the computer and the changes will take effect.
How do I turn off Internet Apps in Windows 11?
If you need to turn off or block internet access for a program or application in your Windows 11 computer, then you can either use some free third-party software like OneClickFirewall or you can configure Windows Defender Firewall. You will need to create a new rule in Firewall, provide the application path, set Action as Block the connection, and complete the rule wizard.
How do I restrict apps in Windows 11?
If you want to restrict or block the installation of third-party apps in Windows 11, then it can be done using the Settings app. The steps are:
- Open the Settings app
- Select the Apps category
- Click on the Advanced app settings
- Open the drop-down menu of the Choose where to get apps section
- Select The Microsoft Store only (Recommended) option from the drop-down menu.
If you want, you can also select Anywhere, but warn me before installing an app that’s not from the Microsoft Store option so that you will have a kind of alert.
How do I block a website in Windows 11?
There are multiple ways to blacklist or block a website on a Windows 11/10 computer. You can:
- Block websites using a proxy script
- Use OpenDNS which comes with parental controls
- Block an IP or a website using Windows PowerShell
- Use the Hosts file to block specific websites, etc.