“This page wants to install a service handler” Is this a good thing or not? Why does google want to install a service handler?
Ever wondered what that double diamond icon is that pops up when you open Gmail or Calendar? Here I will discuss service handlers and the possible actions you can take about.
- 1 What Is A Service Handler?
- 2 Possible Actions You Can Take
- 3 Can I Change Default Service Handlers?
- 4 How To Disable Service Handler Requests In Chrome?
What Is A Service Handler?
While accessing Google Mail or calendar in Chrome, you may notice an icon at the end of the address bar (Omni bar) in the shape of a double diamond. This icon stands for a ‘Protocol Service Handler’ and is an indication that the page wants to install a service handler.
In an HTML page, there are certain URLs that can be associated to open applications on your system. When you click these links, an associated program will open for that link type.
For example, if you click on a mail link intended to mail somebody, it is coded as
<a href=mailto:[email protected]?Subject=Test%20Email>
mailto code in developer console of chrome
This mailto: prefix is part of a Uniform Resource Identifier scheme, that is designed to open the associated mail client like the Mail app or the Outlook app (if you have MS Office installed) on Windows. Similarly, the webcal: prefix is designed to open the default calendar app.
Now Chrome can handle the mail service too via the Gmail website. So, when this icon shows up, it is an indication that the website wants to take over the associated service client, but it does not have the permissions to do so.
Possible Actions You Can Take
Now that you know what is a service handler in gmail, what you do next totally depends on how you want to handle the service requests. Here is what I mean:
Scenario 1: You want to use native applications like Windows Mail and Outlook
If you like the user interface of these standalone applications better, you can choose to use them as your default clients for the mail service. This can be especially useful if you have more than one email service provider and want all of these accounts to be listed within one particular application.
In this scenario, when you click on the icon, there will be three options provided i.e.
Select Deny here and you will be prompted to open the default mail or calendar app from the next time you click on a service link.
Scenario 2: You want Chrome to handle your mail and calendar services
If you do not have more than one Gmail account and want to use Chrome as your default service handler, you can select that from the options as well.
When you click on the double diamond icon, select Allow followed by Done to use Chrome as your default mail service from the next time you open a link.
Can I Change Default Service Handlers?
When you set up the Mail app, it is set as the default mail service handler. You may want to change that and use Chrome instead. Or you may want to change it the other way around. If you are stuck using one of the mail services, here I will show you how to change the default service handlers.
To change the default service handlers:
- Open Settings (Ctrl + I)
- Select Apps.
- From the left pane, select Default apps.
- In the right pane, look for Email. Click on it.
- You will be shown a list of compatible applications. Select Chrome from here.
Alternatively, you can also change it from Google settings.
Visit the page chrome://settings/handlers
Here you can see that mail.google.com is selected as your default handler for mailto: protocol.
How To Disable Service Handler Requests In Chrome?
If you do not wish to get these requests, you can simply turn them off and they will never show up again.
Again, visit the page chrome://settings/handlers and select the toggle next to “Allow sites to ask to become default handlers” to off.
This will turn off the service requests you were getting.
Although Chrome added this feature later, this is a widely used tool in order to facilitate the ease of use in your day to day life. If configured correctly, service handlers greatly reduce the time taken in various activities by opening the correct application in place of an unwanted service that annoys you.
Now you what to do when the “this page wants to install a service handler” message shows up. If you have any further queries or information, be sure to tell us in the comments.