How To Force Chrome To Open iTunes Store Links In The iTunes Desktop App
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I have a love-hate relationship with iTunes, and at the moment, having got my MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad combo just the way I like it, I am all hot for iTunes again.

But there’s a problem. Back when I was not talking to iTunes and cursing how bloated it was, I told Google Chrome not to open the iTunes desktop app whenever I was visiting an iTunes link online.  You know, this one….

How To Force Chrome To Open iTunes Store Links In The iTunes Desktop App chrome itunes

I hated visiting the iTunes website to check something out, and suddenly the desktop app would pop up on the screen, telling me I had to download an update or synchronize my iPhone. But now that I am in love with iTunes again, how do I get Chrome to automatically open up the iTunes desktop app, whenever I click the blue “View In iTunes” button on an Apple page?

Chrome has quite a few quirks, so it took me a while to figure out how to do this one. I figured it out in the end, so obviously the first thing I want to do is share my knowledge with you!

This solution works with both Windows and Mac, but obviously the location of the relevant file will be different on each operating system. Apart from that, it is pretty much an identical process.

Hunt Down The File!

  • Close your Chrome browser (very important).
  • OK, this is where it slightly deviates between operating systems. On a Mac, navigate to:

    /Users/[USER NAME]/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/

    And on a Windows computer, go to:

    C:\Users\[USER NAME]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\

    On a Windows computer, you will have to go into the Explorer settings and change the setting to “show all files” (the ones that are normally invisible).


  • Once you have got to the file location, look for a file called “Local State“.  It will not have any file extension, so open the file up using a text editor.
  • Scroll down the file until you see a section called “Protocol Handler” (it’s about halfway through the file). Then look for either “itms” or either “itmss”. After that, it will either say “true” or “false”.

How To Force Chrome To Open iTunes Store Links In The iTunes Desktop App itmss

  • Now delete that entire line. Zap it, nuke it, show it who’s boss.
  • This next part is important. Open up Chrome but don’t close the Local State file. Initially, I saved it and closed it, but when I opened Chrome again, it reversed my changes in the Local State file. So you MUST keep the Local State file open for the moment.
  • Go to an iTunes page (here’s the one for Chrome if you want to just use that one) and click the blue “View In iTunes” button. Immediately a box should pop up asking you how you would like Chrome to handle these links.

How To Force Chrome To Open iTunes Store Links In The iTunes Desktop App externalprotocolrequest

  • You’ll see that it wants to open iTunes.exe (the desktop app) for all iTunes weblinks (which is good) and you should also tick the box which tells the browser to remember your choice. Then click “Launch Application“, and close the Local State file.
  • And up iTunes pops with your page!


And before all you diehard Firefoxers jump in here, yes it is MUCH easier on Firefox. You simply have to go to the browser Options, then the Applications tab, then type in iTunes. Then look down the menu and choose your program.

How To Force Chrome To Open iTunes Store Links In The iTunes Desktop App firefox itmss

If it is so childishly easy in Firefox, it makes you wonder why Chrome makes it so damn hard! But there you go, now you know how to conquer it in Chrome.

Explore more about: Google Chrome, iTunes.

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  1. Msjunk
    March 21, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I had the same problem on Mac OS X Sierra 10.12.3 using Chrome 57.0.2987.110 (64-bit). This web page is one of a few better with different methods of addressing the issue. Ultimately having exhausted all of these methods without success I resorted to copying and overwriting my Google Chrome directory and sub-directories on my Macintosh HD. I did this copying from a Time Machine backup stored on an external hard drive. All of which proved to me that there is another file or setting not referenced here or documented anywhere else for that matter, that ultimately controls the behavior once the "Remember my choice for App links" option is chosen from the "Open App" pop-up. Fortunately I was able to do this because I had a Time Machine backup with a recent Chrome installation configured with the desired settings prior to the "View in Mac App Store" button being disabled. Clearly the functionality to configure this within Chrome is essential and simple, although is lacking, not there or not working and needs to be fixed. So either don't click "Remember" or choose each time because once you make that choice it is not the easy change back it should be.

  2. Maverick
    July 18, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Just install this extension:
    [Broken Link Removed]

  3. Talas9
    May 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    If this didn't work, or you didn't find "itms" or "itmss", you can do the following:

    1- Go the chrome app page in the AppStore
    2- Type in the address bar javascript:its.detect.itunesDetected = function(){return true;}
    3- Now when you click "View in iTunes" an "External Protocol Request" will popup to ask for permission, make sure you select the check-box to remember your choice and click "Launch Application".

    Viola, iTunes is in the game! :)

  4. Anonymous
    April 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Awesome - thank you!!!! Worked great on OS X.

  5. Rajani_Isa
    December 20, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Do you have a grey box above the white app box on the page with "View in iTunes"? I got one when I was viewing the page, and the bottom is "Have iTunes already? Click Here" and forces a dialog box to pop up.

  6. Jacob
    December 18, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Nope. there is no LOCAL STATE folder in Windows 7. Fail.

    • Mark O'Neill
      December 19, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      The article was written in 2013. A lot has changed in 2 years.

  7. Jaff
    November 27, 2015 at 3:26 am

    This worked perfectly

    • Karma
      December 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      jaff, you're full of crap. I never understand why people like you mislead and lie like you do.

      • Mark O'Neill
        December 19, 2015 at 1:36 pm

        How do you know he is misleading and lying? Just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it can't work for someone else....

  8. Anonymous
    September 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Need a REVISED current solution. The above no longer work.

  9. Anonymous
    September 7, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    It does not work anymore...

  10. Anonymous
    August 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I am using Chrome Version 44.0.2403.130 (64-bit) released August 4th 2015 --- on OS X 10.6.8 and this worked for me.

    Just to clarify a comment made previously by dhinged, you don't delete the entire Local State file, just the following:

    "itms": true,
    "itmss": true,

    My file contained both and both were set to true.

  11. Anonymous
    August 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    So the only way to change this is to hunt down some file and delete it? No option in Chrome settings? Oh wait, this article was written when... wait, no date on the article. So it could have been written yesterday or 5 years ago, who knows whether it's still relevant anymore.

  12. seblan
    February 21, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks a lot ! Just what I was looking for :)

  13. Danny
    January 3, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Reset your flags in Chrome to activate itunes links directly from Chrome.

    Using Chrome Version 39.0.2171.95 m (64-bit)

    Go to chrome://flags and find #enable-permissions-bubbles and #enable-session-crashed-bubble and select Enable, then relaunch Chrome. I fixed my issue this way.


    Use Bubbles for Permission Requests Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
    Show content permission requests (e.g. notifications, quota, camera use, microphone use) in bubbles instead of info bars. #enable-permissions-bubbles


    Enable session restore bubble UI. Windows, Linux
    If enabled, the session restore UI will be shown in a bubble instead of an info bar. #enable-session-crashed-bubble


  14. nguyen2015
    December 20, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Doesn't work on Chrome Version 39.0.2171.95 m (64-bit)

  15. Trinae R
    September 25, 2013 at 2:17 am

    This post came right on time as I was having major issues getting iTunes links to open in Chrome.