Android Social Media

How To Turn Off Facebook’s In-App Browser & More Facebook Productivity Tips

Tina Sieber 14-11-2014

In August, Facebook started rolling out the final version of its in-app browser on Android devices. This month, the new feature reached me, and it’s been a nuisance.


I’ll show you how to make Facebook open links in your external browser again and how to improve your Facebook News Feed reading habits.

Pros & Cons Of The In-App Browser

The in-app browser is potentially faster, especially if your external browser first needs to load. We previously ran tests to identify the fastest Android browser What's the Fastest Android Browser? 7 Top Apps Ranked With so many Android browsers available, which are the fastest? Here are the best browser apps on Android. Read More ; Chrome came out as the winner, with Opera in close second. To compare Facebook’s in-app browser with Chrome and Javelin [No Longer Available], I repeated the test using Rightware’s Browsermark [No Longer Available], the tool my colleague Chris used for his tests. Browsermark measures a number of different benchmarks, including JavaScript performance, page load time, scrolling, and rendering of 3D graphics.

Chrome again turned out to be the best performing browser. This time on a Samsung Galaxy Note II running Android 4.4.2, Javelin and the in-app Facebook browser performed equally poor.

Browser Speed Test

Now, even though Chrome is theoretically faster, an external browser takes over your screen and requires time to load; that’s a major downside. Javelin solves this issue by loading links in the background — more on that below.


What Facebook’s in-app browser lacks is sharing options. While you can share to Facebook, copy and save links, or open them in an external browser, those are all the options you have. I routinely share to Twitter and Slack, email links, or save them to Trello. The lack of comprehensive sharing options, in addition to forced waiting periods while pages are loading, made the in-app browser a no-go.

Android Facebook In-App Browser Options

Of course, the in-app browser keeps you within Facebook, which is a plus if you don’t want to be distracted by anything other than Facebook. Seriously, that should not be your objective.

How Can I Disable The In-App Browser?

Do you find the in-app browser annoying? Fortunately, it’s quickly disabled.


Tap the Facebook menu icon in the top right, scroll down to Help & Settings, tap App Settings and enable the Always open links with external browser option. That’s it.

Facebook App Settings Browser

Next time you try to open a link, Facebook will ask you which app to use and you can pick your preferred browser. Click Always if you don’t want to choose every time. You can revoke the default by going to your device settings, switch to More, Application manager, select the default app you picked, and under Launch by default, tap the Clear defaults button.

Tips To Improve Your Facebook Reading Habits

Why do you even waste your time on Facebook? Probably because you want to see what your friends are up to or maybe because you are following some really cool pages 5 Awesome Facebook Pages That Entertain, Educate, And Inspire Does Facebook depress or annoy you? If you're too curious about the world to quit your social network, why not Like some pages that will entertain, educate, and inspire you? Read More . Generally, Facebook is a terrible source of official information, so keep those subscriptions low and switch to an RSS reader instead What Is RSS and How Can It Improve Your Life? Read More . Meanwhile, improve your Facebook reading habits with the following tips.


View The Most Recent Posts

Per default, Facebook will show you Top Stories. Essentially, this means they can prioritize posts for you any way they want. Consequently, you might unknowingly participate in a Facebook experiment Don’t Be an Experiment: How to Control Your Facebook News Feed What determines what is and isn't a top Facebook post? How often you interact with a person, topics you're interested in, how many likes or comments the post attracts, and – apparently – psychological experiments. Read More . You’re smarter than that! Either use an alternative Facebook app Faster, Leaner, Better - Alternatives To The Android Facebook App Oh, the joys of having social media available to us at any time of day thanks to the advent of the smartphone. Facebook has always been (at least on the surface) about connecting with your... Read More or manually change your News Feed view.

On your desktop browser, you can simply bookmark a direct link to your Facebook News Feed sorted by date. On your Android device, switching to the Most Recent view is a bit of a chore. Tap the menu icon, scroll down to Feeds and tap Most Recent. You can also tap See All and choose another feed. The respective feed will be shown when you tap the menu icon, until you double-tap the icon and possibly until you restart Facebook.

Android Facebook Most Recent

Load Links In The Background

When you open Facebook, your goal should be to get through your News Feed as fast as possible. Don’t be distracted by external links and save those readings for later. The best way to do that, next to saving the links (a Facebook News Feed and in-app browser feature), is to open them in the background. What is a simple middle-mouse-click on your computer requires a dedicated app on Android.


Enter Javelin [No Longer Available], a browser that loads links in the background Supercharge Your Smartphone RSS Reader With Firefox and FeedMe Learn how to make your mobile RSS reading setup just as quick and efficient as it is on the desktop. Read More , while you continue scrolling through your feed. The Javelin icon can be moved around the screen, much like Facebook’s chat heads Chat Heads & Stickers - Check Out The New Features on Facebook Messenger [Weekly Facebook Tips] Have you already noticed the latest features of Facebook chat on iOS and Facebook Messenger on Android? Prior to the release of Facebook Home, Facebook's chat app received an update which included Chat Heads and... Read More .

Android Browser Javelin

You can stack pages to the back by pulling them up, close them by pulling them down, and of course you can bookmark and share pages.

Android Browser Javelin Features

Prune Your News Feed

The best way to shorten time wasted on Facebook is to eliminate everything you don’t want to see from your News Feed. Unfollow friends or pages 3 New Tricks To Clean Up Your Facebook News Feed [Weekly Facebook Tips] Since joining Facebook, you probably made friends with lots and lots of people for many different reasons - some may not be very relevant anymore. It's time to clean up your feed, isn't it? Read More , add pages to your RSS reader Unofficial Guide To Feedly: Better Than Google Reader Do you hunger for the best desktop and mobile RSS reader ever made? For both the hungry and the hopeful, Feedly satisfies. Read More instead, or tell Facebook you don’t want to see posts like this.

Unfollow Friends

Apparently, Facebook has just released new ways to control what you see in your News Feed, but they haven’t rolled them out to me, yet.

Do You Spend Too Much Time On Facebook?

How often do you browse your News Feed and how long does it take you? Do you have any other tips to get through it faster?

If there’s anything we missed, please share it with fellow readers in the comments!

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Judith Mead Jackson
    November 18, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    We need an edit button. My phone Swypes what it wants. Right now I have to go to my activity page, delete and start all over ??????

  2. Bathinda Helper
    November 2, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Earlier there was an option to turn on/off the use of external browser in facebook android app (in its App Settings).
    But after Ver I'm not able to find this option and there is no way to use the app's internal browser again.

    Can anybody help?

  3. J
    May 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    It seems that this option HAS in fact been removed from the Android app, more's the pity.

  4. Fabian M
    July 1, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Unfortunately, turning off in-app browsing does not work that way in the new W10 FB app. I do not know how to do it, but the described way is not the way. I could not find any way to turn it off... which is rather bad since in portrait mode on my Surface Pro 3 the in-app browser only displays 2/3's of the page width and there is no way to scroll horizontally or zoom out.

    • Tina Sieber
      July 1, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you for the feedback, Fabian!

      The method described above was tested on Android.

      If anyone knows of a way to turn it off in the Windows 10 app, we'd appreciate a tip.

  5. Zombiedude347
    June 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I always have the problem of when pages open in the facebook browser, they automatically seam to go back to the feed in around 30 seconds to 1 minute with no warning.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 19, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      That's a new one. No idea what causes that.

    • Beverly
      November 21, 2016 at 1:22 am

      That is the reason I came here, to see if there is a fix for that too. I click on a post and start to read aND all of a sudden I am back to the last page I was on. Does this all the time now. I can scroll my news feed, but gave up reading the full posts. Really is frustrating!

      • Tina Sieber
        November 22, 2016 at 11:39 am

        Beverly, have you tried to turn off Facebook's in-app browser and force articles to open in your default device browser? That works quite well for me in Android.

  6. Anonymous
    July 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I hope someone can help me I'm using the Facebook app for Android on my Samsung Galaxy S3 after many years of staying away from the app to many bugs.

    Now when I'm in app I go to upload a picture from one of my picture folders in my gallery and instead of giving me the choice of which picture from which folder in my gallery to pick from all I get is all my picture shown at once no choice of folders to pick from which means I have to go through hundred's of pictures till I get to the one I want which is crazy.

    I used to use mobile browsers before like Dolphin, Google Chrome, UC Browser to access my Facebook cause they worked just like my PC browsers no need to download the app and no need to download a message app but when I would to upload a picture in any mobile browser I would get the choice of which folder you want to upload a picture from but I cant see any way using this Facebook app to upload pictures from specific folders.

    If I could go back to the mobile browsers I would but none of the mobile browsers at the mo are able to tag people gotta be some FB bug and trust me I've tried a lot over the last few days :-(

    Any helps folks I would be very grateful


  7. Sofia
    April 29, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Stock browser and Dolphin browser will not open profiles or additional comments.

  8. Jan Carlo
    April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hi Good day ! I do have a problem regarding the in-app browser , honestly I love that feature of the app, yesterday the in-app browser works just fine, unfortunately when I used the fb app today and tried opening links it suddenly opened in my browser and not on the feature in-app :( then I tried searching on the setting to turn it back on but sad to say there is no option to "open links in external browser" I tried updating the fb app because i thought its just outdated but same thing happens, tried reinstalling it and even reseting my phone but still the link won't open on the in-app browser . what can you suggest me to do? i really hate opening links in browser and i dont want to install another app just to open links.. i want the in-app back in my app :(

  9. Tina K.
    February 27, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I'm no longer seeing an option to switch to Most Recent on my Android phone. I clicked on the button on the far right with the three lines to scroll down to the "Feeds" option and it's no longer there. I have something called "Newsfeed settings", but it takes me to a screen that says "Summary," "People", etc.

    What do I do now???

    Thanks in advance

    • Tina Sieber
      March 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I can still see the option. It's still under Feeds on my Android, but maybe my app hasn't updated, yet. Do you see the "See all" option under Feeds? Maybe you have other Feeds on top of it.

  10. Kurk
    January 17, 2015 at 6:28 am

    why all the external links on my timeline are not opening in the facebook in-app browser? Only some links are opening inside facebook app and others are opening in chrome. Did i miss something? ... Thank You..

    • Tina
      January 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Is this on Android?

      I turned off the Facebook in-app browser, so I haven't observed this behavior. Can you see a pattern, i.e. are certain links opening in Chrome, like YouTube videos? Might have to do with link associations you set.

  11. Mr. Terry Halbert
    January 12, 2015 at 12:58 am

    How do I get off of facebook permantley without waiting 14 days.. They say I can go through the browser and get off right now, but I am having trouble finding how to do that.... Could you please help me... Thank-you....

    Mr. Terry Halbert

    • Tina
      January 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      If you don't log in for 14 days after attempting to delete your account, the account will eventually be deleted. It's a safety measure to prevent abuse and possibly to allow people to change their mind. It's the quickest way to get off Facebook permanently.

  12. uday
    November 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    That's a great post as always.. Thank you Tina.. i have a similar question regarding how to disable an extension on chrome browser, i hope you can help me with this.. Can you tell me how to disable the chrome stars bookmarks extension from the browser.. i tried disabling it from chrome://flags but it's not working..

  13. tankboy
    November 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    How do you disable the browser on iOS? It seems either not possible, or imposibly buried as an option.

    • Tina
      November 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      From what I've read it's not possible to disable the browser in the iOS app. Some even speculate rather than making that possible, the option will be removed from the Android app.

      A workaround is to simply access Facebook through its mobile website: