The Navigator method registerProtocolHandler() lets web sites register themselves as possible handlers for particular protocols.

Browsers generally only permit protocol handlers to register handlers if the handler's domain and protocol match that of the current site. Additionally, browsers increasingly require that the registerProtocolHandler() function be used in a secure context (that is, on a page loaded using HTTPS).

Browsers may offer the ability to override these restrictions.

Syntax

navigator.registerProtocolHandler(protocol, url, title);

Parameters

protocol
The protocol the site wishes to handle, specified as a string. For example, you can register to handle SMS text message links by registering to handle the "sms" scheme.
url
The URL of the handler, as a string. This string should include "%s" as a placeholder which will be replaced with the escaped URL of the document to be handled. This URL might be a true URL, or it could be a phone number, email address, or so forth.
Note: The handler's URL must use one of "http" or "https" as its scheme. This should be an HTTPS URL, as some browsers may require this for security.
title
A user-readable title string for the protocol handler. This will be displayed to the user in interface objects as needed.

Exceptions

SecurityError
The user agent blocked registration of the protocol handler. This might happen if an invalid scheme is specified, such as "http", which cannot be registered for obvious security reasons, or if the browser requires that this function be called from a secure context, or that the handler's URL be an HTTPS one.
SyntaxError
The "%s" string is missing from the specified protocol handler URL.

Permitted schemes

For security reasons, registerProtocolHandler() has restrictions on which schemes may be registered. A custom scheme may be registered as long as the scheme's name begins with "web+", is at least five characters long (including the "web+" prefix), and has only lower-case ASCII letters in its name. For example, "web+burger", as shown in the Example below.

Otherwise, the scheme must be one of the schemes on the whitelist below:

  • bitcoin
  • geo
  • im
  • irc
  • ircs
  • magnet
  • mailto
  • mms
  • news
  • nntp
  • sip
  • sms
  • smsto
  • ssh
  • tel
  • urn
  • webcal
  • wtai
  • xmpp

Example

If your web application is located at http://burgers.example.com, you can register a protocol handler for it to handle "web+burger" links like this:

navigator.registerProtocolHandler("web+burger",
                                  "https://burgers.example.com/?burger=%s",
                                  "Burger handler");

This creates a handler that allows web+burger:// links to direct the user to your web application, inserting the burger information specified in the link into the URL. Recall that this script must be run from the same domain (so any page location at burgers.example.com) and the second argument passed must be of http or https scheme (in this example it is https) .

The user will be notified that your code has asked to register the protocol handler, so that they can decide whether or not to permit it. See the screenshot below for an example on google.co.uk.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'registerProtocolHandler()' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support131 ?3 ?11.6 ?
Secure context required (HTTPS) ? ?62 ? ? ?
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support ? ? ?4 ? No ?
Secure context required (HTTPS) ? ? ?62 ? ? ?

1. Protocol whitelist includes mailto, mms, nntp, rtsp, and webcal. Custom protocols must be prefixed with web+.

See also