Safari for iPhone and iPad will automatically open many web links in apps. For example, if you tap a LinkedIn, Reddit, or YouTube link on a webpage, you’ll be taken to the associated app. Here’s how to stay in Safari.

Option 1: uninstall the app

Here’s why Safari does this: App developers can choose to register their apps with URLs. For example, if you install the LinkedIn app, it will register with the linkedin.com addresses. Whenever you tap a linkedin.com link in Safari with LinkedIn installed, Safari will take you to the LinkedIn app. Apple doesn’t offer a way to turn this off for individual apps.

If you really don’t like using a service’s app and prefer their website, you can uninstall the app from your iPhone or iPad. Safari will not open the app if it is not installed.

Uninstall apps on the iPhone home screen.

Option 2: long press on a link

To avoid opening an app when opening an individual link, you can long press it in Safari. A preview of the web page will appear. Press “Open” to open the link in Safari in the current tab or press “Open in New Tab” to open the link in Safari in a background tab.

This will bypass opening the link in the associated app, but you will have to use the context menu each time. If you find yourself doing this all the time, uninstalling the service’s app may save your time.

The context menu that appears when you long press a link in Safari.

Option 3: use Safari in private browsing mode

In private browsing mode, Safari behavior changes to protect your privacy. Safari will never open a private browsing link in its associated app before asking you to. It helps to protect your privacy. After all, you can be logged into the app and it can reveal personal information.

In private browsing mode, you will receive an “Open in [App]? Prompt after tapping on a link whether that link would open normally in an application. Tap “Cancel” and Safari will open the link in a normal private browsing tab.

However, there is this extra step after activating private browsing mode: you have to press “Cancel” rather than instantly opening the link.

The Safari prompt appears before opening an app in incognito mode.

Soon: How to use Safari private browsing on an iPhone or iPad

Option 4: Lock Safari with Guided Access

Guided Access Mode is a feature of your iPhone or iPad that allows you to “lock” your iPhone to a specific application. For example, you can turn it on if you want a child to use a specific app on your device (like a game or video player) without accessing anything else (like your email or online banking).

This feature can also prevent Safari from opening apps: with Guided Access turned on, you can’t exit Safari until you turn off Guided Access mode. Safari won’t even try to open links in other apps.

To configure guided access mode, go to Settings> Accessibility> Guided access. (You can also use the search box to find the Guided Access page in the settings.) Activate “Guided Access” here.

Activate Guided Access Mode on the iPhone Settings screen.

Then switch to Safari and click the side button three times as explained on the Guided Access settings screen. Press “Start” to activate the guided access mode. You will be prompted to enter a PIN code the first time you do this. You will need this PIN code to exit guided access mode.

You can now browse and Safari will not offer to open any apps. To exit Safari, you will need to exit Guided Access mode by triple-clicking the side button again and entering your PIN. You can tap “Passcode Settings” on the Settings screen where you enabled Guided Access to enable other authentication methods such as Touch ID and Face ID.

None of these methods are perfect. You will need to either uninstall the associated app or press harder to avoid opening its links in Safari.

Ideally, Apple would offer a Settings screen that lets you control which apps can support links, just as you can control other app features like location access and notification permissions.