Browser Tamer

Why

Browser Tamer acts as a browser proxy on your machine that catches links you click and redirects them to a browser or browser profile of your choice.

The main difference comparing to other products is that it’s tiny (less than 1.5mb exe, ~2mb RAM), completely free, blazing fast, and never uses more than 0% CPU or any CO2 (makes it good for the 🌎). It works on green energy and even the oldest hardware you can find. It also does not track you.

Installing

You have a few options:

Then launch main executable, configure rules, and it’s ready to use. In order for Windows to redirect all URL clicks to Browser Tamer, you need to set it as default browser.

BT needs 3 protocols set as default and displays the status in the status bar on the bottom.

If any of them is not default, you will see them highlighted in red and a status message saying “… protocol is not handled by Browser Tamer, interception will not work!”.

Unfortunately, Windows 11 made it more convoluted to change default browser from user interface, but it’s still easy to do.

In order to get to the default browser configuration in Windows, you can follow a shortcut by going to Tools, Windows Defaults.

This will open different windows depending whether you are on Windows 10 or 11. Microsoft provides official instructions for Windows 10 which are trivial to follow - just pick Browser Tamer from the dropdown menu. Or in case of Windows 11 windowscentral.com has a good guide to follow too. I might find a way to set default browser automatically, but Microsoft actively prevents external programs to do that without user interaction for now.

Configuring

Default Browser

By default, BT takes the first browser it finds and opens all the links in it.

Default browser is highlighted in red in the browser tree in the configuration interface (see picture on the left). In this case it’s set to aloneguid@outlook.com profile inside the “Microsoft Edge” browser.

To change the default browser, just find the profile you are interested in and press the “heart” button (see arrow pointing to it on the picture).

The only case when default browser is not used is when an URL is matching one or more rules (see below) or you are picking a browser manually (see below).

Rules

All the links that do not match any configured rules will open in the default browser, however that’s not very interesting and not why you installed this utility in the first place.

To open a link in another browser, you need to create a rule.

A rule is a single line in the Rules section. It simply says that if a link contains text you’ve typed in, then open the specified browser. It is case insensitive so a line mydomain will match mydomain.com, MyDomain.com or https://blabla.mydomain.com.

You can keep adding as many rules as you want, they are always case-insensitive and match any part or the URL.

Picker

Picker is a visual prompt that asks which browser you want to open a link in specifically, instead of matching a rule.

To open the picker, hold ctrl and shift buttons while clicking a link to display a window similar to this:

Then simply click the browser you want. Browser Tamer also remembers how many times you have picked one browser or another, and sorts the presented choices in that order.

Picker is also shows automatically when more than one rule is matching a specific URL.

Supported Browsers

All the browsers known to the world are supported. Out of the box Brower Tamer detects:

And if that’s not enough, you can always add your own custom browser if it’s not discovered or installed in an unsupported way (like a portable install). Note that scoop is famous for screwing up browser installations, so most probably you will need to customize it in some way.

How To Configure MS Teams

Find instructions here.

Browser Extensions

You can optionally install an extension for Chrome that help to redirect links from inside the browser to local instance of Browser Tamer.

image-20220321112144264

Version History

Note that VirusTotal reports BT as malware, and here is my explanation why. It’s totally up to you.

Ver Published Notes Installer Portable
2.6.2 06/07/2022 Added ability to delete custom profiles. Installer now shuts down bt.exe before upgrading to avoid conflicts. 🔗 🔗
2.6.1 04/07/2022 New: redesigned user interface in the configuration editor; browser picker displays icons graphically and sorts them based on frequency of use; if there is more than one rule match in different browsers, UI will ask which one you want instead of using the first one. Improved: even thought there are more features in this release, it’s considerably smaller in size and faster. 🔗 🔗
2.5.6 13/06/2022 Performance and security improvements. 🔗 🔗
2.5.5 20/05/2022 Performance and security improvements. 🔗 🔗
2.5.4 12/05/2022 General stability improvements. 🔗 🔗
2.5.3 21/03/2022 improvement: added auto update check and link to Chrome extension. 🔗
2.5.2 18/03/2022 bug fixed: URL picker would sometimes hang in the background. 🔗
2.5.1 16/03/2022 bug fixed: URL picker was opening in the background so you couldn’t see it sometimes. 🔗
2.5 15/03/2022 New: add your own browser; support for Firefox private mode; upport for x-bt protocol. Improved: picker launcher keys can be configured!; user interface is slightly more polished. 🔗
2.4 11/02/2022 New feature! When holding ctrl and pressing a link, you can pick which browser to open. 🔗
2.3 20/01/2022 General stability improvements. 🔗
2.2 16/01/2022 General stability improvements. 🔗
2.1 16/11/2021 Still called Oh Dear! due to the fact I love ImGui so much. New features: 🔗
2.0 13/11/2021 Complete UI rewrite and new features. Due to the fact Microsoft cannot decide on what is the UI framework for programming on Windows, I’ve decided to use a completely independent third-party framework ImGui which is usually used in game development but also good for small utilities like this. It’s super small and super fast. 🔗
1.0 06/09/2021 Sort of a first release. 🔗

Since v2.5.4 I’m also uploading installers, mostly to increase the reach on platforms like winget as they do not accept portable uploads. There is no other reason to use installers, they do not do anything other than copying files.

Thanks! You can always email me or use contact form for more questions/comments etc.