Installing the Flow desktop launcher 3 minute read

The Flow desktop launcher allows Mac users to open all Flow links, like those in email notifications, in the desktop app instead of the web app by default.

If you're using and prefer the desktop app to working in the browser, you'll likely want to be taken there by default when you click through a Flow link. Luckily, there's a handy little plugin for that. The Flow desktop launcher is a Chrome plugin for the Mac app that gives you (if your default browser is Chrome) more control over where Flow links, like the ones in email notifications, open.


Installing the launcher

To install the plugin, click here. Chrome will also prompt you to install the plugin when you log into the web app if you've used the Mac app in the last 24 hours and don't yet have the plugin installed.

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Clicking through either option will take you to the Chrome Web Store where you can begin the installation by clicking "Add to Chrome".

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A popover will open, asking you to confirm that you want to "Add the Flow Desktop Launcher." To continue, click "Add Extension."

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Once confirmed, you'll be redirected to a success page that will provide you with more info on the launcher. You'll also see the blue Flow extension icon appear to the right of your URL bar. Clicking the extension icon will open the desktop app going forward.

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The first time Flow tries to launch the plugin, you'll see a prompt from Chrome about x-flow links. Check the box next to "Remember my choice for all links of this type" and then click "Launch Application." Going forward, all links will open in the Mac app by default.


Uninstalling the launcher

If you no longer need to use the launcher or would prefer to have your links open in the browser, you can easily uninstall it by right clicking on the extension icon and clicking "Remove from Chrome."

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You can also remove or simply disable the launcher in your Chrome preferences. Click Chrome > Preferences in the Chrome menubar and then select the Extensions tab on the left to see all the Chrome extensions currently installed. Find the Flow Desktop Launcher in the list and then you can either click the check mark to disable the Flow extension (a good idea if you want to enable it again later) or you can click the trash can on the right to delete it.

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Troubleshooting

If clicking the Flow extension icon doesn't launch the desktop app, there are a few things you can check. The first is the version you're using. If you haven't updated your Mac app recently and are using a version older than 6.0.2, the plugin won't work. To get the latest version, go here.

If you choose not to open the links by accident when you were prompted and pressed "Remember my choice," you'll need to undo the change. To do so, first quit Chrome completely by going to Chrome > Quit Google Chrome. Then from the desktop, click on Go > Go to Folder in the Mac menubar.

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Search for ~/Library and then navigate to Application Support > Google > Chrome. Open the Local State file in a text editor and find or search for "x-flow". If it says "x-flow":true, then Chrome will ignore all requests to launch the desktop app. Delete just this text, and be careful to only remove one comma and no surrounding text. Once you've deleted the line, save the file.

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