How To Open LinkedIn Contacts from Your Mac’s Address Book

LinkedIn iconIf you use LinkedIn’s iOS application to download your LinkedIn connections into your contact list, the app will add an extra “Home Page URL” field in your contacts that points back to the LinkedIn app. When you tap on this link, it’ll open the LinkedIn app to show the person’s LinkedIn profile.

However this only works on iOS. When you sync your iOS contact list to your Mac you also get these links but clicking them doesn’t do anything. You see, what LinkedIn adds to your contact list isn’t a regular web address that simply points back to LinkedIn’s website but a proprietary “linkedin://URL that only LinkedIn’s iOS app understands. Since LinkedIn doesn’t make a Mac app (as of this writing) nothing can handle that proprietary URL scheme.

LinkedIn Contact URL

Until Now, that is.

We’ve released a free app for the Mac to solve this problem. Both free as in beer and as in speech – you can download the app for free and I’ve made it open source. The app handles LinkedIn’s proprietary URL and converts it into a regular web address that your favorite web browser (like Safari) can understand. When you have the app installed in your Mac, clicking on a “linkedin://#profile/xxxx” URL will open your default web browser and show that person’s LinkedIn profile.

How to use it

  1. Download the OpenLinkedIn app from this link.
  2. Unzip the app and move it into your Mac’s Applications folder.
  3. Launch the app. It won’t show any window – but opening it lets your Mac know that this app can handle LinkedIn’s special URL. You only need to do this just once.
  4. Launch the Contacts app.
  5. Open a contact with a linkedin:// URL and click on it.
  6. Your default web browser should launch and show that person’s LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn may require you to log in – just enter your LinkedIn login credentials and then go to Step 5.
  7. From this point on, opening a linkedin:// URL will launch your default web browser and show that person’s LinkedIn profile.

How it works behind the scenes? The OpenLinkedIn app registers itself to handle LinkedIn’s proprietary URL. When you click on a “linkedin://” URL then your Mac tells the OpenLinkedIn app to handle it. In turn, the app extracts the LinkedIn profile ID from that URL, launches your web browser to show the profile page, and then immediately quits – giving the impression that your Mac seems to understand the proprietary URL. It may appear that OpenLinkedIn was not started at all. However if you remove the OpenLinkedIn app this will stop working and clicking on a “linkedin://” URL won’t do anything.

If you’re a developer, you can take a look at OpenLinkedIn’s source code on Github. I’ve released it under a very liberal BSD-style open source license.

Until next time, enjoy!


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