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Shortcut to Open a URL With Your Non-Default Browser

When you create a desktop shortcut for a URL, it is going to launch the URL with your default web browser.  What do you do if you want to create a shortcut to a URL, but have it open with a browser that isn’t set as your default?  An example would be the Library Online Administration page.  If Firefox is your default, you probably want to make a shortcut that will open it with Internet Explorer so that you can view the reports.  Follow these instructions to create a shortcut that will open a URL with your non-default web browser:

Shortcut to Open a URL with IE When Firefox is Default
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Programs
  3. Click-and-drag Internet Explorer to your desktop
  4. Right-click the new shortcut and select Properties
  5. On the Shortcut tab, click the Target field and move the cursor to the end of all the text
  6. Enter a single space and then enter your URL URL_IE
  7. Click Apply
  8. Click the General tab
  9. In the text field at the top, give your shortcut an appropriate name
  10. Click OK
Shortcut to Open a URL with Firefox when IE is Default
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Programs
  3. Click Mozilla Firefox
  4. Right-click the Mozilla Firefox icon and select Send To and then select Desktop (create shortcut)
  5. Right-click the new shortcut and select Properties
  6. On the Shortcut tab, click the Target field and move the cursor to the end of all the text
  7. Enter a single space and then enter your URL URL_FF
  8. Click Apply
  9. Click the General tab
  10. In the text field at the top, give your shortcut an appropriate name
  11. Click OK


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Nice. I like flexible, generic solutions with broad applications.

However, if Firefox is the default browser, users may prefer the IE View add-on to force specific pages into IE. It will switch to IE no matter how the site in question is launched (e.g. from another page, from email, from a shortcut, etc.).


Thanks for this. I can now open gmail with Chrome even though IE is my default browser. However, I now get a Windows 7 Security Warning every time asking "Do you want to open this file?". How can I get rid of this?

thank you for posting this information! Works great!

A client had the quotation marks in the wrong place so I am pleased that your post will help me sort it out for them.

This works with Chrome Also. I use it to open my gmail account. Love it.

Just what I needed, thanks much appreciated. Worked perfect.

Thanks for info....worked for me

I just wanted to say Thanks! This is a very useful tip...

Thank-you for such a great tip! Worked with Chrome also :)

Instead of telling people to drag the IE to their desktops you should tell them to copy and paste.

When I did this it removed it from my start menu and now I have no shortcut for IE in my start menu.

What is the exact url for executing a shortcut on chrome? Just leave it here so I can paste it.

This was short and to the point, and it worked fantastically!

Thank you for the info!!

Thank you; you saved me hours of research.
I couldn't get Chrome to stop opening an
item on my desktop when I really wanted
Internet Explorer Version 11 (in Windows 7)
to open that file. Your first posting
worked perfectly on my first atttempt (even
though I'm not using Firefox).
Again, thank you!!

I tried this with Windows 10. After you set everything up and click apply, it enters http:// to the front of the shortcut. Of course then, it will try to open in the default browser and show an error. Any suggestions for Windows 10

@Jim, I got the same thing. Characters were added ahead of the shortcut, so it doesn't work.

If the above instructions are not working for you, then this will surely work. Even if you are in a work computer that will not let you change the default browser. This example is for Chrome, but will work with any other browser.
1) Right-click on your wall on the desktop. Go to New ► Shortcut

2) Click [Browse] and find the .exe file for your browser in your C: drive. My happen to be in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"

3) When you see the location displayed, put the cursor at the end of the location and then space and put the webpage address link, in this example I use google's. DO NOT removed quotation marks from the browser address.
My looks like this: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" www.google.com

4) Click [Next], name your shortcut, and click [Finish]

5) Test the link. ☺

It worked just fine, Tks

Well it worked for me. Thanks for the post...

Thanks, just what I needed.

If you already have a desktop link for the desired browser, then instead of steps 1-3 just do a copy-and-paste to create a copy of that desktop link, and then rename the copy as you wish (e.g., "HSBC in IE").

Sir, if I open internet explorer I need to open google browser to open but it is opening some other. how to set has to open google browser.

If you make a copy of your Chrome browser shortcut, or any browser (not a shortcut to a webpage, but the shortcut to the browser itself), you can follow the same steps as above.

E.g. "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" http://www.microsoft.com/

However, if you try to do this from the shortcut to a webpage itself, it may not work. In my experience, the shortcut has to be to the browser, then you add the website at the end.

Good luck!

If the Target website's name is too long, then this does not work

Thank you very much, i need this, lately chrome is becoming stupid more and more, everything is blocked because 'connection not private'!!!





Works like a charm! Thanks!

Works perfectly, thanks a lot!!!

Is it possible to make weblinks in a similar way?

Such a scenic view ,looks great. Lovely.

mine just opens up a blank firefox session (i.e. does not navigate to the specified url)
is there anything you can think of that might be affecting this?

This worked great! Thank you for the information. Not only did I make the shortcut so that it opens my link in Chrome, but I moved the shortcut into my IE Favorites folder. So whenever I'm surfing the web like I normally do, when I need to go to that specific web site, it opens a new Chrome window - from IE!!

How do I do tho if I'm trying to open a link within html code so that hyperlink URL opens in Chrome instead of the default browser of IE (which we can't change, yet and we can't change any registry settings).

so I have URL That obviously doesn't work, it puts a file:/// in front of C:

Great Tip!

This is a very good article. The authors content is still relevant 11 years later! I use this everyday. Thanks so much!

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