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I would like to set up my Windows XP sp2 system with NO default browser. The objective is to be able to right-click on any link/URL and be given the option to select the browser I would like to open it. Is this possible and if so how?

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Last Post by DaniEd887
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Most browsers that I know of, have in the browser "Options" whether to make it the default browser or not. Mind you, that some links when clicked on will open IE, whether it's default or not.
You might also run in to the hassle of being asked every time you click on a link, that "X browser is not your default browser, would you like to make it your default browser?"
It won't hurt to try it.

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Hi All,

I found this thread today, searching with the identical need.
I realize the original questioner is long gone, but since I found no answer on the web, I will submit the solution I worked out.

To communicate to ALL, I am giving a recipe that you can follow and prove to yourself as you go.

This solution involves the explorer window (the folder).

In my situation I had Internet Explorer installed alone at first:
In the folder view:
Tools / Folder Options / Filetypes
select the windw with a click, hit u to jump to the
u letter extents, then find "URL"

Click Advanced, select Open and Edit.
You will see the following info:

Filetypes:
url:
ck Confirm open after download.
Open:
rundll32.exe ieframe.dll,OpenURL %l
ck Use DDE

Application:
ieframe

Topic:
System
================================================
Ok, now I installed Firefox, and made it my default browser.

Again, I went to:
Tools/Folder Options/Filetypes
Near the beginning of the list see:
FireFox url (extent "none").

Select it, click advanced, and see following:

Filetypes:
Firefox URL: (note: says extent: none)
ck Confirm open after download.
Open / Edit
Application used to perform action:
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url "%1"

ck Use DDE

DDE Message:
"%1",,0,0,,,,

Application:
Firefox

Topic:
WWW_OpenURL

=================================================================
=================================================================

Ok, it is important that once again IE is the default browser. Make it so by running IE going to tools / options /advanced
after you make it so, before you exit uncheck the box for checking if it is the default.


=================================================================

Once again go to a folder, and Tools / Folder Options / FileTypes

go to the extent URL, click advanced.

Now we will add two new right click options.

Choose New:

Action:
Open with IE

Now enter following for IE:
ck Confirm open after download.

Application used to perform action:
rundll32.exe ieframe.dll,OpenURL %l
ck Use DDE

Application:
ieframe

Topic:
System
=================================================================
Click OK. Now we add another right click option.

Choose New:

Action:
Open with Firefox

ck Confirm open after download.

Application used to perform action:
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url "%1"

ck Use DDE

DDE Message:
"%1",,0,0,,,,

Application:
Firefox

Topic:
WWW_OpenURL

==================================================================

Click OK, OK etc and leave Folder options.

=================================================================
=================================================================

I tried to be complete, obviously some info could have been left out.


If you want other browsers, you will have to see changes made in Folder Options, and experimentally get your own info
then follow my lead.

Salut,
Ed

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Great work, Ed!

I am the original questioner and am NOT long gone :). I was immediately notified of your post by email. I had almost given up hope that a solution was possible, but it looks like you have really solved the problem. It's almost 2:30am as I write this, so I will not dig into your solution until I get some sleep, but thanks again. I will post later about this after I have tried your solution on my system.

Best wishes, Ed, and happy new year!
lbcge

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Great,

Keep me posted. Of course the Open in IE is redundant, since you can just double click the link to get the IE default browser.

It is working fine for me, and I am glad.

--Ed

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It didn't work for me!

Hi, Ed

I printed your instructions before beginning and then followed them exactly.

I noted that resetting IE as the default browser (just prior to adding the two new right click options) is done in the
Tools/Options/Programs tab rather than the
Tools/Options/Advanced tab.

I also noted that when adding right click options, the "Confirm open after download" is in the "Edit file type" window, so it must be checked BEFORE choosing NEW or AFTER clicking OK in the "Editing action for type: Internet shortcut" window.

When I finished the procedure, I carried out several tests:
1) right click on a link on a firefox page (the 2 new options were not displayed).
2) right click on a link on an IE page (the two new options were not displayed.
3) right click on a link in a MS Word document (there is no right click option in Word. CTRL-click is required to go to a URL. When doing so, the page opened in IE. There was no way to choose Firefox.)

I then went back and verified that the two new right click options were displayed in the "Edit file type" window and that the details were correctly displayed in the "Editing action for type: Internet shortcut" window.

It then occurred to me that it might be necessary to restart Windows for the changes to take effect (as is the case in many other system change situations.) So I restarted and carried out the same tests, but the two new right-click options still did not appear in the right-click dropdown menu.

By the way I am running
Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600 SP2 Build 2600,
IE 7.0.5730.11IC, and
Firefox 3.5.6.

I hope you will be able to give me further advice or let me know what I am doing wrong.

Best regards,
lbcge

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Ok,
Just saw your post. I will read/digest and get back tomorrow...... fighting some cold weather problems here.

til then, Ed

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>Hi, Ed

>I printed your instructions before beginning and then followed them exactly.

>I noted that resetting IE as the default browser (just prior to adding the two new right click options) is done in the
>Tools/Options/Programs tab rather than the
>Tools/Options/Advanced tab.

- Yes you are Right (oops).

>I also noted that when adding right click options, the "Confirm open after download" is in the "Edit file type" window, so it must be checked BEFORE choosing NEW or AFTER clicking OK in the "Editing action for type: Internet shortcut" window.
... Ok.

>When I finished the procedure, I carried out several tests:
>1) right click on a link on a firefox page (the 2 new options were not displayed).
>2) right click on a link on an IE page (the two new options were not displayed.
>3) right click on a link in a MS Word document (there is no right click option in Word. CTRL-click is required to go to a URL. When doing so, the page opened in IE. There was no way to choose Firefox.)

Ok bear in mind, I did this work so that if I had a ".url" file ( which you always see if you check the always show extent box),
in a folder ........ then the right click options will be there on that .url file.

Every file or folder (or even "folder background") entity on the computer and every right click option on entities when you are inside a program (like right clicking the document window while you are in Word) are all specific and DIFFERENT right click (context) menus.


If you would want to right click a link in a Word document and see a choice to open in Firefox, it would be a whole 'nother solution than the one I gave which would only be for the link file you have in a folder.

>I then went back and verified that the two new right click options were displayed in the "Edit file type" window and that the details were correctly displayed in the "Editing action for type: Internet shortcut" window.

>It then occurred to me that it might be necessary to restart Windows for the changes to take effect (as is the case in many other system change situations.) So I restarted and carried out the same tests, but the two new right-click options still did not appear in the right-click dropdown menu.

Can you verify for me at least that my solution does work on the url file in a folder for you?

If I can help you understand any better ........get back.

Salut,

Ed

>By the way I am running
>Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600 SP2 Build 2600,
>IE 7.0.5730.11IC, and
>Firefox 3.5.6.

Funny, by I am running the identical versions on the same platform.

>I hope you will be able to give me further advice or let me know what I am doing wrong.

>Best regards,
>lbcge

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Thanks for your clarifications, Ed.

I will try it on a .url file in a folder. Can't do it now because of problems on my computer, but if I can't fix those problems soon, I will set up your solution on another computer and try it. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

All the best,
lbcge

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Hi, Ed.

My system drive became inaccessible. To access it and make attempts to repair it I had to buy a new hard disk and install Windows on it; XP SP3 and IE8 this time. I kept my failed HD as a slave. The install did a chkdsk /f on the failed drive without even being asked and as a result I was able to get all my files back.

When I downloaded Firefox 3.5.7 on the new HD, I got the expected popup window "Firefox is not currently your default browser. Would you like to make it your default browser?"). Surprisingly, when I opened IE8 I got the same popup window "IE8 is not your default browser, would you like to make it your default browser?"). Apparently I achieved my originally stated goal of having no default browser. ...and that happened without my trying to make it happen. I didn't think it could be done.

But I still don't have an option as to which browser to use when right-clicking on a link.

My next step will be to install your changes and see if I can get a right click option to choose which browser to use when opening .url files. I will get back to you when I have the results, but I thought you might be interested to hear about the above development: apparently neither IE nor Firefox is my default browser!

All the best,
lbcge

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Hi lbcge,

I gather ... you installed Firefox first. Did you say no when it asked if you wanted it to be the default browser? And no to IE ?

You can say no to both, but (be sure you do not ck the box "Ask if you want to make IE the default browser" in IE Options) and be sure to do the same in firefox.

In a way this solves your problem, as there is no default, but when you double click a .url in a folder ..... every single time it will say what application do you want to open this file with ..... and that will get to be a pain, because several keystrokes will be needed after that.

The other day I saw this as a solution, but I thought "that is too painfull" !

Sounds like you are having problems! I have been there.
I have lately been using a Toshiba Satellite (best deal I could get a WalMart) I have used it at least nine hours a day 365 days a yr for four years without any hardware problems !

Get back when you can. Ed

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Back to Basics

Hi, Ed.

Not sure whether I installed Firefox or IE8 first. I think it was IE8.

Re my computer problems, the corrupted disk was less than a year old. The computer itself, a Compaq EVO D510 is almost 7 years old. Lately I have been running it 24/7 except when I need to reboot because of too much accumulated garbage, system slowdown, etc. I haven't had any HW problems yet except with disk drives.

Getting back to the topic of this thread, I find that having no default browser doesn't, all by itself, help me do what I want to do, which is: right-click on a web link on any web page and get a choice to open it with IE8 or Firefox (or Safari, Google Chrome, or other browsers if I ever add them.)

To help figure out how to do this, I first observed that many applications create new right-click options when they are installed. For example, AVG anti-virus inserts a right click option "Scan with AVG," which enables me to do a virus scan on any single file or folder when I right-click on it.

I thought that if I searched the system drive for the text of one of the right-click options, I might find out where that option is set and learn by example how to create right-click options of my own.

So I picked ".doc" (just as an example) and noted all the actual right-click options that are available for that file type. They are: open, edit, print, scan with AVG, new, open with... -> , add to archive... , compress and email... , backup, scan with Malwarebytes... , send to -> , cut, copy, create shortcut, delete, rename and properties.

Then I went to My Computer>Tools>Folder Options>File Types and scrolled down to extension DOC, File Type "MS Word 97 - 2003 Document." I highlighted this item and clicked on "Advanced" to get the window "Edit File Type." The bold option (for left clicks) is "open" as I expected. The non-bold options (for right clicks) are: Edit, New, Print, Print, Open as Read-only and printto.

An actual right-click on a .doc file does not give the options "printto" or "Open as Read-only". More puzzling is the question where does Windows specify all those other options I listed above that actually appear when I right-click on a Word document?!?.

The actual right-click options for links on web pages are: Open link in new window, open link in new tab, bookmark this link, save link as, send link, copy link location, and properties. I thought these options might be included for the extension "(NONE)", File Type: "URL:Hyper Text Transfer Protocol," but when I looked at Advanced > Edit File Type, I found that the only option is "open" (bold, so for left-click) and that the application to be used for this option is IE. The other actual options are not listed. ...and when I click on a link in Firefox it opens in Firefox, not IE.

At this point I was very confused. I figured that if "Open link in new tab" was an actual right-click option, it would have to appear somewhere in the registry, c:/Program Files, or c:/Windows directory.

So my next step was to run > regedit > edit > find "open link in new tab." This resulted in no registry entries found. I then set Windows Desktop Search (WDS) to index the c:/Windows directory and the c:\Program Files directory, and waited until the indexing was complete. I then used WDS to search the entire desktop for "open link in new tab" Many files were found, but none of them contained the entire string "open link in new tab" and none of the files found had anything to do with right-click options.

So now I am more confused than ever. How can all those right-click options exist if the text strings do not exist anywhere on the system drive?!? I guess I really am a newbie!

I must be overlooking something basichere. Perhaps you can shed some light on the matter.

All the best,
lbcge

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>Back to Basics

>Hi, Ed.

>Not sure whether I installed Firefox or IE8 first. I think it was IE8.

>Re my computer problems, the corrupted disk was less than a year old. The computer itself, a Compaq EVO D510 is almost 7 years old. Lately I have been running it 24/7 except when I need to reboot because of too much accumulated garbage, system slowdown, etc. I haven't had any HW problems yet except with disk drives.

>Getting back to the topic of this thread, I find that having no default browser doesn't, all by itself, help me do what I want to do, which is: right-click on a web link on any web page and get a choice to open it with IE8 or Firefox (or Safari, Google Chrome, or other browsers if I ever add them.)

>To help figure out how to do this, I first observed that many applications create new right-click options when they are installed. For example, AVG anti-virus inserts a right click option "Scan with AVG," which enables me to do a virus scan on any single file or folder when I right-click on it.

AVG would have had to add itself to the right click context in Two main places (each of which could involve multiple registry key modifications) one for the right click on the folder, the other for the right click of All file types.

In our case it is simpler, you are adding to the right click of one filetype: the ".url" file-type.

>I thought that if I searched the system drive for the text of one of the right-click options, I might find out where that option is set and learn by example how to create right-click options of my own.

>So I picked ".doc" (just as an example) and noted all the actual right-click options that are available for that file type. They are: open, edit, print, scan with AVG, new, open with... -> , add to archive... , compress and email... , backup, scan with Malwarebytes... , send to -> , cut, copy, create shortcut, delete, rename and properties.
The .doc is an example of a very complex situation !

>Then I went to My Computer>Tools>Folder Options>File Types and scrolled down to extension DOC, File Type "MS Word 97 - 2003 Document." I highlighted this item and clicked on "Advanced" to get the window "Edit File Type." The bold option (for left clicks) is "open" as I expected. The non-bold options (for right clicks) are: Edit, New, Print, Print, Open as Read-only and printto.

>An actual right-click on a .doc file does not give the options "printto" or "Open as Read-only". More puzzling is the question where does Windows specify all those other options I listed above that actually appear when I right-click on a Word document?!?.

Yes, just because it is there does not mean the software supports it.
If you right click on a txt file, the print is there because notepad supports it. Word does not.

>The actual right-click options for links on web pages are: Open link in new window, open link in new tab, bookmark this link, save link as, send link, copy link location, and properties. I thought these options might be included for the extension "(NONE)", File Type: "URL:Hyper Text Transfer Protocol," but when I looked at Advanced > Edit File Type, I found that the only option is "open" (bold, so for left-click) and that the application to be used for this option is IE. The other actual options are not listed. ...and when I click on a link in Firefox it opens in Firefox, not IE.

Right click options within a window in a software package like IE or Firefox have modifications set within their package.
If while in Firefox, you click on a link, you will get the default action defined within firefox.

Where as if firefox is running, and you go to a folder and double click a url, and if IE is your default browser .... even though firefox is open you will open the .url up in IE.

>At this point I was very confused. I figured that if "Open link in new tab" was an actual right-click option, it would have to appear somewhere in the registry, c:/Program Files, or c:/Windows directory.

Here the right click option on the link is on a link within firefox ( this is a different entity than a link in a folder (which is actually a .url file we call a link).

>So my next step was to run > regedit > edit > find "open link in new tab." This resulted in no registry entries found. I then set Windows Desktop Search (WDS) to index the c:/Windows directory and the c:\Program Files directory, and waited until the indexing was complete. I then used WDS to search the entire desktop for "open link in new tab" Many files were found, but none of them contained the entire string "open link in new tab" and none of the files found had anything to do with right-click options.

>So now I am more confused than ever. How can all those right-click options exist if the text strings do not exist anywhere on the system drive?!? I guess I really am a newbie!

I would not expect simplicity in the Registry, I am always amazed at how many registry keys are used on the same subject, and there really is no manual.

The best you can hope for is my simple situation of giving you the choice but only on a .url file within a folder.

You can I think add to right clicks within Word, but that is another problem.


>I must be overlooking something basichere. Perhaps you can shed some light on the matter.

The only mistake you are making is thinking this is as simple as it should be: it just isn't (and I sure do not understqnd it all by any stretch).

Later, Ed
>All the best,
>lbcge

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