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I'm looking for a mechanism to open a single URL in the user's current default browser on a schedule/recurring basis.

I know that if I was writing .Net code to do this, I could simply do something along the lines of Process.Start("http://example.com/somePage.html") which will cause the default browser to open to that address. Likewise, I can go to Start -> Run and type in a given address and that too will cause the default browser to open to that address. Using this knowledge, I thought I would create a Windows Scheduled Task where the "Start a program" field was set to the URL I wanted to start. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. When the task runs, the URL is not opened (nor are any browsers).

Can anyone point me in the right direction to make this happen? Ideally, I would like to stay away from 3rd-party utilities, leveraging Windows 7's Task Scheduler would be great. Also, just to be clear, I'm not looking for a browser plugin to accomplish this.

Also, I'm not looking for anything fancy wrt waking a sleeping computer to carry this task out. I'm fine with just letting this happen only when a user is logged in.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would create a batch file containing:

start http://example.com/somePage.html

And point Task Scheduler to that batch file. You can also test that it will work by running the batch file manually.

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2  
It may also work if you use that string as the command for your task, but I prefer to edit a batch file than have to look through my tasks if I need something changed. –  Windos Aug 10 '11 at 4:38
    
Thanks @Windos, worked a treat. I found that it didn't work when that string was the command itself for my task. Could be that I was doing it wrong (missing "" around URL or something), but I didn't spent any extra time on it as the batch file solution gave me what I needed. –  ckittel Aug 10 '11 at 13:51
    
The batch file approach works, but a black dos windows will flash. Is there any way to hide it? Using that string as the command of Task Scheduler doesn't work for me. –  LoveRight Jul 6 '13 at 13:12

You could make the windows task manager run a program, and have it point to an html file that contains a redirection to the website you want it to open.

Step 1. Open notepad
Step 2. Write javascript redirect
Step 3. Save as .html
Step 4. Set task manager to open that html file on your desired schedule

here is the javascript - let me know if it works

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
window.location = "http://www.google.com/"
//-->
</script>
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I have tested it, it works. –  Alex Waters Aug 10 '11 at 4:50
1  
+1. Thanks for this solution, I've tested it too, and it indeed works. @Windos solution is ideal for my needs, but I'm glad you posted this solution as it might be ideal for someone else. –  ckittel Aug 10 '11 at 13:52
    
You mean "Task Scheduler->another program->my html->desired url"? Why don't the program directly open the desired url? –  LoveRight Jul 6 '13 at 13:02

I've recently found myself trying to solve this exact issue and I have found a few things that can hopefully be of help.

Set up the scheduled task to run the following command:

explorer "http://example.com/somePage.html"

This does the trick without creating an extra file and without a flickering window. I have confirmed that this works on Windows 7 and opens the URL using the default browser.

The same trick however does NOT work in Windows XP. The same command in Windows XP will always use Internet Explorer to open the given URL. The best solution I have found for WIndows XP to date is to set up a scheduled task with

cmd /c start http://example.com/somePage.html

Again, no extra file required, but you do get a brief appearance of a command window.

I have not tested this on Windows Vista or Windows 8

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There are programs like One Million Clicks that can refresh a web page every x seconds/min/hours. You can even use a list of proxies to simulate real visitors on that page.

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