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I use Internet Explorer for some things and Chrome for others. I'd like to have a choice when I click on a link of which browser to open the link in. Is this possible in Windows? I am currently running Windows 8, although there should be similarities between versions.

To the best of my knowledge this isn't possible.

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migrated from Apr 5 '13 at 12:24

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Disclaimer: I have not used Windows since Windows 3.11. However, this is how I expect it to work: First, write a batch or simple program that asks you if you want the URL passed to it opened in IE or Chrome. Then, in both IE and Chrome, set the default HTTP and HTTPS handler to be your little program you wrote. If (and this is a big if) you can set the default web page handler and the browsers will accept it, you will get what you want. – kainaw Apr 3 '13 at 18:36
If I could write the program I would :). If you know of any out there let me know, but I wasn't able to find one already made. I suppose I was hoping a way would exist in the system such as how Windows handles file extensions for unknown types. – Andrew Vogel Apr 3 '13 at 18:40
Hi kainaw, I have discovered a solution. See below and thank you for your help. – Andrew Vogel Apr 3 '13 at 19:44
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I found the following as the simplest solution. Warning: Do not do this if you are not a local administrator.

Modify the following registry keys:

  • [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\http\UserChoice]
  • [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\https\UserChoice]

Change ProgId to be a nonsensical value.

Remove your local admin account from permissions on the UserChoice folder. (You will still retain admin privileges as long as you are in the administrator's group)

When clicking on a http/https link, Windows will look at that registry key to see what program to run. When it can't finds it, it brings up a list of all registered http handlers for you to choose from. Normally it would set whatever one you choose to that registry key, but it fails due to the permission being removed. It would work if it had elevated permissions, but that web browser selection screen does not have elevated permissions.

A hack, but it's working for me, and I believe it is safe.

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That is very similar to my suggestion. Instead of writing an application, you found a way to use the built-in Windows application. I'm happy that it works for you. – kainaw Apr 5 '13 at 0:23
Yep. I tried initially to have a batch program as you suggested to bring up a prompt and redirect for me, but it refused to launch it (maybe I had it recorded incorrectly in the registry, not sure). Thanks again. – Andrew Vogel Apr 5 '13 at 12:40

Codeplex (an open source site from Microsoft) has a tool for doing this.

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Thanks for sharing Hope! – Andrew Vogel Jan 27 '14 at 19:54

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