I have to launch Internet Explorer from the DOS command prompt.

I have done it with Firefox, like:

cd \program files\mozilla firefox\

How to do the same with Internet Explorer?


10 Answers 10


Just type


You can also use

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
  • will this also work with the command line from windows (cmd) ? Cuz' it does not for me..
    – TheChange
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 13:18
  • @TheChange - My original post of just typing "iexplore.exe" doesn't work on the command line - sorry about that ... it works from START -> RUN ... the "c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386\iexplore.exe" should work from the DOS prompt (cmd).
    – user5332
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 13:20
  • there is no "servicepackfiles" folder in my windows folder here (on work) and the IE is in program Files folder - maybe this is a country-related thing or something? (iam from germany) just interested :) btw. typing iexplore in Start->Run works
    – TheChange
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 13:22
  • Thanks scott... can you tell one more thing??? i have to open command prompt, but my laptop is not starting, when i on it, it show a error.. BOOTMGR is compressed restart press ctrl+alt+dlt. i have to open dos and launch ieand then delete some file from c drive
    – ankush
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 13:26
  • @TheChange - Just noticed that ... seems windows (US version) has a couple of iexplore.exe versions, very odd to say the least. I updated my post to include "C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe" ... I am hoping that is a common install point (even in the german/european version of windows)
    – user5332
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 13:27

Though you're asking for Internet Explorer: just in case you want to use the default browser, then use the start command:

start "" "http://superuser.com"
  • Maybe without the quotes, but I cannot test right now. Community wikified just to be sure.
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 14:39
  • @grawity, smart solution!
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 25, 2010 at 15:23
  • The first quotes are necessary like since Windows 7. This is why you'll find pages saying start "http://example.com" works no more. Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 10:54
  • Quotes are needed cuz they represent window title. I tried to fill it and never see the name over the cmd window... Glad to now that now is mandatory... ho ho ho manadatory empty strings.
    – m3nda
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 5:33
  • You can leave off the first pair of quotes if you leave off the second pair;  i.e., you can say start https://superuser.com. Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 18:38

You should cut its location to its original location, "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\", and then you can start it by using:

start iexplore
  • 3
    THIS is the most short answer. Question says Internet Explorer. Using Start "" "URL" will invoque your primary/favorite browser. This is also correct: "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" and compatible between OS's also for 64bit versions.
    – m3nda
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 5:37
  • 1
    you can also pass the URL on the command line: start iexplore https://stackoverflow.com Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 19:33

From anywhere:

start iexplore

ought to do the trick - actual path is unimportant. As long as the path exists - it'll run the executable. As a note: start firefox should work as well under a default installation.

If you want to run things without the path environment variable set - it's pretty easy to create a registry launch alias: http://commandwindows.com/runline.htm


There should be an environment variable for the Program Files directory. On my install it is %ProgramFiles%. It may be localized for a given language into whatever the equivalent phrase/word is in that language. I could imagine that the Internet Explorer folder name might be localized as well. This should handle cases where Windows is installed to a drive letter other than C:

Thus, to start Internet Explorer from the command line (for me):

"%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"

Remember the double quotes as there is a space in the command line!

  • Using variables %ProgramFiles% is a good way to avoid path mistakes also made compatible script between 32/64 os paths. Anyway start iexplore looks better.
    – m3nda
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 5:42

Here's how I use it:

iexplore "http://superuser.com/questions/113345/how-to-launch-internet-explorer-from-the-command-prompt"

Result: Opens IE and navigates to the URL.


The easy way to open internet explorer in the command prompt is by simply typing start iexplore.exe. You can also use the same method to open Chrome as well.

Don't forget to open command prompt in elevated mode.


The shortest way is to use start with exe name as 1º param.

  1. start "" iexplore // you may use start iexplore on most systems.
  2. start "" firefox
  3. start "" chrome

Yes! works.

But you have ask only about IExplorer. Following your code sample: cd \program files\mozilla firefox\ firefox

Same code with internet explorer equals to: cd \program files\internet explorer\ iexplore

When start iexplorer do not work for you, the best chance may be: "%programfiles%\internet explorer\iexplore" // you do not need to use uppercases


Depending on where your internet Explorer system folder files are located, the following opens up the yahoo main page for instance as it is:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" "http:\yahoo.com"


To force internet explorer to be used try this:

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" -new "https://www.google.com"

After several attempts, i found that you must type -new in between the iexplore and website. Hope this helps.

  • What does -new do? Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 18:43

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