I've created other browser-specific URL shortcuts for various purposes.

My current environment requires IE remain the default browser (yup) but some sites don't work with IE, so for those I create shortcuts that call the full path to Chrome.exe and then call the desired URL. The result being that activating that shortcut opens Google Chrome and navigates to the desired web page.

Microsoft Edge stores itself in an odd "app" location and cannot be called in the same way.

So, how does one create a shortcut for a specific URL that opens this URL in Microsoft Edge when some other browser is set as default?

  • Just a note that the microsoft-edge: handler that appears in the answers below will not work if that handler has been redirected (eg: EdgeDeflector lifehacker.com/…). It will also yield a security warning in Outlook. YMMV if Edge isn't installed (eg: Apple devices). Mar 30, 2020 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


I believe you'd create a shortcut that looks like this:

%windir%\explorer.exe microsoft-edge:http://www.yoursite.com

  • Yea, I found that in a comment while re-reading a question I'd found while trying to find the question in the first place. I'll mark yours as the answer once it lets me in 10 minutes. Oct 22, 2018 at 21:39
  • superuser.com/questions/950435/… Oct 22, 2018 at 21:39
  • 1
    FWIW, it also seems like you can use the microsoft-edge: protocol in an anchor tag in a browser. Clicking <a href="microsoft-edge:https://yoursite.com">go</a> in IE will open that page in Edge, without any confirmation (at least on my system). In Chrome, you have to confirm that you want to open Edge before it'll launch.
    – jdunning
    May 10, 2019 at 22:11

While asking this question I read this comment on a related question I'd found

You can launch a site using "microsoft-edge:www.cnn.com" Or "%windir%\explorer.exe microsoft-edge:www.cnn.com" but I've found no way to add -private parameter.

So, I created a shortcut using the following Target:

%windir%\explorer.exe "microsoft-edge:https://google.com"

And this worked.

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