I noticed that if I type a URL into Windows Explorer, it will open the URL in default browser. I tried this on command line as well:

explorer.exe https://superuser.com

but I noticed that the command line version launches a new explorer.exe process. When using Windows Explorer GUI, the action is performed with the original explorer.exe process.

Is it possible to open URL from command line with explorer.exe using the existing process? I would prefer this as it seems the additional explorer.exe processes remain even after closing the browser.

  • Do you need to use explorer.exe, if you need to for some reason please explain why, because there are commands that let you open webpages in cmd other than explorer.exe – rtyocum Jul 4 '19 at 23:34

Like rtyocum said,

you can put this in a .bat file (batch).

Start iexplore www.google.com

Don't use quotation marks.

You could also create a new shortcut and paste the folowing in the target path :

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" www.google.com

Then give the shortcut a proper name e.g. google

You could also implement this in the registry under :


Win XP doesn't have this key but there are workarounds for that.

If you need explanation on how to create the registry key, ask.

| improve this answer | |

Here some workaround for URLs:

rundll32 url,OpenURL https://superuser.com
rundll32 url,FileProtocolHandler https://superuser.com

and for local files:

rundll32 url,OpenURL C:\superuser.txt
rundll32 url,FileProtocolHandler C:\superuser.txt
rundll32 shell32,ShellExec_RunDLL C:\superuser.txt


| improve this answer | |

You can use something like ”Start iexplore www.google.com” Or use the process of your browser such as chrome or firefox. You may have to point it directly to the browser executable

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To open with your default browser, just use:

start https://superuser.com/questions/1456314/open-url-with-windows-explorer
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