How can I open a URL in Google Chrome from the terminal in OS X?

This is what I'm trying:

/usr/bin/open -a "/Applications/Google Chrome.app" --args 'http://google.com/'

It focuses Chrome but does not open the URL.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 25 '11 at 12:59

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • why do you reference the open programm by it's path? It's aliased by default! – nimrod May 11 '13 at 4:31

If you remove the --args it seems to work fine, since --args can only affect things on first launch (it changes what main gets called with)

  • weird. seems like i used to have to use them. thanks. – cwd Oct 18 '11 at 4:48
  • thanks for explaining the --args behaviour – ptim Apr 12 '15 at 7:19

Actually for me, the command is not working with the "--args" being present so the command working for me is

/usr/bin/open -a "/Applications/Google Chrome.app" 'http://google.com/'

OS X version: 10.6.8


If you set Google Chrome as your default browser

open http://google.com/

will just do the trick.

OS X version: 10.8.4

  • OS X 10.10 Yosemite as well. – leymannx Jun 17 '15 at 9:28
  • This only works if google chrome is your default browser. If you're using safari, firefox or another option but want to open the URL with chrome you'll need one of the other options. – tgf Mar 17 '16 at 2:32
  • 1
    good answer, now how do I do this in a new Chrome window? – chharvey May 13 '16 at 2:31

You can use

open -a "Google Chrome" index.html

or, to put it in a shell script (e.g. ~/bin/chrome)

  • edit the file ~/bin/chrome, and put the following in it

    open -a "Google Chrome" "$*"

  • make the file executable by running the following in a terminal

    chmod 700 ~/bin/chrome

  • then run the following to open a file in chrome from the terminal

    chrome /path/to/some/file

Pulled from here

  • function chrome(){ open -a "Google Chrome" "$*" } – Joel AZEMAR Jul 1 '15 at 7:40

I've an alias for google

function google() { open /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app/ "http://www.google.com/search?q= $1"; }
  • that's a great idea :) – nimrod May 11 '13 at 4:30
  • for zsh: chrome() { open -a "Google Chrome" "http://www.google.com/search?q=$1"; } – nbari Jun 17 '15 at 10:02

Get rid of the --args. open already knows how to handle URLs.


this is my method.

  1. Update ~/.bash_profile and add the chrome function below:

    function chrome(){ 
        local site=""
        if [[ -f "$(pwd)/$1" ]]; then
        elif [[ "$1" =~ "^http" ]]; then
        /usr/bin/open -a "/Applications/Google Chrome.app" "$site"; 
  2. Load ~/.bash_profile:
    source ~/.bash_profile

  3. Lunch chrome and open a site:
    chrome www.google.com

  4. Open a local site:
    chrome LOCAL_SITE_PATH


In macos Sierra 10.12.6 .If chrome is your default browser. You can do this by
open index.html


There are several helpful answers here but none that contain the complete info for opening a URL in Chrome in both cases whether it is or is not the default browser.

  1. Open a URL in the default browser (could be Chrome):

    open http://www.example.com
  2. Open a URL in Chrome always (using the app name):

    open -a "Google Chrome" http://www.example.com
  3. Open a URL in Chrome always (using the app path alternative syntax):

    open -a /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app/ http://example.com
  4. Open a URL in Chrome always (using the bundle identifier alternative syntax):

    open -b com.google.chrome http://www.example.com
  5. Open a URL in Chrome in an incognito window always:

    From man open, it would seem that you should be able to do it like this (but alas it does not seem to get the incognito option to Chrome):

    open -a "Google Chrome" http://example.com/ --args --incognito

    However, you can do it by passing the Chrome command line switches directly to the Chrome binary:

    /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS/Google\ Chrome --incognito http://example.com

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.