I want to create a shortcut that opens links from the clipboard.

I frequently switch browsers and it's very annoying to copy/paste hundreds of URLs from one to another.

I have created a shortcut to launch a page on each browser - but how can I make the URL field include data from clipboard, so that when I copy a URL and click on the shortcut, it will direct to the URL that is currently on the clipboard.

If this is not possible, then is there an AutoHotKey script or something similar that can accomplish this?

I would prefer a Desktop shortcut, but whatever works.

3 Answers 3


Surprisingly I found that IE9+ has this built-in:


In Firefox you can simply Paste & Go in the address bar (don't think there's any shortcut assigned to it).

I'm sure there are plenty of extensions for FF, Chrome and other browsers to open URLs directly from the clipboard.

If you want to stick with desktop shortcuts, here's something that might help. Get NirCmd, then modify your shortcuts such that they launch NirCmd first and it in turn opens the specified browser with the URL from the clipboard:


As the names state the shortcut on the left will launch IE with the URL currently in the clipboard, and the one on the right will do the same with FF. These are generic shortcuts that don't need to be modified every time.

The full Target lines from the screenshot are:

I:\nircmd.exe exec max "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" ~$clipboard$
I:\nircmd.exe exec max "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" ~$clipboard$

Modify as required, obviously. See the NirCmd help file for many more useful commands, variable names (such as "~$clipboard$") and the like. You could, for example, create a batch file that uses NirCmd to read a list of URLs from a text file and copy each one to the clipboard, or launch different browsers with each one and so on.


Following AHK script will launch default browser with clipboard URL on Ctrl+Shift+c(opens a new tab if the browser is already running).

Sleep 50
Run, %clipboard%

The script can be customized to open any browser by editing Run command.

Run "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" %clipboard%

For even more fun, you can have combinations of keys to open the link in new tab or in any browser just by clicking on it while holding a specified key.
Say, holding iand clicking on link Opens Link in IE.
Similarly cand clicking on link - for Chrome etc.


First of all, let me declare that I am a noob AHK coder. I came here looking for a quick answer and Teqchiqe's code didn't work for me. Moreover, he or she seems to be inactive on SO. In case anyone might find it useful, here is my simple code that seems to work.

This script copies whatever is currently highlighted to the clipboard and attempts to open that in the default browser. If the highlighted item is a URL all well and good it should open. If it's just a sequence of character such as a search term then the AHK thread will croak but AHK itself will persist. Try it, you'll see what I mean. It's not that bad.

clipboard =  
Send ^c
Run, %clipboard%

It's quite possible that the choice of #u for activating this script was ill-advised; however, it fits with others I'm using. (Just beware.)

clipboard = empties the clipboard so that AHK will notice when its contents become available. Send ^c copies whatever is highlighted to the clipboard. ClipWait pauses the script until the contents of the clipboard stabilise. Run, %clipboard% opens the default browser, if necessary, and then sends the contents of the clipboard off to it.

Use it in good health.

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