Is there any way to create Internet shortcut files that will work with all operating systems (including Mac, Windows, and Linux)? I often switch between Windows and Linux, and I haven't yet found a way to create an internet shortcut file (on the desktop or in a local folder) that is compatible with all operating systems.


I found a reasonable cross-platform solution. This HTML document could be used as a shortcut to stackoverflow.com, and it would immediately redirect to that site when opened from the desktop:

<script type="text/javascript">
    window.location.href = "http://stackoverflow.com"; //change this to the URL
                                                       //you want to redirect to
  • 1
    this is such a fantastically simple solution... thank you – Nick Franceschina Jan 29 '13 at 0:27
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    Why not use <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=http://example.com/"> in the <head> instead of relying on javascript? – Evan Mattson Sep 11 '14 at 0:23

Credit to Evan Mattson from the comments.

From W3C, Technique H76: Using meta refresh to create an instant client-side redirect:

The objective of this technique is to enable redirects on the client side without confusing the user. Redirects are preferably implemented on the server side (see SVR1: Implementing automatic redirects on the server side instead of on the client side (SERVER) ), but authors do not always have control over server-side technologies.

Example from the link above:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">    
    <title>The Tudors</title>      
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL='http://thetudors.example.com/'" />    
    <p>This page has moved to a <a href="http://thetudors.example.com/">

Basically, a refresh is done after zero seconds (immediately) to the specified URL, before the page content is loaded, and without JavaScript.


You can define a file named as following - MyInternetShortcut.url.

It's content should be:


This works on Windows and macOS.

  • Maybe your Linux. Opens in text editor on my Linux Mint 17.3 Mate system. – kreemoweet Feb 10 at 19:10
  • I have Linux Mint 18.3 and it doesn't work as well. I guess my memory tricked me. It does work on macOS and Windows. I will update the answer. Thank You. – Royi Feb 10 at 20:58

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