I know I can map URLs to other URLs via the host file, but can I map a URL to a local html file on my hard drive without running a local server and loading the html file through there? Something like:

C:\myTestFile.html    www.google.com

I'd like to know how to do this on both Mac and Windows.

  • Actually, you're not mapping URLs at all. You're just resolving a hostname.
    – ckhan
    Feb 26, 2013 at 15:49
  • What are you trying to do? Do you actually want to display a certain HTML page when attempting to access Google or do you just want to display a local HTML file in your browser?
    – Dennis
    Feb 26, 2013 at 15:55
  • @ckhan thx. i'm not suprised that my vocab was off on this one
    – maxedison
    Feb 26, 2013 at 16:15

2 Answers 2


No you cannot.

The hosts file is for mapping hostnames to IP addresses (and not "URLs"), especially when a DNS Server is not available or when there's a need to override entries in a DNS server.

A file has no hostname/IP address, thus, what you're asking is not possible.

If you want to read more on this subject:

  • Thanks for both answering my question and helping clear up my vocab ;)
    – maxedison
    Feb 26, 2013 at 16:14

actually you can very easily, all you have to do is start a local webserver and include your local html in said server. that way when you redirect to, your "local file" is displayed. this can be used as a parental control feature or a way of blocking certain websites on company computers

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  • The question specifically states "without running a local server". May 9, 2022 at 15:24

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