How to Configure the Default Internet Browser Using Regedit in XP

by Theon Weber

Just like any other file format, Windows XP selects a particular program to open HTML files. This program is your default Internet browser--the program that runs automatically when you open a Web page. Internet browsers usually provide an option somewhere to tell Windows to use them by default, but if all else fails, you can modify Windows' behavior directly by editing the registry.


Click \"Start,\" then \"Run.\" Type \"regedit\" (without the quotes) and press \"Enter.\"


Use the left pane like a directory tree to navigate to \"HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\open\command.\"


Double-click on \"default\" in the right pane.


Change the contents of the \"value data\" field to the path of the executable for the program you want to use. For example, if you want to use Internet Explorer as your default browser, type: \"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE\" -nohome

If you want to use Firefox, type: C:\Program Files\Mozilla\FIREFOX.EXE -URL \"%1\"

Note: both of these commands must be typed exactly, including the quotation marks. Check online for precise information on path settings for your desired browser.

About the Author

Theon Weber has been a professional writer and critic since 2006, writing for the Village Voice, the Portland Mercury, and the late Blender Magazine. He was a staff writer at the Web-based Stylus Magazine from 2005 to its closure in 2007.

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