Why do some URLs open in Internet Explorer instead of my default browser?

Julee September 4, 2010
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When I click on a link in an email, sometimes it opens in Firefox (my default browser) and sometimes in Internet Explorer. I have followed instructions from a couple of techs to stop this, but it still happens this way. Firefox is set up as default in every place I can find to set it up in. Is there a way to fix this? Thank you for your assistance.

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  1. brad dee
    March 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I have been dealing with Microsoft's propriety war games for too long. I stopped using poor Firefox because they just could not keep up with MS's bullets. We have been promised a fair choice in browser service. So...I ask you Mr. Microsoft...please tear down your walls, and give us the freedom to chose our browser.

  2. brad dee
    March 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I do not want Explorer to be my default browser to use my outlook hyperlinks, it is unfair

  3. brad dee
    March 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I do not want Explorer to be my default browser to use my outlook hyperlinks, it is unfair

  4. Anonymous
    September 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    The default browser setting can be both per-user and system-wide.

    1.The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key provides a merged view of “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareClasses” (contains default settings that can apply to all users on the local computer) and “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClasses” (contains settings that apply only to the current interactive user).
    2.The user-specific settings have priority over the default settings.
    3.If you write values to a key under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, the values will go under:
    1.HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClasses; if the key exists under HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClasses.
    2.Otherwise, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareClasses.

    Windows basically requires browsers to do the right thing to make the settings per-user basis instead of system-wide. most (if not all) browsers basically write to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT blindly, and since the protocol-association registrations do not exist under HKEY_CURRENT_USER by default, that means browsers write the settings to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE all the time. That is not only annoying and disruptive, the attempt to overwrite default browser may ultimately fail as well.

    Windows Vista introduces new way of registering default browser. It’s part of the new feature called Default Programs. It’s different to Windows XP’s SPAD (Set Program Access and Defaults) in that Default Programs is primarily controlled at the per-user level instead of per-machine level (out of the box! And does not rely on 3rd party programs to do the right thing). As part of this Default Programs, the default browser settings are now stored under “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShell AssociationsUrlAssociations[ftp|http|https]“. Windows Vista’s shell will launch a URL with an application associated with the URL’s protocol based on the value of these registry keys. Browsers that were not aware of this change broke on Vista, they were simply unable to set itself as default browser (they saw themselves as default browser although shell didn’t think so because the twos were looking at 2 different registry keys).

    Windows shell team introduced a new shell object called ApplicationAssociationRegistration to allow application registering itself as default for a particular type or protocol, as well as querying the current default. This shell object is only available on Vista, and therefore incorporating that in the code that is also targeted for previous Windows versions needs to be done with care.

    Sometime is simple as the application from which you are trying to open a url link just ignores your settings and do noy open in the default browser. For instance microsoft update will use IE

    • Aibek
      September 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      Thank for a comprehensive answer! Learned a bunch of stuff from here.

  5. Anonymous
    September 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Well sometime when one uninstalls software a web page is opened to leave comments. In my case sometime IE is opened and sometimes others, although IE is my principal. So this depends on the provided link that is set to open different web page.

    • Aibek
      September 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      I really don't see how it's possible to set the "browser variable" in the HTML code for web links. So, I don't think this has anything to do with the link.

      The "browser that opens links" is likely to be controlled by the program from which the email with link is being read i.e. Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird etc. While many software apps tend to launch default browser of the user, some software manufacturers like Microsoft often force user to use the Internet Explorer.

      • Julee
        September 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

        What is interesting is that the emails I get from Microsoft with links open in Firefox! I have clicked on other links in emails and although they will open in Firefox, the web page will tell me it will not work properly unless I use IE. Maybe it is my email program - I am using Intellect, although their forum didn't have any ideas.

        • Aibek
          September 14, 2010 at 10:32 am

          Sometimes, websites may ask users to use the Internet Explorer by saying things like the website won't work properly with other browsers. I only noticed this on Microsoft sites mostly when using Windows Update. My bank also requires me to use Internet Explorer. If the website ask you to use Internet Explorer I am afraid there is not much you can do but to use the IE for that specific site.

  6. Anonymous
    September 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm
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