Force link to open in IE when it’s not the default browser

Some sites or apps (mainly badly written ones) really only like to open properly in Internet Explorer. However, anyone with half a brain would  have ditched IE and set a better browser like FireFox, or my personal favourite, Chrome, as the default – which is great but can cause problems with your desktop shortcuts to web pages.

If you need to create a desktop shortcut to a web page that only works properly in Internet Explorer, you can force it to open in IE by doing the following:

Right click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut:

Copy and paste this in there:

“C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”

(Remember to change the URL to the one you actually want).

Then click next and then finish and there you go – a working shortcut that opens in the correct browser.

It’s no problem, don’t mention it, I love you too x


  1. Owww NICE. Thank You.. simple and fast.

  2. here on a whim says:

    Didn’t work with chrome as the default browser and trying to set the http address to an internal sharepoint site… :-(
    windows appends the “http://” to the path you provided like this:
    http://“c:/Program Files/Internet Explorer/iexplore.exe”
    after i hit apply, and try to double click the shortcut.

  3. BTW, this works in Windows 8 to force launch the desktop version of IE10 if you have it set to always open in Metro IE10. It's a good way to transition to the new clean version. Set it as the default and then only make links like these for the sites that demand ActiveX, plugins, etc.

  4. Custom protocol is also an option.

  5. Greetings, from across the pond. "Anyone with half a brain" wouldn't waste letter "U" on words like favorite and color. ;-P Just kidding. Truthfully though, you certainly shouldn't set Firefox or Chrome as your default browser either. Can't count how many times I have to open a link in IE because FF and Chrome can't render the page properly. Just makes sense to keep using IE until the rest of the world programs web pages correctly. It's 2015 and I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Have a nice day.