You are currently offline, waiting for your internet to reconnect

How To Programmatically Launch the Default Internet Browser

This article was previously published under Q174156
SUMMARY
You can use the Windows API to start the default Internet browser on yoursystem. To do so, you must first determine what Internet browser isregistered as the default on your system, and then start that application.
MORE INFORMATION
The following Visual Basic example will launch whatever Internet browser isregistered as the default on your system. Obviously, at least one Internetbrowser must be successfully installed and set up on the system for this towork. Also, since this code is highly dependent on the application-file type associations in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT hive of the registry, this can lead to unexpected results and exceptions if the registry is damaged. File types and extensions may also be associated with applications other than the browser. For example, HTM or HTML files may be associated with web development software instead of the browser.

Note that both API functions in the following sample return a value of 32 or less on failure, but the error constants are not included in this article. Full error trapping is recommended for any production use of this technique.

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Start a new project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add a Command button to Form1. Command1 is created by default.
  3. Copy the following code into the Form's module:
           Private Const SW_SHOW = 5       ' Displays Window in its current size                                      ' and position      Private Const SW_SHOWNORMAL = 1 ' Restores Window if Minimized or                                      ' Maximized      Private Declare Function ShellExecute Lib "shell32.dll" Alias _         "ShellExecuteA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal lpOperation As _         String, ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpParameters As String, _         ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal nShowCmd As Long) As Long      Private Declare Function FindExecutable Lib "shell32.dll" Alias _         "FindExecutableA" (ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpDirectory As _         String, ByVal lpResult As String) As Long      Private Sub Command1_Click()      Dim FileName As String, Dummy As String      Dim BrowserExec As String * 255      Dim RetVal As Long      Dim FileNumber As Integer      ' First, create a known, temporary HTML file      BrowserExec = Space(255)      FileName = "C:\temphtm.HTM"      FileNumber = FreeFile                    ' Get unused file number      Open FileName For Output As #FileNumber  ' Create temp HTML file          Write #FileNumber, "<HTML> <\HTML>"  ' Output text      Close #FileNumber                        ' Close file      ' Then find the application associated with it      RetVal = FindExecutable(FileName, Dummy, BrowserExec)      BrowserExec = Trim(BrowserExec)      ' If an application is found, launch it!      If RetVal <= 32 Or IsEmpty(BrowserExec) Then ' Error          MsgBox "Could not find associated Browser", vbExclamation, _            "Browser Not Found"      Else          RetVal = ShellExecute(Me.hwnd, "open", BrowserExec, _            "www.microsoft.com", Dummy, SW_SHOWNORMAL)          If RetVal <= 32 Then        ' Error              MsgBox "Web Page not Opened", vbExclamation, "URL Failed"          End If      End If      Kill FileName                   ' delete temp HTML file      End Sub						
  4. Press the F5 key to run the project. Click on Command1 and your default Internet Browser will start.
REFERENCES
For more information, please Search on the following topics in either theWin32 Programmer's Reference or The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)Library CD-ROM:
  • ShellExecute
  • FindExecutable
IE Internet Explorer Netscape Navigator kbVBp500 kbVBp600 kbVBp kbdsd kbDSupport kbVBp400 kbVBA500 kbInternet Communicator KBWIN32SDK KBAPI
Properties

Article ID: 174156 - Last Review: 07/01/2004 21:29:00 - Revision: 2.1

  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Control Creation Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 5.0
  • kbhowto kbgrpdsvb KB174156
Feedback