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Determining the default browser from the command line

If you need to determine the default browser on a system running Microsoft Windows, you can look in the registry at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\open\command

Default browser in registry

To determine the default browser from the command line, you can use the command reg query HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\open\command /ve.

C:\>reg query HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\open\command /ve

    (Default)    REG_SZ    "C:\Program Files\Network\Web\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -osint -url "%1"

If you just wanted a true or false result for determining whether Firefox is the default browser, you could pipe the output of the reg query command to the find command as below. A result of 0 means "false", i.e., Firefox is not the default browser and a result of 1 means it is the default browser.

C:\>reg query HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\open\command /ve | find /c /i "firefox"


  1. How Does Your Browser Know that It’s Not The Default?
    Date: March 23, 2007
    The New Old Thing | Absurdity in Its Fullest

[/network/web/browser] permanent link

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