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How to Open Pinned Site Shortcuts Using Your Default Browser (Registry Hacks)

With the Pinned Sites feature introduced in Internet Explorer 9, you can add your favorite websites to the Taskbar and/or the Start menu. We’ve seen that in article IE9 Lets You Pin Website Shortcuts to the Windows 7 Taskbar. Clicking the Pinned site shortcut opens the website using Internet Explorer, regardless of which browser you’ve chosen as the default. In this post, we introduce a registry hack that lets you open Pinned site shortcuts in your default web browser 1.

Registry Edit

Download, unzip and run the enclosed REG file. Contents of the REG file are as follows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
;Registry edit to open .Website files with whatever is your default browser ;Ramesh Srinivasan, the Winhelponline Blog ;Created on May 23, 1011 ;Modifed on Feb 17, 2016 ;Works in Windows 7, 8 and 10
;The following line added so as to make this tweak work in 10

By applying this, Microsoft.Website file type (Pinned shortcuts) inherits the settings of Internet Shortcut (.URL) file type, and works the same way as .URL files when double-clicked, while retaining its Pinnable feature.

1 Additional Information

The Pinned Sites shortcuts are although similar to normal internet shortcuts (.URL file), the former can also include additional meta information such as the navigation button color, window size, Jumplist Tasks/Categories etc. These additional meta data are ignored when you use a third-party browser to open the Pinned site shortcuts, after employing the registry hack mentioned in this article.

Fig 1: Contents of a normal internet shortcut (.URL file)

Fig 2: Contents of a Pinned site shortcut (.Website)

To learn more about the meta elements supported by Pinned site shortcut, see article Pinned Sites: Windows 7 Desktop Integration with Internet Explorer 9 at the MSDN website.

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