Saturday, March 28, 2009

IE8 makes itself the default browser in XP

So I installed IE8 and it's nice. It renders much better than the last time I looked at it and haven't had to change any pages so far. Unfortunately they haven't grown out of the childish game of making IE the default browser. If you don't use IE as your main browser, you can change it back to Firefox or whatever in the usual way using "Set Program Access and Defaults" in Control Panel -> Add Remove Programs. However, if you click on a link from e-mail after doing this you'll still get IE! To fix the problem you need to:

  1. Open any Explorer Window (e.g. My Computer).

  2. Select Tools -> Folder Options

  3. Under the file types tab, near the top there's an entry with no extension called "URL: HyperText Transfer Protocol". Select this.

  4. Click advanced, click edit and change the application to your browser.

  5. I couldn't be bothered looking up the DDE interface, so I just changed it to be the same as for the .html entry. For Firefox this just means changing the -1 to 0

  6. Ok everything and e-mail links should open properly. Notice there are a couple of other protocols beside the entry we just changed which you might want to do the same with.