How do I start the MS Edge browser on a file from C++

In WIn 7 and WIn 10, the program attached opens IE on a file on the same machine.  But I need to make it open the new  Microsoft Edge browser instead in Windows 10.  Just changing the path to Edge does not seem to work.
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Try 'ShellExecute()' ( instead of 'popen()', e.g.

void startBrowser(){		//Start IE on a file on the current machine
	char* charHtmlPath = "C:\\Users\\...\\myFile.html\"";
	FILE *theBrowser;
	string cmdToStart, htmlPath, ieOnFile, iePath, targetHtmlPath;

	//Old code that starts IE on the file. Works in Win 7 and Win 10
	iePath = "\"C:\\\\Program Files (x86)\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe\" ";

	//New code that does not work.
	//iePath = "\"C:\\\\Program Files\\WindowsApps\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge\" ";

	htmlPath = charHtmlPath;
	targetHtmlPath = "\"file:///" + htmlPath + "\"";
	ieOnFile = "\"" + iePath + targetHtmlPath;

	ShellExecute(NULL,"open",ioOnFile.c_str(),NULL,NULL,SW_SHOW); // <---

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anAppBuilderAuthor Commented:
Thank you jkr.  I'm compiling in minGW and it looks like I'm missing a library that it needs to resolve ShellExecute.  Could you please tell me what library I need to bring in?
The MSDN link above list these as



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anAppBuilderAuthor Commented:
Thank you again, jkr.  And my apologies for a slow response.  I've been reading and testing.  The openSpecificBrowser code below works for IE and Chrome, but does not open Edge, so something is still wrong.  I hope you can help.

Additional comment:
The second code snippet below opens the default browser.  It does in fact open Edge if Edge is the default, but I am asking for a way to open Edge specifically. It is based on
Sorry for the delay, was unavailable for a couple of days. Apparently it's a bit more complicated to launch Edge, see

The scoop is to

#include "windows.h"
#include <atlbase.h> 
#include <atlstr.h>

#include <Shobjidl.h>
#include "Shellapi.h"

int main()
	hr = CoInitialize(NULL);
	CComPtr<IApplicationActivationManager> activationManager;
	LPCWSTR edgeAUMID = L"Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge";
	//LPCWSTR edgeAUMID = L"Microsoft.Windows.Spartan_cw5n1h2txyewy!Microsoft.Spartan.Spartan";
	hr = CoCreateInstance(CLSID_ApplicationActivationManager, NULL, CLSCTX_INPROC_SERVER, IID_PPV_ARGS(&activationManager));
	if (SUCCEEDED(hr))
	        DWORD newProcessId;
	        hr = activationManager->ActivateApplication(edgeAUMID, L"", AO_NONE, &newProcessId);
	        std::wcout << L"Failed to launch Microsoft Edge";

        return 0;

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anAppBuilderAuthor Commented:
Thank you again, jkr.  I am using MinGW not Visual Studio so I don't automatically have the libraries referenced by these headers:
#include <atlbase.h> 
#include <atlstr.h>

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This link "" suggests downloading Windows Driver Kit Version 7.1.0. Of course that's obsolete, but when I look at the latest WDK here "", it appears that "WDK 10 is integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2015..." Changing to Visual Studio is not an option for what I'm doing.  Is the really the only way to start Edge from C++?
anAppBuilderAuthor Commented:
Thank you again, jkr.  I dug a bit more and found a good pointer here: That allowed me to get to this:
ShellExecute( 0, "open", "microsoft-edge:", NULL, "", SW_SHOWNORMAL)

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  I tested this (see code snippet below) for opening both web addresses and local files. Local files open properly, but note the format for a local file with spaces in the file path.
anAppBuilderAuthor Commented:
Thank you, jkr, for pointing me in the right direction.  And I'm very glad that there is something simpler than the Microsoft Forums solution.
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