How to NOT have a default browser in Windows for links?

Hi Experts!

A mate of mine brought up something that I thought was a top idea and an option that I wouldn't mind having myself.

On my Windows 10 Pro install, I have five browsers installed - Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Avast Safezone Browser.

Is there a way (or plugin) available for a Windows based OS to "not" default to a specific (default) browser, but be asked which browser you want a hyperlink (say in an email) to open in?

I'd find this handy at times. I'm told it's available on Android devices via an app called "Better open with" or similar.

Must be something similar available for us poor Windows users?  :)

Your suggestions, please?

Regards, Andrew
LVL 19
Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Go to Windows 10 Default Apps and for browser, choose Look for App in Store. I think this may allow you to "Open With"
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Hi John,

Go to Windows 10 Default Apps and for browser, choose Look for App in Store. I think this may allow you to "Open With"
Thanks for the suggestion, but following your instructions I just get the following screen;

<Embedded Graphic Removed>

Which App exactly are you saying will allow me to "Open with" a different browser?
Apps.png
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You would have to right click on the link which may allow Open With.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
You would have to right click on the link which may allow Open With.
Nope, that doesn't work either. See below.

Right Click a Link
Any other ideas?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I should have looked first about the right click. So if that doesn't work, you are going to have to pick a default browser. I looked for a while to have no default and such capability does not appear to exist, at least not natively.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
I looked for a while to have no default and such capability does not appear to exist, at least not natively.
Hence my question :-)

Seems like something that "should" be possible to me. If an Android can do it, there's gotta be something for us Windows slobs too?

Cheers...
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Android is Linux and Windows is not so there may be some third party tool. I looked briefly, but since I have no need, nothing leaped out at me. Sorry.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Android is Linux and Windows is not so there may be some third party tool.
Yep, per my question text...

"I'm told it's available on Android devices via an app called "Better open with" or similar."

Looking for something similar for a Windows OS.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I spent 5 minutes or so with Google on Default Browser and there is no article to turn it off. I looked briefly in the registry as well.

So I am out of options at this point.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
So I am out of options at this point.

Thanks for trying John.

Anyone else got any ideas?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Here are the registry settings for Default Apps. I am not going to change these to test so I have no idea whether it might work.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32354861/how-to-find-the-default-browser-via-the-registry-on-windows-10
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Hi John,

Good link, but I'm not game to screw with those registry settings either unless I'm told to by someone who knows what they're doing better than I do. I may do later it in a VM as an experiment as the last resort, but for now, I'd prefer seeing if anyone has a verified solution I could follow :)

Cheers...
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CoralonCommented:
Probably the easiest thing to do  (easy being a *relative* term), would be to create a script (vbscript, powershell, etc.) that would accept a URL as a parameter, and then by policy switch your "default" browser links to use that script.  Then your script would present some form of UI that would allow too select which browser to use.  

The challenges:
1. Identify the browsers you have.
2. Identify what switches/command line parameters you would need to open them.
3. You will need to deal with the fact that every clicked link will likely prompt you for a browser.
4. If 3 ends up being an issue.. it could get to the extent of being a *very* serious issue to the point of being unusable.. (just thinking through it.. it's not a guarantee it will.. just a possibility).

Coralon
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Hi Coralon,

Easier being a "relative" term is right! lol

So in other words, code my own app or plugin? I'm no coder though.

I'm hoping someone knows of an "off the shelf" type solution that I wasn't aware of or haven't been able to find. It's quite possible that what I want isn't available, but I'll give it some time and maybe someone else may know of an "easier" way :)

Cheers...
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CoralonCommented:
Here is a possibility: https://github.com/zumoshi/BrowserSelect

I'm not really finding anything else very similar... :-\

Coralon
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Here is a possibility: https://github.com/zumoshi/BrowserSelect

That's one step closer than what I've been able to find Coralon!

Very nice find, I'll look into that one. Looks quite promising.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Coralon, that was *exactly* what I've been looking for.

Misses a couple of features that I'd like, but it looks like the author on GitHub is quite active so will communicate directly with him.

Excellent find!  Thank you for your help.

Regards, Andrew
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McKnifeCommented:
Without using additional tools, you can configure all browser related file types in control panel. Might seem clumsy when compared to what external tools do.
Capture.PNG
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Good that you found something useful.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorAuthor Commented:
Hi McKnife,

Thank you for your input - always appreciated. However, I don't see how that could possibly work?  

How would your suggested method allow a "selection of browser" at the time of opening of a link, without changing all the default apps by protocol or file type each time a link was needed to be opened?

Seems to me that it would be "far" simpler to copy the link to clipboard, open the desired browser and paste, which is what I wanted to avoid having to do.

Perhaps I've not understood something?

Best...

Andrew
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McKnifeCommented:
Hmm, ít seems I was mistaken. Sure, you could set URLs to open with whatever browser using the internal file/protocol association mechanisms, but you wanted to have the choice each time you clicked on a link, right? Ok, no, then my suggestion does not apply :-)
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