Internet Shortcuts in Windows Explorer do not open browser, but open the Printer window

XP Professional SP3  (fully updated)

Windows Explorer problem : Internet Links don't react as expected to double click

When I double click any internet shortcut, the result is that the window "PRINT" opens (instead of opening a browser showing the referenced webpage).
Changing to another "standard" browser does not help. This issue does affect ALL internet links (in Windows Explorer) not only those which are stored in Favorites.

Furthermore, in the context menu (Right Button Menu) of Windows Explorer ...
- the  option Print is bolded and on top of menu
- there is no option named "Open with...'"


When using browser Firefox, there is an add-on named "Plain Old Favorites" which allows user to acces the genuine folder Favorites and its sub-folders.  Surprisingly, when clicking the same internet shortcuts, accessed from within Firefox, they open the expected webpage without problem (and do not acces the Print window).
 
I had the same problem a long time ago, but can't remember how it was fixed.
My best guess is that somewhere in registry, there is an issue with some key "Explorer shell".

Any help is very welcome . Thank you

(How can we add screenshots here ?)
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Hi,

 

 

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Community Forums. I understand that when you try to open the browser through Internet shortcut in Windows Explorer it opens the printer Window.

 

 

Follow the methods for troubleshooting steps.

 

 

Method 1:

 

 

I suggest you to run the fix it.

 

 

Refer to the link to run the fix it.

 

 

Fix broken desktop shortcuts and common system maintenance tasks.

 

 

http://support.microsoft.com/mats/system_maintenance_for_windows/en-us

 

 

Method 2:

 

 

I suggest you to refer to the link and performing the troubleshooting steps from the link.

 

 

When you run an .exe file on a Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7-based computer, the file may start a different program.

 

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950505

 

 

Disclaimer:

 

 

Important this section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

 

 

322756 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ )

 

 

How to back up and restore the registry in Windows.

 

 

To add screen shot I suggest you to refer to the link.

 

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-security/how-do-i-post-a-screen-shot-on-this-forum/c86de820-c620-401c-a804-9f6337cd3053

 

 

If the issue still persists after performing the above troubleshooting steps and if you have issues related to Windows please feel free to reply us we will be happy to help you.

 

 

Thank you.

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Thank you very much for your efforts to suggest several solutions to the situation which was encountered two days ago (March 14). Actually, I must tell the whole story, starting from the beginning , to get the big picture and because the situation changed meanwhile.  (My apologies !)
 
The above described situation resulted AFTER my attempt to remove program AvantBrowser "COMPLETELY" from the system. While AvantBrowser was installed, all internet shortcuts in Explorer were always opening  AvantBrowser, whatever settings made to indicate to the system that Firefox should be the standard browser.

Despite Firefox being actually the standard browser,,  AvantBrowser still was remaining the only boss over my Favorites internet shortcuts  ! So, when removing AvantBrowser, I used REVO UNINSTALLER, which is capable to remove also the  "left-overs" in Windows registry. (Never had any problem with that feature).

After removal of AB, I checked the registry to verify if some entries in registry remained pointing to AvantBrowser, (despite Revo Installer detects most left-over entries in the whole registry.
I still found several keys values pointing to that removed browser, even more than I feared to find.
So I became desperate to get rid of anything which still was pointing to AvantBrowser.
Probably I was over-enthousiastic when removing manually every last bits.

That action most probably caused the situation described in the topic start : no browser opening anymore, but the opening of "Print" window !

Yesterday I lost a full day trying to find the best strategy. I had not discovered the given suggestions yet.

Today, I made a system restore to an earlier rescue point, resulting in AvantBrowser (being again considered as installed) still being again the boss when it comes to open internet shortcuts in Explorer's Favorites. However, this "installation" made by rescue point, is now disturbed (visual interface and functionnality)

In Windows Explorer clicking right mouse on an internet shortcut , the context menu shows :
- On top : Avant Browser (in bold)
- In second : Print (not bold)

However Firefox clearly declares that it is now the standard browser !
Chrome also confirms that it is NOT the standard browser !
Windows XP clear tells me that Internet Explorer is NOT the default browser.

So, I will now uninstall AB again, but in the smooth classical manner of Windows XP (Control Panel / Add-Remove Programs) being aware that some left-overs pointing to AvantBrowser will be left in registry, which I don't like. But I will not touch them this time.

We will see how the new situation will be after that.....

After removing Avant Browser (the smooth way via normal Add/remove in Control Panel) I'm back again in the same situation where I was .... Internet Shortcuts in Explorer are not opening any browser, but the window "Print".

Somehow I must now tell Windows Explorer how to open an Internet shortcut.
I will start with the suggestions received !

 

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Method 1 :

This method is a FIXIT which is (as I understand from a message that appears on screen)  not supported by my operating system. (This is Windows XP professional)
http://support.microsoft.com/mats/system_maintenance_for_windows/en-us

It is surprising because I have alreay used FIXIT before on this system !
I downloaded the "Portable Fixit" tools, but I couldn't find a suitable one to try.



Method 2 :

As I understand following quote from the 'Method 2 - webpage'
the manual registry operation concerns typically 'exe' only.
I'm not affraid to operate in Regedit, but in this specific case, there is no problem with executables.

The problem is situated in the fact that internet links are not activating any browser at all.
I think it has nothing to do with .exe (which does not cause problems)   

[quote ] Windows XP
  1. Click Start, then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type explorer and then click OK.
  3. Navigate to the Windows directory (e.g. a typical path may be C:\Windows) and locate regedit.exe.
  4. Right-click on regedit.exe and select Run as. Uncheck "Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity" and click OK.
  5. Using Regedit, locate and then click on the following registry key:
    HKeyCurrentUser\Software\Classes
  6. On the left panel, right-click on the following registry subkey: '.exe'
  7. Select Delete and then click OK.
  8. On the left panel, right-click on the following registry subkey:
    'secfile'
  9. Select Delete and then click OK.
  10. Close Registry Editor. [/quote]

If you wish I can export the registry keys which you might suspect causing the problem, to copy them  here on the forum ?

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Hi,

 

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

 

I suggest you to run SFC (System File Checker) scan.

 

 

Refer to the link to run SFC scan.

 

 

System File Checker (sfc).

 

 

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/system_file_checker.mspx?mfr=true

 

 

If the issue still persists after performing the above troubleshooting step and if you have issues related to Windows please feel free to reply us we will be happy to help you.

 

 

Thank you.

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Thank you.

To make a long story short : I was able to fix the problem (before the advice received on March 24 above) but don't ask me to locate where the fault was.

Among several operations, after uninstalling all browsers except IE8, it became automatically the standard browser, I reinstalled Chrome and Firefox. I did not re-install AvantBrowser.
Despite AvantBrowser always had very nice user interface options, I will not install it again.

Everything came back to normal. Since it was a case of "wait and see" , to watch stabilty in the situation, I waited until today to report.  Today I can confirm stable situation and normal operation.

Firefox is now again the 'standard' browser.
Any internet link will open it as expected and will not open AB anymore, neither the 'Print' window. 


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Last updated May 19, 2020 Views 740 Applies to: