Pin Websites To Windows 8 Start Screen To Open In Specific Browser

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This tutorial explains how to pin websites on Start Screen of Windows 8 to open with a specific browser. For example, you can pin a website to open with Google Chrome, another website to open with Firefox, and a third website to open with IE. Whenever you click on Pins of those websites, they will open in the browser that you have configured, irrespective of the default browser on your PC. The process is pretty easy and does not even requires you to install any software.

Pin Websites-Start Screen

Earlier, we did a tutorial that lets you pin website to the start using Internet Explorer. The challenge with such pinned websites is that they always open with your default browser. In this tutorial we are going to remove that restriction and make a pinned website always open in the browser of our choice.

How to Pin Websites in Windows 8 Start Screen To Open with Specific Browser:

Step 1: First we need to create a desktop shortcut for the website to open in specific browser. For that, you need to know the path of the .exe file of the browser in which you want the website to open. You can easily find that by just going to shortcut of that browser (on desktop or even Start menu), right click on it, choose Properties, go to “Shortcut” tab and then copy everything you see in “Target” box. This is the path where the .exe file for your browser is located.

Pin Websites-Browser Path

Step 2: Now, go to Desktop, right click anywhere and choose New > Shortcut. In the window that comes up, paste the path of the .exe file of the browser that we copied in Step 1 above. Make sure you surround that with double quotes. Now, after that path, add the complete URL of the website that you want to open in that browser (the website name should also be enclosed in double quotes, and there should be a space between browser path and website name). Click on Next.

Pin Websites-Add Browser Path with URL of website

Step 3: Next window will prompt you to provide a name for the shortcut. Give any name that you want (you can change it later as well). Click on “Finish”.

Pin Websites-Add Name

Step 4: Now, we have a shortcut on desktop for our website that should open in the browser that we wanted. Before we proceed further, it will be a good idea to test this shortcut. Just double click on it and see that it does opens that website in specified browser. If it works fine (it should), then proceed further. If not, read steps mentioned above again to see what did you miss (double check the path of .exe file; that is the place where most errors happen).

Pin Websites-Shortcut

Step 5: Now we need to somehow pin this desktop shortcut to Start Screen of our Windows 8. For that, we need to copy it to “Programs” folder of Windows 8. By default, this folder would be hidden. To unhide it, go to Windows 8 Search and type “show hidden files and folders”. In the window that opens up, choose the radio button that say “Show hidden, files, folders, and drives”. Then click on “OK”.

Pin Websites-Show hidden folders


After that, navigate to Programs folder at following path:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Step 6: Now, go back to the shortcut that we created on desktop and move / copy that shortcut to Programs folder.

Pin Websites-Move shortcut

Step 7: In the Programs folder, right click on that shortcut and choose option of “Pin to Start”. This will Pin that shortcut to Start Screen of Windows 8.

Pin Websites-Pin To Start

That’s it. Now, go to the Start Screen and you should see that Pinned website there.

Start Output

To see that everything works fine, click on that Tile to see that it opens the website in the browser that you specified, irrespective of your default browser.

Pretty cool, right?

Follow the same process to create as many website shortcuts you want and force them to open in any browser you want. This process would work with all the common browsers (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera).

Do you know of any other way to achieve the same? Let me know in comments below.

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