There are several ways to open a URL from a command or from within a batch file line in Windows 2000. The first and easiest method is to use the START command:


By default, if there is already a Web browser

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open that last had focus, the URL will open in that one. Note that if the URL ends in ".com," you MUST prefix it with either "www." or "http://" (if the URL doesn't begin with a WWW extension). Otherwise, the command-line interpreter will think you're trying to launch a program with the extension .COM!

You can also use the START command to alter the priority of the launched process, through one of its command line switches. Type START /? to get a complete list of the command-line parameters available for it.

Another URL-launching method is to call Internet Explorer directly (provided that's your browser). This will always open a new instance of a browser:

"C:Program FilesInternet ExplorerIEXPLORE.EXE"

The same restrictions about the URL apply here. For safety's sake, it's always best to add the "HTTP://" at the beginning of the URL.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

This was first published in July 2002

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