URLProtocolView, the latest tool from Nir Sofer, does something I've had need for on occasion but have never found a good utility for. URLProtocolView tabulates and displays all the URL protocols currently registered with your system.
Most of us are familiar with URL protocols through ftp: and http: addresses. When you click on something delineated with such an address, the proper program (typically a Web browser) is launched to deal with it. Programs can register URL protocols for pretty much anything they want. BitTorrent uses the bittorent: URL type to describe a link to a torrent file, while AOL Instant Messenger uses aim: to identify a link to an instant messenger name.
Launch URLProtocolView and you'll see a list of all the URL types currently registered with the system, their status (enabled or disabled), a friendly description of the URL type, the command line used to invoke the URL and the program name and manufacturer for the associated application.
Some of the URL types may not be familiar. For instance, WMP11.AssocProtocol.MMS is the URL handler for launching media exclusively in Windows Media Player 11. Others may vary between versions of Windows—for instance, the search-ms URL is for launching searches from the Windows Search index in Windows XP and Vista. The results (or selections from the results) can be saved as an HTML report.
Note: URLProtocolView does not yet you change any of these handlers; it only lets you see what they are. They can be disabled or re-enabled, but not edited.
Whenever Nir Sofer comes up with a new utility, it's like a Christmas present from someone who knows you well. You may not have asked for it, but you know it will be something you'll love. URLProtocolView is no exception.
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor ofWindows Insight (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of experience working with Windows, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and other TechTarget sites.
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This was first published in August 2007