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Google Chrome as System Default Browser

icebird - March 22, 2010 - 9:30am
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Hello,

I have set Portable Google Chrome as my system default browser. This works great for clicking links in other non-browser applications, however the issue I am seeing is: Chrome comes up from an external click in a new window without any extensions, settings, or browser history from the normal portable setup.

I believe what is happening is Windows sends the URLs to the main chrome.exe instead of GoogleChromePortable.exe and so it doesn't look in the portable location for my user profile & settings.


( categories: )

Don't Do That

Whenever you set a portable app as default, you're actually setting the standard app inside the portable app as the default. So, unless it is already running, it's just launcher chrome directly and setting up a local set of preferences for it. Setting as default is not supported.

You can manually set GoogleChromePortable.exe as your default browser. There are various tools from 3rd parties to do that.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

GoogleChromePortable.exe as default browser

Can you recommend a particular 3rd party tool that might work with Win7, and would allow me to set GoogleChromePortable.exe as the default browser?

Anyone please? Ho can I set

Anyone please? Ho can I set GoogleChromePortable.exe as the default browser?

You can change it in the

You can change it in the registry if you're comfortable with that.

http://newoldthing.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/how-does-your-browsers-know-...

Thanks. Does that work with

Thanks. Does that work with Windows 7 as well?

At the bottom of that post he

At the bottom of that post he addresses the registry location in Windows Vista (and presumably Win7 also).

Registry key (Win7)

For me on Win7 worked changing content of this registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromeHTML\shell\open\command from "GoogleChromePortable\App\Chrome-bin\chrome.exe" to: "GoogleChromePortable\GoogleChromePortable.exe". Works perfect wherever I click any URL in the system

Thanks, but how did you get

Thanks, but how did you get the "GoogleChromePortable\App\Chrome-bin\chrome.exe" key to show up in the registry in the first place? After all, no PortableApps applications should show up in the registry...

use keyboard

when you want enter something to the registry.
Create the key if it is not present.

If you don't know how to create a key, how to edit a key etc, then don't do hacks which are not supposed to be done anyway, since changes to registry are done immediately and if you break your system, you might have a bigger problem.
Inform yourself first well what consequences will the setting of the portable version as default. I would advise you not to attempt to do this and use local properly installed version instead for such things.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Thanks. Surely, this is not I

Thanks. Surely, this is not what I was referring to when asking about how he ended up having the entry in the registry. Of course that one can actually put it in there manually, though my assumption was that his entry showed up automatically--hence not manually. Again, I am asking how that entry showed up provided he did not put it there manually himself. I'd be curious how that happened.

probably many ways

to confuse your registry. You can run some update directly and via the pa installer and you might have the mess ready for example. And if later have problems in installing Chrome to your PC at all, then don't complain.

the guy here was probably trying this and that and is now in troubles:

http://portableapps.com/node/26295

OK, I have no real idea why this all happends, Chrome is a development building site so far, so one can not find out what is right, but I simply assume some update directly from the Chrome can cause big confusion.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

There is no reason to use

There is no reason to use Google Chrome Portable on only one machine. The normal Google Chrome installs and runs just fine without administrative rights, so if you are using Google Chrome Portable just for one machine you really don't need to... normal Chrome would be easier.

Signature automatically removed for being too awesome.

A good reason to use portable apps on a single computer

On the contrary, I have a very good reason to use portable apps on only one computer.
I use Chrome Portable (for example) on my work laptop because I want to be able to maintain my settings if I ever have to swap to a new computer.

I have already validated this view when my previous work laptop started malfunctioning a few months after I started my job, and I had to switch to a different computer.
I was easily able to copy all of my portable apps across to the new computer (including Chrome Portable).
By contrast, I had installed Firefox locally purely because I wanted to set it as the default browser, and so I was unable to copy it across.

This really does need to be

This really does need to be addressed, with a standalone app/fix or something.

It's not broken

There's nothing to "fix", it works that way by design. Windows stores its default browser information in the registry. You could write a launcher program that modifies and deletes these entries on the fly but I believe the entries vary by browser so you have to hard-code the registry entries for each browser you want to support.

I suppose it depends how you use your portable apps as to how critical it is. I actually use my portable apps as desktop apps, so it is actually a bit annoying to not be able to set a portable default but I live with it. In my case, I associate HTML files with the portable browser launcher and that works okay in most instances.

If you use your apps portably then I can't see why you'd want to bother setting the default browser if you're potentially never at the same PC twice.

Interesting! How do you go

Interesting! How do you go about associating HTML files with portable Chrome in Win7 please?

Expresso

I see you already found your answer elsewhere. Expresso is the portable way to do it, otherwise if you don't care about leaving traces then just set up a regular file association. (You'll have to Google that as it's slightly different depending on what version of Windows you're on.)

Doesn't help

Thank you, but, so far, eXpresso's not ready, although it looks very promising. As for associating files with browsers in the "regular way," things are not that simple in Win7. (I wouldn't dare asking you how you did it unless I did my homework first Smiling ) I tried, e.g., associating .htm, .html and .url files in the "usual way" with GoogleChromePortable.exe, but all it does is to open them as text files(!), which, obviously, is not what I am after.

Again, if you happen to know how to do this association in Win7 (x64), I (and many others) would appreciate some advice. Better yet, if you happen to know how we can set Chrome Portable as default browser (that is, w/o resorting to registry hacks and whatnot), that would be awesome.

It's impossible to not use

It's impossible to not use the registry to set the default browser. That is where the default browser is stored. It's part of the operating system. The only solution would be a PortableApps launcher style application that inserts the necessary registry entries upon startup and then removes them when you're done.

I have XP, I haven't tried setting HTML file associations with Win7 but I will some time.

as Darkbee said

the only place such things are defines is in the regsitry. Windows looks for those information there and if it finds it it will try to follow the rules set there. It needs to be done so, in order **all** apps under windows will behave same way and will find the information and will start the same app to show html etc.

Making portable browser to default one, is serious hack to the windows and further more there is no reason for such hack. The system of your windows is then in a strange condition, think about it: what does happen when you after such hack remove the portable chrome? It will search for something and will not find the right components. So why to do it.

And otherwise: search for app called browserchanger or browserchoooser or so

but dont comlain if all is screwed up then

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Yep, there's a longer story

Yep, there's a longer story as why one would want to designate a PortableApps browser as the default Windows browser. This goes hand in hand with the idea that PortableApps, while a nice little application for emergency situations, could develop nicely into something akin to a full-blown portable operating system--i.e. residing in the cloud. This would escalate its status considerably, at a very small developing cost. Briefly, with the advent of cloud-syncing applications (Dropbox etc.), it makes the utmost sense to put your PortableApps folder in Dropbox, and hence have it automatically available on every Dropbox-synced computer you may come across. Now, I know that this is not something PortableApps has been designed to achieve, however it wouldn't hurt to have PortableApps devs. open themselves to this type of usage scenario--unless, of course, they are allergic to any idea of progress. It certainly doesn't hurt to think outside the box a little. I've been running it this way ever since Dropbox came about, and I can tell ya that it's mighty awesome. With minor coding effort, PortableApps devs. could officially open the doors to such revolutionary use of their application. Surely enough, whoever doesn't want to use PortableApps in this way, they shouldn't thus use it: it's all about providing a choice. This would win the hearts of those who:

1. think that running PortableApps from a USB dongle is excruciatingly slow;
2. simply do not want to install stuff on their Windows PCs, given the awful quality of software these days, which, once installed, could easily screw up your computer;
3. have to administer multiple computers, and installing the same SW on more than 3 PCs is a complete drag.

Feel free to think of many other such revolutionary use scenarios. I only listed these three off the top o'my head.

it is rather about windows

windows is so far not designed for this, it has less to do with the apps itself.
If you take half of the windows functionality and transfer it to some other place, windows, as operating system on a PC, without any server supporting it, will not cope with it. Computers which do run parts or whole operating system or big apps from external position do exist, but the mechanism here is run by advanced network system.
Such network system will then provide all essential parts on boot and will then load all variables from the external position too.
The situation is in fact achieved, as you suggest, in similar way as portable apps work to some extend. The VMware company is using the thinapp software to portabilize big apps, place them on a server and load them on demand to the user terminals. Solving the problem of multiple installs etc, simply having one sigle copy of the app to be maintained and thats it.
But such terminals may, or may not even run windows as operating system, they do not run linux nor any macos, simply nothing we all know. They can have small proprietary OS and load even the whole 'big' OS from the server on demand. (thin clients)

So it simply does not work from any computer, it is a server - client set up. If you just have a computer running on its own, and you set it up to simply work with something from the cloud only, it will work this way from now. So yes, sure you could tell windows that the file msvcrt.dll is placed on server on the other side of the world and it should go and fetch it there. It might do it, but what if the connection is not there? Will the screen stay dark or what?

So it is so far not possible to prepare every computer you visit in such way, this may be some time in future, but current workstation operating systems simply do not support such things. They need to run self contained in first place. I mean computers at home, in small offices etc. You can leave windows without any file association, but it is not fun for the user, we got used to the luxury that certain data files will open certain app. If you steal that app, windows runs against a wall.

So yes, you can prepare one single computer running generic windows OS so, that it is forced to fetch certain functions from external position, but either you have to provide an alternate setup automatically for the case that the external source is not available or make sure that the source is here all the time. This is often so in big company networks today. But means modifying your operating system from a stand alone OS to a client OS, this is what it is about all.
But you can not have a setup allowing you to have it from any computer you visit at the moment. But: OS authors of all flavors do work on that sure.

Dropbox is nice toy, but it is not doing any magic. It is only a storage place and sync software. Running an app like FF from there is certainly not faster then from the stick directly. For dropbox operation, the app will be downloaded, run locally and then synched back to dropbox. This is when you come to friends computer, cyber cafe etc. At home, yes you have the app here and when you finish your work it is synched there, but it does not run from there, it runs from your hard drive. Same as real cloud systems from VMware: they take loooong time to boot and looooong time to shut down, means drag all they need from remote server on start and place it all back at the end.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Solution (Windows 7)

1) chrome.reg:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\RegisteredApplications]
"Chrome Portable"="Software\\Clients\\StartMenuInternet\\GoogleChromePortable\\Capabilities"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities]
"ApplicationName"="Google Chrome Portable"
"ApplicationDescription"="Google Chrome Portable is a web browser that runs web pages and applications with lightning speed. It's designed to be simple and stylish. It's packaged as a portable app, so you can take your browsing experience with you."
"ApplicationIcon"="\"D:\\Softwares\\Portable\\Extracted\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"
"Hidden"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities\FileAssociations]
".htm"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".html"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".shtml"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".xht"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".xhtml"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities\StartMenu]
"StartMenuInternet"="GoogleChromePortable"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities\URLAssociations]
"http"="GoogleChromePortableURL"
"https"="GoogleChromePortableURL"
"ftp"="GoogleChromePortableURL"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable]
"LocalizedString"="Google Chrome Portable"
""="Google Chrome Portable"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\DefaultIcon]
""="\"D:\\Softwares\\Portable\\Extracted\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\shell\open\command]
""="\"D:\\Softwares\\Portable\\Extracted\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\shell\properties\command]
""="\"D:\\Softwares\\Portable\\Extracted\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\" -preferences"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL]
""="Google Chrome Portable URL"
"URL Protocol"=""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL\DefaultIcon]
""=hex(2):22,00,44,00,3A,00,5C,00,53,00,6F,00,66,00,74,00,77,00,61,00,72,00,\
65,00,73,00,5C,00,50,00,6F,00,72,00,74,00,61,00,62,00,6C,00,65,00,5C,00,45,\
00,78,00,74,00,72,00,61,00,63,00,74,00,65,00,64,00,5C,00,47,00,6F,00,6F,00,\
67,00,6C,00,65,00,43,00,68,00,72,00,6F,00,6D,00,65,00,50,00,6F,00,72,00,74,\
00,61,00,62,00,6C,00,65,00,5C,00,47,00,6F,00,6F,00,67,00,6C,00,65,00,43,00,\
68,00,72,00,6F,00,6D,00,65,00,50,00,6F,00,72,00,74,00,61,00,62,00,6C,00,65,\
00,2E,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,22,00,2C,00,30,00,00,00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL\shell\open\command]
""=hex(2):22,00,44,00,3A,00,5C,00,53,00,6F,00,66,00,74,00,77,00,61,00,72,00,\
65,00,73,00,5C,00,50,00,6F,00,72,00,74,00,61,00,62,00,6C,00,65,00,5C,00,45,\
00,78,00,74,00,72,00,61,00,63,00,74,00,65,00,64,00,5C,00,47,00,6F,00,6F,00,\
67,00,6C,00,65,00,43,00,68,00,72,00,6F,00,6D,00,65,00,50,00,6F,00,72,00,74,\
00,61,00,62,00,6C,00,65,00,5C,00,47,00,6F,00,6F,00,67,00,6C,00,65,00,43,00,\
68,00,72,00,6F,00,6D,00,65,00,50,00,6F,00,72,00,74,00,61,00,62,00,6C,00,65,\
00,2E,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,22,00,20,00,2D,00,75,00,72,00,6C,00,20,00,22,00,\
25,00,31,00,22,00,00,00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableHTML]
""="Google Chrome HTML"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableHTML\DefaultIcon]
""="\"D:\\Softwares\\Portable\\Extracted\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableHTML\shell\open\command]
""="\"D:\\Softwares\\Portable\\Extracted\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\" -url \"%1\""

2) Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Google Chrome Portable -> Set this program as default.

Tá feita a cagada!

Mimimi... A app não pode mexer no registro... mimimi...

Slight update

I tried the above registry update to make Chrome Portable the default browser, but it has one slight issue with it. Assuming your location of Chrome Portable is different than the one included in the previous post, you should use the following registry instead.

The only difference is it uses the string instead of hex value for the following values, which means they'll be picked up in the find/replace of your location(just make sure to include the double slashes "\\" in your path).

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL\DefaultIcon]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL\shell\open\command]

Also, don't forget to go to Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Google Chrome Portable -> Set this program as default after executing this registry and Chrome Portable should work as your default browser without issue.

chrome.reg
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\RegisteredApplications]
"Chrome Portable"="Software\\Clients\\StartMenuInternet\\GoogleChromePortable\\Capabilities"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities]
"ApplicationName"="Google Chrome Portable"
"ApplicationDescription"="Google Chrome Portable is a web browser that runs web pages and applications with lightning speed. It's designed to be simple and stylish. It's packaged as a portable app, so you can take your browsing experience with you."
"ApplicationIcon"="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"
"Hidden"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities\FileAssociations]
".htm"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".html"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".shtml"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".xht"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"
".xhtml"="GoogleChromePortableHTML"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities\StartMenu]
"StartMenuInternet"="GoogleChromePortable"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\Capabilities\URLAssociations]
"http"="GoogleChromePortableURL"
"https"="GoogleChromePortableURL"
"ftp"="GoogleChromePortableURL"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable]
"LocalizedString"="Google Chrome Portable"
""="Google Chrome Portable"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\DefaultIcon]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\shell\open\command]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\GoogleChromePortable\shell\properties\command]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\" -preferences"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL]
""="Google Chrome Portable URL"
"URL Protocol"=""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL\DefaultIcon]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableURL\shell\open\command]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\" -url \"%1\""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableHTML]
""="Google Chrome HTML"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableHTML\DefaultIcon]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\",0"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GoogleChromePortableHTML\shell\open\command]
""="\"C:\\Dropbox\\PortableApps\\GoogleChromePortable\\GoogleChromePortable.exe\" -url \"%1\""

Use the builtin feature?

It's probably fairly similar (exactly the same?) but I just went to chrome settings and clicked the set as default button near the bottom. I then searched the registry for:

GoogleChromePortable\App\Chrome-bin\chrome.exe

and replaced most instances with:

GoogleChromePortable\GoogleChromePortable.exe

The most notable exceptions were under MuiCache, Internet Explorer, RunOnce, and ViewFinity. Though, I sort of trailed off after that. I just made a judgement call on each one as to whether it made sense to correct it.

Like I said, this is probably only minimally different but does not depend on trusting someone else's registry file or application... which can be nice. But still, thanks for all the helpful comments here.

This actually does not work

This actually does not work for when you click links inside programs. Like in the about boxes.

it only works when you launch url files from explorer.

there is an angoing project in here that handles this type of issues. It has been discontinued though.

any help ?

A Simple Fix for XP

Use "DefaultBrowser.exe which can be downloaded from here for free. http://windowsxp.mvps.org/defaultbrowser.htm

The author has not tested this simple to use little utility with Chrome Portable (only FireFox Portable), but it works well for me using Chrome Portable on Windows XP SP3.

There are two caveats as far as I can tell.

1.) If you already have ....

i.) Chrome installed locally on the system
plus
ii.) Chrome set up as the "Start Menu" Internet Browser

...... then the portable version of Chrome will still not open.

This is simple to overcome by changing the "Start Menu" internet browser in the "Start Menu" properties.

It worked fine for me when I set Windows IE7 as the "Start Menu" browser.

2.) The "DefaultBrowser" utility is for XP only.

Set Default Browser in Registry (Correctly handles .URL files)

Most existing solutions won't correctly handle .URL files.

Try this:
http://www.autohotkey.com/board/topic/89803-set-default-browser-in-regis...

nothing works on windows 8

nothing works on windows 8 Sad

cu vip

Windows 8.1 works

Finally got it to work on Windows 8.1 doing the following variation of the above instructions:

  1. Easiest to let GoogleChromePortable add the registry entries first by answering "yes" to the start-up pop-up to set Chrome as the default browser.
  2. Edit your registry entries as previously suggested but be careful to do the following steps in order:
    1. Rename Value and Edit Data registry entries so "App\Chrome-bin\chrome.exe" is replaced with "GoogleChromePortable.exe" as described before. Note that a majority of the Values are for icon settings and can be ignored/left alone if you want.
    2. Then also look for "chrome.exe" Data registry entries and edit as appropriate to "GoogleChromePortable.exe" as well (mostly "Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts" app lists).
    3. Do not rename the "chrome.exe" Key entry in "Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths" but add a similar "GoogleChromePortable.exe" Key entry if not present. Both Keys Values should be edited to point to "GoogleChromePortable.exe" and its directory.
    4. In a few places (i.e. in .exe\shell\open\command Key areas) where a "(default)" Value of the executable is defined, remove the corresponding "DelegateExecute" Value (or simple rename the Value to something like "DelegateExecuteOld")

If you mess things up, set InternetExplorer as the default browser in the ControlPanel->DefaultPrograms and start the process all over again. You do not normally have to delete all the Chrome entries in the registry. Seems replicatable and recoverable to me but caution as always when editing your registry.

This worked well for me so that (a) GoogleChromePortable is launched as the default browser by Windows 8.1 and (b) apps like PortableThunderbird and PortableKeePass handle internal launching of URL's correctly.

Utility

...while I don't see why this tool requires an installer (e.g. what else is it doing), it seems to automate the above entries for you in a compiled tool:

http://changedefaultbrowser.com/