Talk:Windows error opening Internet shortcut or local HTML file - Firefox

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Registry edit

Is there an error here? Under the "Registry edit" section, is "Delete the "ddexec" registry key" supposed to reference "ddeexec"?
^ Mtz1of4 19 August 2007

Looks like there is. I'll fix it. Alice 22:20, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Alice, Thanks. By any chance, do you have Vista installed? I do not, so I cannot confirm but I have been told that

are actually not nested like that. They appear to be

Hopefully not being a pain, but want to keep these KB's as good as I can. --Marc 12:37, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Nope, I'm on Windows XP, not Vista .... but I can confirm that the FirefoxURL, FirefoxHTML, HTTP and HTTPS keys in Windows XP each have separate ddeexec subkeys for Application and Topic, as shown below for FirefoxURL:
At least there are two methods given, so if the second one is wrong, the first one should work (but I agree that a Vista user should confirm)... I'll add "NEED VISTA USER to confirm registry instructions" to the summary! Alice 13:34, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I removed the following alternate method for the registry edit since it isn't accurate for Windows XP and no one has confirmed it for Vista.
Alternate method:
  1. Go to "Start -> Run" (or press the windows key+R) then type regedit and click OK
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FirefoxURL\shell\open\ddeexec\Application\Topic
  3. Change (Default)'s value to System and, in ddeexec, delete the Default value of "%1",,0,0,,,,
  4. Repeat for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FirefoxHTML\shell\open\ddeexec\Application\Topic
  5. Repeat for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HTTP\shell\open\ddeexec\Application\Topic
  6. Repeat for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\https\shell\open\ddeexec\Application\Topic (and any other protocols you want to fix)
Alice 19:12, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

File Types edit

I don't see what the following accomplishes, other than explaining how to set file associations that coincide with Firefox being the default browser in Windows Vista, so I removed it:

At least some of the "File Types" and protocol interface is available in Vista in the next sub-topic.

(In Windows Vista)

Start menu -> All programs -> Default programs ->

  • Set this program as default -- Use the selected program (Firefox) to open all file type and protocols it can open by default. --or--
  • Choose default for this program -- Choose which file types and protocols the selected program (Firefox) opens by default.

Start menu -> All programs -> Associate a file type or protocol with a program

  • Choose which file types and protocols the selected program (Firefox) opens by default.
    • .htm, .shtml, .xht, xhtml, .html -- Firefox Document -- open with Firefox ---- file extensions
    • FTP, GOPHER, HTTP, HTTPS -- Firefox URL -- open with Firefox ---- URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol


I don't see how those instructions enable Vista users to remove the DDE settings that are causing the problem. The only way to do that is to edit the registry and delete the ddeexec keys, unless I'm missing something. Alice 00:25, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

They are the Exact Vista equivalent of the changes for Windows 2000 that I put them under and the entire purpose of the article is to be able to link to a webpage from email that does not end in .htm or .html and the same for a desktop shortcut (.url) Vista does not have the Filetype tab that previous versions of Windows have. dmcritchie 05:10, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

They are the Exact Vista equivalent of the changes for Windows 2000 that I put them under .... Are they? I don't see any option to change the DDE entries for the related filetypes and protocols, which is the point of the "File Types" edit" section of the article, as shown here:
The instructions you added for Vista are to set Firefox as the default handler for filetypes and protocols associated with Firefox being the default browser, but all those entries should already point to Firefox if it is set as the default (You might want to add that information to the default browser article, though). The link you included is interesting, since it mentions a "File Type Doctor" method that involves downloading a third-party program (Creative Element Power Tools) that, just going by the screenshot, looks like it gives Vista users the ability to edit the File Types "open" action for different extensions, like you can in Windows XP and earlier. It doesn't mention that the "File Type Doctor" can edit protocols, though.

If you use Vista, could you do me a favor, and check your registry right after updating Firefox, assuming you have it set as the default browser, (if you are already running Firefox, just download the setup file from and reinstall Firefox "over the top"). Run regedit and see what the associated registry keys show for the different Firefox filetypes and URL protocols ( "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FirefoxURL\shell\open\ddeexec", "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FirefoxHTML\shell\open\ddeexec", "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HTTP\shell\open\ddeexec" etc.). Next, follow the above instructions that you added to the article (which I removed) and then check the registry again. Any difference?

For what it's worth, Windows XP SP2 Help defines DDE as: dynamic data exchange (DDE) A form of interprocess communication (IPC) implemented in the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. Two or more programs that support dynamic data exchange (DDE) can exchange information and commands. I looked up DDE at wikipedia and found ....which says under "Overview",
The primary function of DDE is to allow Windows applications to share data. For example, a cell in Microsoft Excel could be linked to a value in another application and when the value changed, it would be automatically updated in the Excel spreadsheet. The data communication was established by a simple, three-segment model. Each program was known to DDE by its "application" name. Each application could further organize information by groups known as "topic" and each topic could serve up individual pieces of data as an "item". <snip> As I understand it, it's the "DDE Message" and "Topic" entries (which affect the associated registry ddeexec keys) that need fixing, not the application that is used to perform the "open" action for those filetypes and protocols. Alice 13:57, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Alice, you were correct to remove my entry here, it was file associations that messed me up but for that nothing happens as opposed to subject of this article that gives an error. The article was included as an indication for file associations and as a substitute for the one I first saw and misplaced. After I assembled my own material, I found 9 pages in Mozillazine that got hits (main article here being one of the nine). I'm on Vista (32bit, Home Basic). Without doing anything I see DDE portion of entries same as reported for before, and would be reluctant to make changes. DMcRitchie 00:35, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know that I wasn't wrong in reversing your changes. So you're a Vista user - that's good to know. I may have some articles for you to check, if you don't mind. By the way, I don't get any errors normally, and I haven't used the DDE fix, but I can force the error by simulating a Firefox crash (by ending the firefox.exe process in Task Manager) then, after opening an internet shortcut (I used one to's virus info page) and OK'ing the restore session window, Firefox opens and I get the error window, Image:Windows cannot find url.png
Alice 01:17, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I rolled back your last edit for the same reasons given above. Alice 13:56, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Extensions - DownThemAll

I backed out the following revision made 26 March 2008 by Morac to the Extensions section, pending more information:

  • DownThemAll! (disabling or uninstalling the DownThemAll! extension will stop the error).

...Is there a forum post or other reference that this extension causes the issue or that disabling or uninstalling it fixes the problem? I'm asking because that extension also causes a slowdown loading webpages (see its listing under Problematic extensions. Simply uninstalling ro disabling the extension doesn't fix that issue: you also need to reset certain preferences. If this extension also causes the "Windows error" issue I'd like to add another entry for it to the Problematic extensions article but I need references, or at least an entry here or in that article's discussion page. Alice 18:57, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that my installation of Firefox was generating the windows error after upgrading to Firefox After trial and error from disabling extensions I tracked the problem down to DownThemAll. I recreated the problem by creating a brand new profile and then installing only DownThemAll 1.0 without any other extensions or plugins and recreated the problem. The problem went away when disabling DownThemall. I'm fairly certain the problem is caused by a component installed with DownThemAll. See the bug I filed with them here Morac 4:30, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Morac. I appreciate that. I added another entry under DownThemAll to the Problematic extensions article linking to your reference and I'll add the issue back to this article. Alice 12:43, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm no longer seeing this problem with DTA 1.0.2 installed in Firefox 3.0 RC2. I'm not sure what fixed it, upgrading to Windows XP SP3, upgrading to Firefox 3.0 RC2 or that the component that caused the problem won't load in FF 3.0. I'm thinking that later. In any case the problem went away.Morac 4:30, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I removed DownThemAll, since yours was the only reference. I also removed AdBlock Plus, which was fixed awhile back. The Problematic extensions article still has entries for these extensions, and this article links there, so that should cover it. Alice 15:32, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Firefox Private Browsing

I received this message in PM.

windows error opening Internet shortcut

Sent: 14 Sep 2009 03:25 pm From: fwijm To: Alice

Hi Alice,

Forgive my english - since i'm dutch. Found the solution for the problem mentioned in articles I saw your name in concerning the "windows error message when you try to open a html shortcut". You all mentioned as a probable cause some extensions (Google Toolbar, Skype etc) and I read also about the solution to edit the dde thing.

I never had this problem till a few days ago when it also popped up on my computer. After some research I found out that the problem lies in an Option (under Extra) within Firefox.

In the Privacy section within Options you must uncheck the option "Automatc start Firefox in a private navigation session" That's causing the problem. Since I'm using the Dutch version I translated this option from dutch to english but I think you understand what I mean.

Greetings, Frank. (fwijm)

Does anyone else see this? I checked the ""Automatically start Firefox in a private browsing session" Privacy option, then exited Firefox and can't replicate the problem when opening a local HTML file. Firefox starts normally with no errors (Windows XP). Alice 13:15, 22 September 2009 (UTC)