BrowserMaster: choose your browser on-the-fly whenever you click on a link

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BrowserMaster is a free app that registers itself as your system’s default browser and gives you the option to select which browser to use when opening internet links. It applies to links clicked from outside a browser, such as desktop shortcuts, links in documents, links in IM and email apps, etc. You likely have a reason for having multiple browsers installed on your PC (assuming that you do!).

I use IE7 at work, for example, because most of the people who browse our work sites use that browser and I prefer to have their same browsing experience.But I also have Firefox installed because of the many interesting extensions and plugins that it has, etc. Whatever your reasons for having multiple browsers, BrowserMaster is a small app that becomes, in effect, your default browser, and once it detects a request to open an internet link it briefly flashes browser icons on screen and allows you to quickly select the browser that you want to use.

Browsermaster screenshot

More notes below:

  • Applies to links clicked outside a browser: for example shortcuts on your desktop, in a notes program, in an email notifier app, in an Office or PDF document or an email client, etc. Links clicked inside a browser behave as normal.
  • Links: works for HTTP:\ or HTTPS:\ links.
  • Default wait time: it gives you 2 seconds to choose your browser before going with the default. This can be changed in the settings file, but has to be done manually using a text editor. The settings file is in “C:Documents and SettingsyourusernameApplication DataBrowserMasterBrowserMaster.xml”; find the “delayin seconds” tag and change the value from 2 to something else.
  • Other settings: from the settings file mentioned above, you could also enable/disable specific browsers. Find and change (Enabled=”true”) to (Enabled=”false”) for each listed browser.

Wish list (or how to make this program even better)

  • Force a choice: I wish that BrowserMaster could be set to force the user to make a choice rather than the few seconds that this version waits for a decision.
  • Set a default browser: it does not seem possible to set a default browser choice. It will default to whatever browser is open, but if no browser is open it defaulted to something and I couldn’t figure out how it made its decision (or whether that can be changed).
  • Present a choice when opening local links: for pages that were stored on my hard drive, it didn’t give a choice, which I thought was strange.
  • GUI interface: to quickly change the settings. Would be great.

The verdict: an original, clever little app that has a lot of potential. As it is it can be very useful, but they can really push this one and make it a lot better in my opinion. Check it out for yourself.

Version Tested: 1.1.0 Beta (note: I STRONGLY recommend installing this one over 1.0)

Compatibility: WinAll Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 376K).