PowerShell: Open URL in Chrome, Edge or Firefox

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

When you’re using PowerShell, sometimes you need to open a link in a certain browser, like Chrome or Firefox. This can help you test things out in different browsers or do tasks that need a certain one. We’re going to take a look at how to tell PowerShell to open up URLs in the browsers you choose on Windows 11 or Windows 10.

The basics: PowerShell is a toolkit by Microsoft that helps you automate stuff and manage your system. It’s like a super-powered command line that can do cool things, including telling your computer to open web pages with different browsers.

How to Open URL in PowerShell in Chrome Edge Firefox

Opening a URL in the default browser with PowerShell

If you just want to pop open a website with your regular browser, you can use the Start-Process command in PowerShell like this:

Start-Process "https://www.windowsdigitals.com"

powershell open url link in default browser

This will make your usual web browser launch and take you to the web page you’ve typed in. Super easy!

Related resource: How to Reverse an Array in PowerShell

Opening URLs in Google Chrome with PowerShell

If you’re looking to get a link to open in Google Chrome, you can tell PowerShell with these words:

[System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start("chrome", "https://www.windowsdigitals.com")

Opening URLs in Google Chrome with PowerShell

Just make sure Chrome is on your PC and you can run it from anywhere (that’s what we call being in your system’s PATH).

Might be useful: How to Set Chrome as Default Browser in Windows 11

Opening URLs in Microsoft Edge with PowerShell

To get a link to open in Microsoft Edge, the steps are pretty much the same as with Chrome:

[System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start("msedge", "https://www.windowsdigitals.com")

Opening URLs in Microsoft Edge with PowerShell

This will make Edge pop up with the website you want to visit. Check that Edge is good to go on your PC and you can run it no matter where you are in the system’s PATH.

Pro tip: Run CMD, PowerShell or Regedit as SYSTEM in Windows 11

Opening URLs in Mozilla Firefox with PowerShell

For Firefox fans, you can open a link with this command:

[System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start("firefox", "https://www.windowsdigitals.com")

Opening URLs in Mozilla Firefox with PowerShell

This will fire up Firefox and take you to the website. Just like with Chrome and Edge, make sure Firefox is installed and you can start it up from anywhere.

Alternative method for opening URLs in a specific browser

If Chrome isn’t cooperating because it’s not in your system’s PATH, you can still open it with PowerShell by telling it exactly where Chrome lives on your computer:

Start-Process "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -ArgumentList "http://www.windowsdigitals.com"

powershell open url in specific browser

Here, you need to tell PowerShell the full address on your computer where Chrome is, then stick the website you want after -ArgumentList. This way, PowerShell knows where to find Chrome, no matter what.

Opening a URL in PowerShell with other browsers

If you’re using a different browser, like Opera or Brave, you do the same thing. Find where the browser program is on your computer and use the Start-Process command with the -ArgumentList to give it the website.

Handling different browser versions and custom paths

Different browser versions

Some people have special versions of browsers, like Chrome Beta. These might be saved in different spots on your computer. You’ll need to check where the right one is. You can usually just right-click on the browser’s shortcut and look at the properties to find out.

Custom install paths

If you didn’t install your browser in the usual place, you need to tell PowerShell where you put it when you’re using the Start-Process command. You can write this in your script or find it out through your computer if you’ve set things up that way.

Automating browser launching tasks

Creating functions for repeated use

If you find yourself needing to open browsers a lot, make it easier by setting up a function in PowerShell. Like this one for Chrome:

Function Open-Chrome {
Start-Process "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -ArgumentList $url

Then, anytime you want to open a link in Chrome, just type Open-Chrome "http://www.windowsdigitals.com".

Implementing error handling

It’s smart to make sure your script checks if the browser is actually there before trying to open it. If PowerShell can’t find it, it should tell you nicely that there’s a problem.

Summing up

So, here’s the deal: if you want to open a website in a certain browser using PowerShell, the way you do it depends on what you need. If the browser’s easy to run from anywhere on your computer, using the [System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start() is usually your best shot. If things are a bit more tricky, like if the browser isn’t in the PATH or you have a special setup, using the full path to the browser with the Start-Process command is more surefire.

Just don’t forget to check the path you’re using is right, especially if the browser isn’t in the normal spot. And if you’re always working with one browser, making a shortcut function in PowerShell can really save you time. But remember, it’s always important to avoid mistakes by checking everything before you start.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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