Register any browser as Windows7 default (including portable)

As the matter of choice I’m using only portable versions of non-MS browsers – Chromium portable, FireFox Portable, Opera@USB.

Everything was nice and dandy while I was using WinXP. Not so easy with Windows7 – let me explain how you can control list of default browsers with simple registry files.

I tried and succeeded with registering Chromium to the list of Default Programs, the only problem was that after becoming Windows7 default browser it effectively stopped being portable.
It took me extra effort to revert back to Internet Explorer as default browser but didn’t quash my curiosity – there should be a way to add portable browser to the list of default programs without loosing “portable” functionality.
Regedit to the rescue and after 15 min of searching I came up with the three pieces of registry that defined Chromium as one of the OS default browsers. After combining these 3 pieces into 1 I can now add/remove any portable browser to the list of Windows 7 default programs by editing reg file and importing it back into registry.
Lets try for example to configure Opera@USB (located in c:\tools\operaportable) as one of the Windows7 default browsers.

(You will need to edit the path to point it to your opera location. It doesn’t necessary need to be Opera portable – regular Opera will do just fine)

And in case you need completely remove Opera from Default programs (and from the registry all together), here is another reg file

For those who want to get rid of Chrome as listed browser once and for all, here is another small reg file (Not really sure how it calls itself – could be GoogleChrome instead of Chrome,s o please verify).

Now you are more in control of what is in the list of Default programs on your Windows 7. You can use the same method to control default Mail application as well.

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  1. avatar Justus Jonas

    Works fine. Thanks for sharing!

    • You are welcome. Since I could not find anything about it on internet I decided to research and publish my findings

      • Same problem I’ve had since using portable apps. But I’m using W8, soon W8.1. Will this still work?

        • Does W8 use the same system of assigning default applications? Then yes. Check Control Panel, check regedit – same branch that is changed by proposed modifications

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