How to open Windows local files using a web browser

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2021-03-25 06:52:02

Perhaps many times you have to work continuously between a web browser and a few other local files on your computer. Having to switch back and forth between the browser window and the system’s local file viewer is confusing and time-consuming. So why don’t you turn your web browser itself into a local file opening tool on your Windows 10 computer?

Depending on which browser you use, opening local files may either be natively supported or require you to do some modifications to your Windows 10 computer’s settings.

Security issue

There are a few issues that need to be resolved before you get started setting up to open local files in your web browser.

You may not know it, but the web browser has full access to the Internet, so security is an important issue to mention. Chances are you have important information stored as a local file on your computer and don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands.

To avoid the above situation, you need to do a small but thorough assessment. The computer must be scanned for viruses and the browser in use must be original. All unnecessary add-ons and extensions should be removed, as they may contain dangerous malware, data theft, or even ransomware.

You should use anti-virus software. They not only protect the data on the computer, but sometimes also assist in analyzing the traffic network for any malware and flag it. Once installed, the software will perform a deep scan of your computer to remove potential viruses, malware, and ransomware. Just note, anti-virus software must be good enough to be able to check the boot partition of your computer’s hard drive.

Open the local file using a web browser

Google Chrome

You can use Google Chrome to access local files easily by pressing Ctrl + O.

A familiar file browsing interface will open, allowing you to navigate to any file or folder that needs to be opened.

Chrome supports opening most of the basic file types people use regularly like pdf, mp3, some video files, and most document file formats.

The reason why opening files locally on Chrome is so easy because this is a native feature that has been integrated by Google. Conversely, opening the file locally on native unsupported browsers is a bit more complicated.

Firefox

For Firefox, you can open a local file by opening a new tab, then clicking the “Open File” option. This will open a file explorer that can be used to navigate different folders and open file formats supported by Firefox. You can also shorten the process by typing file: /// in the address bar and hitting enter.

Edge

File explorer opening in Edge isn’t currently supported. One way you can use to work around this problem is to go to Internet preferences, click on the Security tab, select “local intranet” and click on “Sites”. Then, uncheck the boxes that say “Include all local (intranet) sites not listed in other zones” as well as “Include all sites that bypass the proxy server”.

Edge

The problem with this method is that it can make your computer vulnerable to attack from a malicious agent located on the local network, such as the intranet of the office or company. This is also an “unstable” approach, as Edge frequently releases updates that require you to reset from scratch.

If the exact address of the file you want to open is unknown, you can also insert the file’s full address into the search bar and press enter to open it on Edge. Note that the file must be in an Edge supported format, such as pdf or popular music file types

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