Let’s Get Organized: Automatically Launch Your Web Browser

Even though I want to talk more about blogs and the myriad ways they can be used in education, I feel that now is the right time to help you GET THINGS DONE. If you’ve set up a feed reader and are now going to that to check updates to those sites everyday, you are starting the process. Instead of going to several news sites, blogs, discussion boards, and other dynamic sites, you go to one site–your feed reader–read new feeds that interest you and then move on to other important activities. But HOW YOU MOVE ON TO THOSE OTHER ACTIVITIES is the focus of this article.

Computers do one thing really well–they follow automatic tasks that you tell them to do. (If only my kids could do this!) Think about it–every day, you most likely launch the same applications, such as your GroupWise account, web pages, and other applications. Therefore, this article will tell you how to get Windows to automatically launch your web browser with your pages when you get to work in the morning (or afternoon or evening). It take just a few minutes of your time now, but will save you a ton of time over the long haul.

Automatically Launch Web Browsing

(First of all, you have probably either logged off or turned off your computer before you left work. If you have not, you should definitely reboot a Windows PC, since many problems are magically resolved after rebooting.)

  1. Log in to your computer network.
  2. Select Start>Control Panel>Scheduled Tasks
  3. In the Scheduled Tasks window, choose File>New>Scheduled Task. Name the new job whatever you want that describes your task (I call mine “StartUp Web”) to launch the web sites I view every day.
  4. Right click the task and choose Properties.
  5. In the Run text box, you would enter the location where your browser program is located and then list the websites you want to open, with a single space between each website. This will open in tabs of each website in the Firefox browser. For instance, I have the following entered: “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” http://zenhabits.net/ del.icio.us/boisebarbara gmail.com bschroeder.wikispaces.com/ writer.zoho.com/index.d http://www.google.com/reader/view/ (This command opens the websites in tabs in the Firefox browser. Also, notice the quotation marks around the application. This is necessary, but don’t ask me why.)


  6. Next, you’ll need to Schedule when you want your web browser to open with your preferred websites. Select the Schedule tab on the Properties dialog box and the select the drop down arrow to the right of Scheduled tasks. You will want to select At Logon. Select Apply, then OK.


That’s all you need to do! To check this task, right click the task again and select Run. Your web browser should open with tabs to each website.

You should also log-off of your computer and then logon to see if the web browser automatically opens (which it should!)

(ALTERNATE METHOD: After selecting Start>Control Panel>Scheduled Tasks, you can select the Add Scheduled Task and go through the wizard. This sometimes helps if you cannot figure out the correct path to the program you want to automatically run.)


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