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How do I fix this? My weblinks saved to my Windows PC do not open to the webpage but to a print prompt

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For instance, saving a webpage from either Firefox or Google Chrome (same problem with both, but NOT with IE), when I highlight the link, it says (at the bottom of the folder where the link resides), "Internet Shortcut." but instead of opening into my default (Firefox) brower, it opens to a Print prompt, as if I commanded the link to print. There is no right click option to OPEN WITH when I right click on one of these corrupted links. This is really a nuisance. What can I do to fix it?

Attached screenshots

All Replies (20)

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How did you save the web page? What is on that page? Can you post the link here?

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I saved the web page by either dragging and dropping it into a Windows 7 folder or right clicking and copying, then pasting to the folder. By the way, when I drag or copy and paste the url link into a Word document, it shows up perfectly. This would seem to indicate that the corruption is somewhere in windows, not with the browser.

I will send a zip file containing the url link from the page I am presently on. (I don't see where I can attach anything but an image file!!). Here is a link to a Dropbox link where the url file can be found. (I have inspected this file with several virus checks; all show that the file is clean.)

The dropbox link to the zip file is here:

Thank you for your reply and I appreciate your working with me!

I also disabled all of my Firefox add-ons, and there was no difference. The url link still opens into a Print prompt. I so wish that the right clicking of this corrupted weblink would offer an OPEN WITH option, but as you saw from the file I sent, there is no such option.

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I downloaded the file. But every program says that the file is Corrupted.

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Ok, yes. It IS corrupted. It holds no virus, however, at least according to several malware programs that scanned it. My question is, how did it get this way and why do all URLs that I try to save to a Explorer folder turn out like this (except IE)?

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What you saved if you click the link is not the ZIP archive, but the HTML page as you can see if you open the file in a Firefox tab and rename the file.

  • Corrupted URL File when saved to Windows 7 folder.html

The actual .URL file has this content:


You need to click the three-dot menu button in the top right corner to find a "Direct Download" button.

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cor-el, I cannot thank you enough for your help. Please forgive me if I do not clearly understand what you are asking me to do. I clicked on the URL that you provided in your last post and, as you say, it opened to a new tab. I am not sure if this is what you wanted me to do. I could find no three dot menu (there is the 3-lined menu in the upper right corner, but that opens to a lot of things, but I can find no "Direct Download" button.

But I may not have understood your directions. Please bear with me! :)

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A second reply: when I either go into the dropdown menu and SAVE PAGE AS, it gives me a folder with a ton of files AND firefox link file!!!, which works!! I suppose this must be the way I save links from now on. Also, I can access this command to SAVE PAGE AS from the top left Menu Bar. When I click File, I then click on SAVE PAGE AS.

So, if what you were suggesting is what I just described, I should settle on saving Firefox pages in that fashion? I will then just delete the folder with the many files. The fact that when I copy and paste or drag the IP address to a folder, I get a corrupted something-or-other that opens into a Print Prompt when I click on it.

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If I make the Firefox window wider then I get a Download button that was otherwise hidden in the three dot menu next to it. The "Direct download" link is partly hidden for some reason (z-index?) being overlaid by the header bar, but I can click in the small area that is left.

Modified by cor-el

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Alas, my long-suffering friend, I have looked and looked and cannot find what you describe. Could you provide a screenshot of the pertinent area of Firefox that you describe?

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Hi Stephen, this is puzzling.

In case it is a temporary glitch, if you haven't already, you should do a normal shut down of your programs and then restart Windows.

And then to confirm the behavior, is this correct:

  • URL shortcut created using Firefox, Firefox is default browser, launch shortcut => Print dialog without a visible Firefox tab/window
  • URL shortcut created using Chrome, Firefox is default browser, launch shortcut => Print dialog without a visible Firefox tab/window
  • URL shortcut created using IE, Firefox is default browser, launch shortcut => page opens normally in Firefox

As far as I know, Firefox doesn't have a command-line option for printing without opening a web page. Once upon a time, Firefox supported "DDE", a Windows technology to send commands to running programs, but I think that was discontinued a long time ago. Possibly an extension could be involved??

Perhaps some odd settings crept in to the Windows Registry. Re-installing Firefox might help refresh those, but I suggest making a backup first:

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I reinstalled Firefox. Same issue with saved URLs. I did with Firefox and with Chrome AND this time with Opera the same thing, namely, dragged and dropped a URL to the desktop. Each time the files became corrupted and opened into a print prompt. Internet Explorer, however, saved correctly to the desktop, and opened properly to the webpage. I didn't go through backing up my Firefox profile since the problem obtains with the three browsers mentioned above.

But, as reported, I am able to get the proper saved file by downloading the entire page and then deleting the folder with all the detailed things in it.

As I wrote last time, I am not able to find the command in Firefox to "directly download."

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Stephen C. Galleher said

As I wrote last time, I am not able to find the command in Firefox to "directly download."

I think that was a reference to how to save your ZIP file from Dropbox, not related to solving your problem.

Do the Firefox/Chrome/Opera shortcuts work if you change your default browser to Internet Explorer, or do you still get the same strange behavior?

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jscher, changing IE to default browser made no difference in saving the URL's. IE's weblinks work fine and open handily to IE. When I save Firefox and Chrome, when I click, it opens to a print panel prompt. It makes no difference whether IE is the default browser.

I did a file check and this is the result. It indicated that certain files were corrupted and could not be repaired. I attach a copy of the txt file. I don't know if this text file will bring any clues. I was unable to manually enter into the cmd prompt how to fix the files.

As a text file:

As a word file:

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Hi Stephen, I don't think "iesysprep.dll" is related to URL shortcuts, so the fact that it is corrupted probably is not relevant here.

The shortcut you shared via Zip file on Dropbox works normally for me, so I'm at a loss to explain why it doesn't work normally for you. Perhaps there is some file attribute that gets lost when zipping or unzipping the file. If you extra that shortcut from the Zip file in a different location, does the shortcut work any better for you?

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I tried sending the Dropbox zip file I created to my iPhone but was unable to unzip the file! So I have now placed the offending URL file (the one that opens to a printer prompt) on Dropbox, this time not in a zip file. Here is the link to the file.

Sure enough, when I open it online in my Dropbox account, it opens into a URL tab, so the file works, but not in Explorer.

Do you suppose this mystery could be solved by some kind of registry fix? It is a shame that by right-clicking on the corrupted URL file in Explorer, that there is no option to OPEN WITH. If it had that option, I would likely be able to change the extension.

I so appreciate your taking the time and having the patience to work through this issue. It seems we have come to an impasse.

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I downloaded that .URL file and I don't see anything strange about it.

I don't know why .url files created by dropping a URL from Firefox and Chrome work differently from .url files created by dropping a URL from IE on your system.

Also, when you call up Print in Firefox do you get that system dialog shown in your original screenshot, or the custom one that I think is the default in Firefox?

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No, jscher, there is a difference between the two print prompts. I have attached a screenshot of both, titled accordingly.

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Hi Stephen, the use of the system default print dialog instead of the Firefox print dialog confirms my suspicion that the problem shortcuts are never hitting Firefox at all, they are being sent off to some other process. But I still can't explain why the shortcuts you create from IE open in Firefox normally, and not the ones you create from Firefox. ???

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jsdcher2000, I have to confess that I get a small chuckle that someone as expert as you is baffled by this issue, for I have the deepest respect for your knowledge and experience. It is, indeed, strange that IE saves the url shortcuts just fine, whereas the other browsers do not. I tried reinstalling Firefox, but that did not solve the problem. I appreciate your sticking with me this far. I shall, for now anyhow, continue just to right-click and "save the page as," which provides me with the proper extension (even if I have to subsequently delete the folder with all the other files).

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Did you check the .URL files in both cases to see whether they differ ?

Are you sure that there isn't a hidden file extension appended ?

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