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desktop website links only open homepage not desired link, is there a fix?


Firefox is my default browser, using W7. All of the desktop links to websites when clicked open Firefox which then opens my home page and not the link specified in the desktop icon. All other desktop shortcuts to programs on local computer perform as desired.

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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • npsitesafety (Official)
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.45.2 for Mozilla browsers
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Shockwave Flash 11.9 r900
  • Google Update
  • Citrix Online App Detector Plugin
  • Plug-in for detecting Nero Kwik Media.
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision Streaming plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 11.0.05
  • 5.1.20913.0
  • RealPlayer(tm) LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In
  • RealPlayer Download Plugin
  • RealNetworks(tm) RealDownloader Chrome Background Extension Plug-In
  • RealNetworks(tm) RealDownloader PepperFlashVideoShim Plug-In
  • RealNetworks(tm) RealDownloader HTML5VideoShim Plug-In
  • RealDownloader Plugin
  • Logitech Harmony Remote Plugin
  • A plugin to detect whether the Adobe Application Manager is installed on this machine.
  • Picasa plugin
  • WinZip Courier Plugin for Mozilla Firefox


  • Firefox 26.0
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:26.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/26.0
  • Support URL: https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/26.0/WINNT/en-US/


  • Troubleshooter 1.1a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • Adobe Acrobat - Create PDF 2.0 (web2pdfextension@web2pdf.adobedotcom) (Inactive)
  • AVG Security Toolbar (avg@toolbar) (Inactive)
  • RealDownloader 1.3.3 ({DF153AFF-6948-45d7-AC98-4FC4AF8A08E2}) (Inactive)
  • WinZip Courier 3.5 ({74c841e3-b59f-479e-8d7a-e26a942a87c8}) (Inactive)


  • incrementalGCEnabled: True


  • adapterDescription: NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS
  • adapterDescription2:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x0422
  • adapterDeviceID2:
  • adapterDrivers: nvd3dumx,nvwgf2umx,nvwgf2umx nvd3dum,nvwgf2um,nvwgf2um
  • adapterDrivers2:
  • adapterRAM: 256
  • adapterRAM2:
  • adapterVendorID: 0x10de
  • adapterVendorID2:
  • direct2DEnabled: True
  • directWriteEnabled: True
  • directWriteVersion: 6.2.9200.16571
  • driverDate: 10-23-2013
  • driverDate2:
  • driverVersion:
  • driverVersion2:
  • info: {u'AzureCanvasBackend': u'direct2d', u'AzureFallbackCanvasBackend': u'cairo', u'AzureContentBackend': u'direct2d', u'AzureSkiaAccelerated': 0}
  • isGPU2Active: False
  • numAcceleratedWindows: 1
  • numTotalWindows: 1
  • webglRenderer: Google Inc. -- ANGLE (NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS Direct3D9Ex vs_3_0 ps_3_0)
  • windowLayerManagerRemote: False
  • windowLayerManagerType: Direct3D 10

Modified Preferences

  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 358400
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 358400
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 4
  • browser.sessionstore.upgradeBackup.latestBuildID: 20131205075310
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20131205075310
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 26.0
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 26.0
  • gfx.direct3d.last_used_feature_level_idx: 1
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104858
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf
  • plugin.importedState: True
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True


  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10783 solutions 97065 answers

Helpful Reply

Try to redo the default browser setting and temporarily set another browser as the default browser.
Then let Firefox once again set itself as the default browser.

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Question owner

I followed all suggestions and Firefox, even though set as my default browser, will not open desktop link icons pointing to a webpage. Firefox opens my home page, same as before. If I use IE and set it as my default browser, links work properly.

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  • Top 25 Contributor
115 solutions 1497 answers

Try removing that link / short cut and creating a new one.

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Question owner

I have done that several times, no change. Every desktop shortcut pointing to a link, such as "https://login.secureserver.net/index.php?app=wbe" fails to work, all other links pointing to items such as ""C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\Acrobat.exe" work fine. If I open Firefox and then bookmarks and find the link "https://login.secureserver.net/index.php?app=wbe" it opens the workspace email login window and I am able to login.

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  • Top 25 Contributor
115 solutions 1497 answers

Go to the shortcut and right click. Select Properties > Web Document. Under URL, copy it and post it here.

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  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10783 solutions 97065 answers

You can check for problems with DDE.

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Question owner

I use w7 and my problem is when I check on a link on my desktop, when firefox is not open, it only opens Firefox to my Firefox home page. If one instance of Firefox is already open, the link opens another instance of Firefox to my home page and not the desired link. The suggested solutions did not work.

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  • Top 25 Contributor
115 solutions 1497 answers

I only have a few ideas left.

Clear the Cache Firefox/Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Cached Web Content: "Clear Now"
Remove Cookies Firefox/Tools > Options > Privacy > Cookies: "Show Cookies"

Totally remove Firefox, Uninstall Firefox from your computer then use the full installer from Mozilla.org

LAST RESORT! ! ! Reset Firefox

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  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10783 solutions 97065 answers

This has to do with opening a page by clicking a link in another program that doesn't work when Firefox isn't running. I.e. it is not possible to start Firefox this way and open the requested page, but does work in case Firefox is already running. This should either be a problem with DDE being used (that Firefox doesn't support) or another problem with the default browser setting.

Does this happen with all supported file extensions?

This still sounds that some registry keys haven't been created correctly.

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