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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

XP: Two users, two default browsers?

 6:45 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

On a machine running XP Home and used by two people each with their own (admin-level) login, if one user changes the default browser, it changes for the other too. However, one user wants Firefox, the other wants IE7.

How do you get XP Home to recognize and respect each user's choice of default programs?



 12:12 am on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

That's not as easy to do as you might expect. Setting a default browser from an Admin account sets the preferences for all profiles. Here are a couple of options:

  1. Use virtual machines
    If one or both of you work in a VM all of your programs and associations can work independently. Gaming performance might suffer, but regular operations should be about the same.
  2. Use software
    This donation-ware is from a MS MVP and I've seen recommended a lot:
    [windowsxp.mvps.org ]


 1:39 am on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ugh. Thanks bill! Nevertheless, it's a pretty pitiful state of affairs that something so simple takes extra software to "hack" the functionality.

I guess we can only hope that one day Microsoft will come up with a real multi-user OS and finally become as usable as Linux. ;)


 11:16 am on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

You could upgrade to Vista (only joking)!

Assuming that both users actually log out and log in (rather than user fast switching) you could use a .reg file for each user to change the system-wide default at log-in. It's a dirty hack, but without using additional software, that's probably the only way to do it.

Personally, I would ask the IE user why they don't like Firefox and then try to change his/her mind.


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