Hyperlinks opening the wrong application?

My Thanks Go To …

My thanks goes to Gail Poulin (Blog: http://poulingail.edublogs.org/, Twitter: @poulingail) for asking a question about something that seemed to be going wrong on a computer.


Gail, others and I were in a Blackboard Collaborate room when she reported that all the hyperlinks were opening OpenOffice for her, rather than taking her web browser there. I was not able to solve this in the time available in the webinar, so we agreed that I would find an answer, and get back to her, and I am using this post to do just that.

The Cause?

It is not possible to be completely confident that I have found the cause until the proposed solution has been tested and been found to be effective. With that disclaimer out of the way, it seems that there is something wrong with something known as “file associations” in her Windows 8 computer. The “http” protocol (don’t worry if that is meaningless to you) was linked to OpenOffice instead of her default web browser.

A Solution?

Gail is running Windows 8, so the steps below are tailored for that environment.

  1. Start Windows 8.
  2. If required, log on.
  3. Press the Windows+W key. The search panel should appear.
  4. Type in the word “default” (without the double-quotes). A list of items should appear.
  5. Click on the”Default Programs” item. A “Default Programs” window should appear.
  6. Click on “Associate a file type or protocol with a program”. A list of file extensions should appear.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom, and look for “URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol” in the description column.
  8. Verify that the “Name” field looks like “OpenOffice” (or possibly “OpenOffice Writer”, or just “Writer”)
  9. Click on that line. It should become selected (i.e. be displayed in blue).
  10. Click on the “Change program” button. A dialogue box should appear.
  11. Click on “Internet Explorer” (or, if your preferred web browser is different, click on that one instead). Wait a few moments, and check that your change has been effected.
  12. If necessary, repeat the above few steps for “URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol with Privacy”.
  13. Close the “Default Programs” window.
  14. Verify correctness of operations.
  15. This procedure is complete.

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