Open local folder from link

How can I open a local folder view by clicking on any link?

I tried many options like

<a href="file:///D:/Tools/">Open folder</a> or

<a onclick="file:///D:/Tools/">Open folder</a> or

<a onclick="">Open folder</a>



Linking to local resources is disabled in all modern browsers due to security restrictions.

For Firefox:

For security purposes, Mozilla applications block links to local files (and directories) from remote files. This includes linking to files on your hard drive, on mapped network drives, and accessible via Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) paths. This prevents a number of unpleasant possibilities, including:

  • Allowing sites to detect your operating system by checking default installation paths
  • Allowing sites to exploit system vulnerabilities (e.g., C:\con\con in Windows 95/98)
  • Allowing sites to detect browser preferences or read sensitive data

for IE:

Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (SP1) no longer allows browsing a local machine from the Internet zone. For instance, if an Internet site contains a link to a local file, Internet Explorer 6 SP1 displays a blank page when a user clicks on the link. Previous versions of Windows Internet Explorer followed the link to the local file.

for Opera (in the context of a security advisory, I'm sure there is a more canonical link for this):

As a security precaution, Opera does not allow Web pages to link to files on the user's local disk


Solution: Launching a Downloadable Link

The following works in all browsers, but as always there are caveats.


"URL Shortcuts" are OS dependent. The following solution is for MS Windows due to a lack of standards between environments.

If you require linux support for the solution below, please see this article.
* I have no connection to the article, YMMV.

URL shortcuts come in two forms:

  1. Files with .URL extensions are text based. Can be dynamically generated.


  2. Files with .LNK extension are binary. They can be generated dynamically, but require iShelLinkInterface implementer. This is complicated by default OS restrictions, which rightfully prevent an IIS process from reaching Shell.

.URL is the recommended solution, as dynamic generation is viable across Web Languages/Frameworks and allows for a KISS implementation.


  1. Security restrictions will not allow you to open a path/launch explorer directly from the page (as stated by @Pekka).
  2. Sites hosted externally (not on your local computer) will not allow file:///... uri's under default security permissions.


Provide a downloadable link (.URL or .LNK) to the resource. Browser behavior will be explained at end of post.

Option 1: Produce a .lnk file and save it to the server. Due to the binary nature of the .LNK file, this is not the recommended solution, but a pre-generated file should be viable.

Option 2: Produce a .url file and either save it to the server or dynamically generate it. In my situation, I am dynamically creating the .URL file.

Solution Details (.URL):

  1. Add .url to the available MIME types in your web server.

    For IIS open the site, choose MIME Types, and add the following:

    File name Extension= .url
    MIME type: application/internet-shortcut

    Per @cremax ... For Webkit Browsers like Chrome on Apache Servers add this code to .htaccess or http.config:

    SetEnvIf Request_URI ".url$" requested_url=url Header add Content-Disposition "attachment" env=requested_url

  2. The .url file is a text file formatted as follows (again, this can be dynamically generated).

    File Contents:


  3. Provide a link to the script that generates the .url file, or to the file itself.

    If you've simply uploaded a .url file to your server, add the following to your HTML:

    <a href="URIShortcut.url">Round-About Linking</a>

Browser Dependent Behavior

Chrome: Download/Save file.url then open
In Chrome, this behavior can be augmented by choosing the "Always open files of this type" option.

FireFox: Download/Save file.url then open

Internet Explorer: Click “Open” and go straight to directory (no need to save shortcut)

Internet Explorer has the preferred behavior, but Chrome and Firefox are at least serviceable.


Only IE6-8 - there's an ActiveX workaround this local-files issue in JavaScript:

        function OpenImage(filePath)
            var myshell = new ActiveXObject("");
  , 1, true); 

add on click open local directory o local file to google chrome:

The solution from JFish222 works ( URL file solution )

For Webkid Browsers like Chrome on Apache Servers just add to .htaccess o http.config this code:

SetEnvIf Request_URI ".url$" requested_url=url Header add Content-Disposition "attachment" env=requested_url

And by the first downlod of your url file click on the file in chromes downloadbar and select "always open this file".


Local Explorer - File Manager on web browser extention can solve for chrome

but still some encoding problems


you can use

<a href="\\computername\folder">Open folder</a>

in Internet Explorer


Recent Questions

Top Questions

Home Tags Terms of Service Privacy Policy DMCA Contact Us

©2020 All rights reserved.