Microsoft Patches Windows 2000 to Respect Users' Default Browser Choices

Thursday December 19th, 2002

Ian Thomas writes in with news of a Windows 2000 patch that causes hyperlinks in Windows Help, the Accessibility Wizard, Magnifier, Narrator, the On-Screen Keyboard, the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel and the Active Desktop to open in the default browser instead of Internet Explorer. It's good to see Microsoft respecting user preferences and reducing the number of situations in which Internet Explorer is forced upon the user.

Update! If you don't want to use IE to get the update, the links to the setup files are posted in our forums. Also, there seems to be an update for XP Home and Pro as well.

#1 Sigh

by marsje

Thursday December 19th, 2002 2:34 PM

The Knowledge Base Article tells you to go to and download Critical Update 810649. Click the link and....

"Thank you for your interest in Windows Update

Windows Update is the online extension of Windows that helps you get the most out of your computer.

You need to be running a version of Internet Explorer 5 or higher in order to use Windows Update.

Download the latest version of Internet Explorer

Once Internet Explorer is installed, you can go to the Windows Update site by typing into the address bar of Internet Explorer.

If you prefer to use a different Web browser, updates to Windows may be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. "

Anyone found that file in the download center? *sigh*

#3 RE: Sigh

by thelem

Thursday December 19th, 2002 3:06 PM

The information in the article only refers to Win2000 SP3, which has internet explorer 5 already installed.

Give that file a chance to appear. At the time of writing a search on the ms kb for Q810649 still shows no results (to get the url quoted by mozine I had to find another article and replace the Q number).

IIRC SP3 comes with the "Set program access & defaults" extention to the Add/Remove Program control panels and the automatic windows update - which is how I got the update.

#2 Oh well . . . !

by DJGM2002

Thursday December 19th, 2002 2:47 PM

Hmm, and there's me thinking hell had just frozen over!

#4 Direct download of Q810649 patch

by sinchi

Friday December 20th, 2002 6:34 AM

As described in update of this article Q810649 is available to direct downloat at:

Windows 2000 SP3 Prof/Server/Advanced Server

Windows XP Home/Prof 32bit (Pentium 2/3/4 and AMD Athlon based computers)

Windows XP 64bit (Itanium based computers)

#5 test!

by odd

Friday December 20th, 2002 9:09 AM

test never mind!

#6 it doesn't work?

by sdsalsero

Friday December 20th, 2002 10:20 AM

I'm running Win2000-SP3 and I installed the "Q328523_W2K_SP4_X86_EN.exe" patch, then rebooted. I'm also running Phoenix 0.5 as my default browser. I load Windows Help and click on an http URL, but it still brings-up IE. Do I need to do something else to set Px as the default browser? I checked the Set Program Access And Defaults and it still says "Leave current browser" (instead of Internet Explorer).

#8 Me too

by thelem

Friday December 20th, 2002 12:07 PM

Now I test it, I have the same problem (I didn't reboot before). I also can't find why add/remove programs would want to open a link in a browser other than IE. The only link in there I can find is in windows update which requires IE.

I tried setting my default browser to Netscape 7 (mozilla is not listed) but with no luck. I did have explorer crash on me twice though.

#7 Switch

by amutch

Friday December 20th, 2002 10:29 AM

Try switching the setting back to IE and then back to Phoenix. It probably needs to be reset that way to properly recognize Phoenix.

#10 didn't work

by sdsalsero

Friday December 20th, 2002 1:45 PM

I did as you suggested, and told Phoenix to re-assert itself as default but it's still not working.

When I went into Add/Remove Programs, I got an error message: "Can't move focus to the control because it is invisible, not enabled, or of a type that does not accept the focus. res://appwiz.cpl/"

Any idea what caused that? I'm assuming that Phoenix got asked to draw something too IE-specific.


by Kovu

Friday December 20th, 2002 12:28 PM

Does Windows Update still use IE?


by mbokil

Sunday December 22nd, 2002 12:42 AM

Of course windows update still requires IE. Are you forgetting that this is Microsoft? They could never go without all their ActiveX plugins and VBScript. Make Update open and standards compliant -- it'll never happen without a court order. They like it closed and tied to their OS as much as possible.