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Posted 28 Sep 2010

How to execute a Local File using HTML Application?

, 28 Sep 2010
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How to execute a Local File using HTML Application?

Did you ever want to run an application from your local resource inside your HTML page? If so, you will face some issues. It will never run any application from local resource directly. It may ask you to download the file before running it. This is due to browser security issue as the code runs inside the browser sandbox.

So, what to do for this? In this post, I will describe the steps to do this. Read the complete post in order to learn the same.

As I mentioned above, you can't run an application from a browser window due to security reasons. To execute file, you need to use .HTA applications (which is an HTML application). HTA applications run outside the browser window just like a normal application and have full trust support.

If you are new to HTML application, read more about it here.

Let’s jump to create one HTML application to launch Notepad for you (without any security warnings). To do this, design your HTML page with a button, which will execute the Notepad once clicked. You can set some application specific properties using the <HTA:APPLICATION /> tag. This step is optional. Add the following JavaScript code inside your <head /> tag:

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">
    function RunFile() {
    WshShell = new ActiveXObject("WScript.Shell");
    WshShell.Run("c:/windows/system32/notepad.exe", 1, false);

Here, you can see that first I am creating the instance of the “WScript.ShellActiveXObject and then calling the Run() method of the newly created object with proper parameters.

Now, from the button click event, give a call to the JavaScript method named “RunFile()”. Once you click on the button, it will execute the file mentioned in the Run() method.

If you run this code inside the browser, it will not work. To resolve this, just save the file with a .hta extension. You will see that the file icon has changed to an application icon. If you double click on this file, it will execute and open a Window having the button inside it. Click the button to open the notepad.exe file.

Here is the full code for that:

    <title>Application Executer</title>

	    APPLICATIONNAME="Application Executer" 







    <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">
        function RunFile() {
		WshShell = new ActiveXObject("WScript.Shell");
		WshShell.Run("c:/windows/system32/notepad.exe", 1, false);
	<input type="button" value="Run Notepad" onclick="RunFile();"/>

So, what is the purpose of it? You may need it for various reasons, but that will depend on your requirement. Recently, I needed it to do one ongoing R&D and this concept helped me a lot. Hence, I thought of sharing this with you so that you can also learn and use it as per your requirement.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Kunal Chowdhury «IN»
Software Developer (Senior)
India India
Kunal Chowdhury is a Microsoft "Windows Platform Development" MVP (Most Valuable Professional), a Codeproject Mentor, Telerik Developer Expert, Nokia Developer Champion, Windows 10 Champion, Microsoft Rockstar, Speaker in various Microsoft events, Author, passionate Blogger and a Software Engineer by profession.

He is currently working in an MNC located in India. He has a very good skill over XAML, C#, Silverlight, Windows Phone, WPF and Windows Store (WinRT) app development. He posts his findings, articles, tutorials in his technical blog and CodeProject.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionWorks only in Internet Explorer Pin
Engr. S.M. Inuwa30-Dec-17 0:18
memberEngr. S.M. Inuwa30-Dec-17 0:18 
QuestionThe code doesn't work Pin
Eddy Quicksall28-Oct-17 14:45
memberEddy Quicksall28-Oct-17 14:45 
AnswerRe: The code doesn't work Pin
jsc423-Nov-17 4:46
professionaljsc423-Nov-17 4:46 
QuestionWorks with Notepad - Why not Snippingtool Pin
Member 1326358616-Jun-17 5:56
memberMember 1326358616-Jun-17 5:56 
QuestionNot working in Chrome and/or Firefox Pin
Member 1023303720-Jul-15 1:19
memberMember 1023303720-Jul-15 1:19 
GeneralNot starting notepad Pin
Member 976283912-Jun-14 21:26
memberMember 976283912-Jun-14 21:26 
GeneralRe: Not starting notepad Pin
Member 1326358616-Jun-17 7:00
memberMember 1326358616-Jun-17 7:00 
GeneralFunction works Pin
jagman825-Feb-14 8:18
memberjagman825-Feb-14 8:18 
QuestionNot working after hosting on a server Pin
Robot With Defects31-Oct-13 7:05
memberRobot With Defects31-Oct-13 7:05 
QuestionRun() function arguments Pin
Member 215809415-Sep-13 23:47
memberMember 215809415-Sep-13 23:47 
GeneralError Pin
Member 442576719-Oct-10 11:07
memberMember 442576719-Oct-10 11:07 
AnswerRe: Error Pin
KunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:41
mentorKunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:41 
GeneralRe: Error Pin
1ni3-Mar-13 21:14
member1ni3-Mar-13 21:14 
GeneralRe: Error Pin
KunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:44
mentorKunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:44 
GeneralDoesnt work Pin
Member 442576719-Oct-10 10:58
memberMember 442576719-Oct-10 10:58 
AnswerRe: Doesnt work Pin
KunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:38
mentorKunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:38 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Richard Waddell7-Oct-10 15:23
memberRichard Waddell7-Oct-10 15:23 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pin
KunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:37
mentorKunalChowdhury20-Oct-10 7:37 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
JackDanyelZ0028-Sep-10 9:41
memberJackDanyelZ0028-Sep-10 9:41 
GeneralRe: My vote of 4 Pin
KunalChowdhury28-Sep-10 15:31
mentorKunalChowdhury28-Sep-10 15:31 
GeneralRe: My vote of 4 Pin
rahul.kulshreshtha22-May-13 17:31
memberrahul.kulshreshtha22-May-13 17:31 

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