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Posted 10 Jul 2011

Default Browser Switcher Extension for Visual Studio 2010 - Improve Productivity

, 10 Jul 2011
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How to install and use the Default Browser Switcher Extension for Visual Studio 2010

There are many instances when we have "Browser1" as the default browser in the system and we want our web application to be run inside a different browser (say "Browser2") from the Visual Studio IDE. To do this, we need to open the "Browser2" application and set it as the default one so that "Browser2" will start as the application handle from the IDE. After that, you have to revert back to the default browser to "Browser1" by doing the same.

This is really a very difficult job. To simplify this, there is an extension for the Visual Studio 2010 IDE. If you download and install that free extension, you will be able to do this very easily. In this post, I will share the steps to do this and show you how this will improve your productivity.

Installing the Extension

First, you need to install the extension from the Visual Studio Gallery. The name of the extension is "Default Browser Switcher Extension". To download it, open your Visual Studio instance and go to "Tools -> Extension Manager", as shown in the below screenshot:

Open Tools - Extension Manager

This will open up the "Extension Manager" dialog window. Do the following steps inside this:

  1. Click on the "Online Gallery" tab.
  2. In the search box, enter "default browser switcher" to search the extension online (you need an Internet connection, of course).
  3. This will show the search result in the main panel as shown below. Click the download link to start the download process.

Download the required Extension

Once the download is done, it will start the installation process. In the first screen, you will see the following window. Click "Install" to continue.

Installation of the Extension

Once the installation process is done, the extension in the main panel will have a green tick which informs you that it has been installed in your PC. After the installation process, the IDE will ask you to restart the instance of the IDE for the changes to take effect. The "Extension Manager" dialog window will look as below:

Restart Visual Studio in order for the changes to take effect

Click the "Restart Now" button to restart Visual Studio. Once the new instance of the IDE has been launched, you will find the Browser switcher toolbar in the screen.

Default Browser Switcher Toolbar

If you have already installed the extension in your local PC, you will see the below Toolbar inside your Visual Studio IDE:

Browser Choser Toolbar added to Visual Studio IDE

This has five different browser buttons. The browser button that you selected in the toolbar will open up when you run a web application from your IDE. Here in this instance, as Internet Explorer is selected, it will open the web application inside Internet Explorer. If you chose Chrome there, it will launch it inside Google Chrome.

This will only work if you have the specified browser installed in your PC. If you don't have the specified browser, the button will not toggle.

One thing to say here is, this will not change the default browser of the system. It will just launch the web page from Visual Studio inside the selected browser.

If you didn't find the said toolbar, right click on any blank space of the existing toolbar panel and from the context menu, select the "Default Browser Switcher" submenu as shown in the below screenshot:

Right Click and Add the Toolbar from the Context Menu

This step will add the toolbar to the Visual Studio Toolbar panel. Now you are good to go with the extension. Just follow the steps mentioned above and it will improve your productivity a lot. If you are still confused whether this will really help or not, my dear friend, just use it for sometime. You will come to know what I want to say here.

At the end, thanks for your time. Don't forget to share this cool tip with your friends and colleagues. This will definitely help them a lot if they are developing web applications using Visual Studio.


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

QuestionHELP - Default Browser Switcher Extension for Visual Studio 2010 Pin
Member 86770706-Jun-12 10:12
memberMember 86770706-Jun-12 10:12 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Ramalinga Koushik10-Jul-11 18:40
memberRamalinga Koushik10-Jul-11 18:40 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pin
Kunal_Chowdhury11-Jul-11 5:48
mvpKunal_Chowdhury11-Jul-11 5:48 

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