Integrating local content with your browser

How to quickly link to files stored on your computer, while you're browsing the web, by Will Johnson

This article discusses security and efficiency issues with browsing local and remote files easily, from a local home page, which links to either without issues.


This article written and copyright 2009 by Will Johnson,  All Rights Reserved.

To properly use this article, you will need some understanding of how to Edit web pages, and at least a feeling of how HTML works.

The Goal

First, I will describe the goal.  Most people are familiar with using a browser to gain access to their various remote portal areas, like bank accounts, credit cards, bills to be paid like utilities or subscriptions online;  favorite news pages, user groups like Facebook or Myspace, discussion groups, etc.  However, in addition, many people would like to be able to "browse" to local files, that is, files which are stored on their own computer, not online, and yet can be viewed in a browser.  For example, you might store your family contact information locally, perhaps you don't trust storing such details in an internet location online, and yet you're comfortable storing them in text, Word, or HTML format, but just locally.  Maybe you have a local ToDo list, maybe you keep client contact information, locally in an Excel spreadsheet.  Wouldn't it be neat and handy, to be able, while you're browsing news and bills and friends pages, to be able to simply pull up your local data in a new browser window?  Yes it would be.

The Problem

Next, let's describe why this is a problem.  Most people simply cannot remember the local file locations for where they have stored all their various pages of contact data, private bank and credit data, Todo lists, family pictures, vacation plans, calendars etc.  Taking the time to have to re-find these pages over and over, while you're trying to quickly browse here and there to get some other pieces of data, is too time consuming.  Most people instead of trying to browse to it, would simply find it easier to use the Windows Search function (in the Start button), or manually hunt around on their desktop, or favorite folders... and meanwhile twenty minutes go by, before you can find the file again.  Clever people have thought, "Maybe I can simply edit my Home page, and add a link directly to my local files, to that page, then I won't have to keep finding them over and over, and can simply go Home, click that link, and have my local file open in a new browser window!"  Nice idea, but it won't work.  At one time, IE and perhaps other browsers did allow you to do just that.  But with the most recent versions, they have blocked that ability.  Presumably this is a security issue, so that remote programs, can not use that ability to hack into your system.  Let's say you have a remote Home page on your website like, you can edit it to add a link to a local file such as D://businessfolders/clientcontacts.html.  You then save it, refresh the page, and bam it's there.  However, when you click on that link, it actually will execute a search in your search engine, and return an error.  It doesn't understand anymore, that the file is local on your own computer, not on the internet.  There is however a way, to restore this functionality and also protect yourself from remote programs being able to utilize it and I'm going to describe how to do it next.

Create a home page that allows both local and remote browsing

  1. Go to your desktop.  Right click and select New and then Text document.
  2. An empty page will open in Notepad.  In this page you type <html><title>My Home Page</title><body>Blah blah</body></html>.
  3. In the Notepad menu you select File > Save.  Name your file MyHomePage.html Then close Notepad.  On your desktop you will now see a new file called MyHomePage
  4. Double-click on this new file and it will open (being an html document) in your browser, IE or Firefox or Opera or Chrome or whatever browser you're using.
  5. Now click on your Home button, select and cut the URL that comes up.  Now click your browser's back arrow to return to your "local" Home page.  Edit that page, and add this URL to it and name it "Internet Home Page" or something like that.
  6. Now select and copy the URL (address) of your local Home page which will probably be something like
  7. In your browser's options, change your home page to be this local page by opening up the browser options, finding where the home page URL is stored, and editing it by pasting in the URL you just copied in Step 6.  Then save that change.
  8. Test what you've done, by browsing anywhere else on the internet, then when you get to that other place, click your Home button in your toolbar.  It should return you quickly to your local Home page, which has the link as well, that you just created, to your remote Internet Home page.

Congratulations, you can now add whatever local links you like to your new local Home page, and have no fear that anyone in the outside world can view it.  You can easily and quickly, jump from local files, to your internet Home page which will have all your old links forward to your internet files and back again.  Your efficiency has just increased by 100%.  If this article has helped you so far, click here to leave a fifty cent donation in my beer and chip fund to keep research like this going.