Multiple FireFox Launchers

I like to keep a pair of FireFox launchers in my taskbar: one for my home page, and one for The Google.  This used to work OK on Windows 7, but something has changed.

In the past, I could create a new desktop shortcut pointed at Firefox, and just add the URL target I wanted thusly:

C:Program Files (x86)Mozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe" -URL www.google.com

Then just pin the new shortcut to the taskbar, and Bob’s your uncle.  Sometime over the last few weeks or months this has stopped working.  Existing dual launchers continued to work, but anything that touched their target (FireFox upgrade, for instance) would cause one to disappear.  No amount of fiddling and hacking would get it working again.

Aparently there’s new windows code that tries to combine all launchers with the same target into a single launcher (or something).  In the old days, the addtional target option (the -URL …) made them sufficiently different to be allowed.  No more.

The only hack I’ve found to get around this is only a partial fix.  Go to the FireFox program folder:

C:Program Files (x86)Mozilla Firefox

Open a command prompt as Administrator, and create a link:

mklink /h firefox_google.exe firefox.exe

Then create a new desktop shortcut and point it at “…firefox_google.exe” -URL www.google.com and pin that to the taskbar.

This works for me with a couple of quirks.  Launching The Google also highlights the FireFox launcher.  It also confuses FireFox about whether it is the default browser, and it nags about that each time it is launched.  I just turn the nag off.  Every time FireFox gets updated, the links will have to be rebuilt.  Oh well…

It’s useable but not ideal.  Maybe MS will go back to allowing launchers with the same targets but different options.  And winged monkeys might fly out of my…  well, you get the idea.

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