How to Open Local Files on Your Browser in Windows

Open Local Files Browsers Featured

Every so often, you may find yourself having to work between your browser and another file on the computer. This could be in a video presentation, where you would need to keep opening different files on your computer as the meeting progresses.

This and many other scenarios can be easily solved by opening the files in the browser. Older versions of Windows required heavy and technical modifications to do this. With Windows 10, this is not as difficult. Depending on the browser, opening the local files is either natively supported or requires a slight modification of the settings on your computer.

Preamble – Security Issues

There are a few issues that need to be addressed before you access local files in your browser. Since the browser has complete access to the Internet, security is the most important. Chances are that you have important information on your computer and may not want this to fall into the wrong hands. To avoid this, a thorough audit must be done. The computer should be scanned for viruses, and the browser to be used must be pristine. All unnecessary add-ons and extensions should be removed, as these could harbor dangerous malware or even ransomware.

Aantivirus software is required as well. It not only protects the data on the computer but analyzes traffic network for any malware and then flags it. Once installed, it should perform a deep scan of the computer to get rid of any unwanted viruses, malware, and potential ransomware. The antivirus should be good enough to also check the boot partition of the computer’s hard drive.

Google Chrome

Using Google Chrome to access local files is as easy as pressing Ctrl + O at the same time.

This interface will open, allowing you to navigate to whichever file or folder is needed.

There are several types of files which can be opened using Chrome. These include pdf, mp3 files, some video files and most document files. You don’t need a dedicated app to open these types of files.


For Firefox, you can open a local file by opening a new tab and then clicking on the “Open File” option. This will open a file explorer that can be used to navigate different folders and open files supported by Firefox.

It’s possible to shorten this process by entering file:/// in the address bar. It will lead to the same result. You have to make sure that there are exactly three slashes after the colon.

Access Local Files Firefox


Opening the file explorer in Edge is not currently supported. One way around this is by going to Internet options, clicking on the Security tab, choosing local intranet and then clicking on sites. Then uncheck the boxes reading “include all local (intranet) sites not listed in other zones” as well as “Include all sites that bypass the proxy server.”

Using Browser To Open Files Edge

The problem with this method is that it can leave your computer vulnerable to attacks from a malicious party within your network, such as the office intranet. It is also a hit-and-miss method since Edge rolls out updates every so often, which plug such loopholes.

If the exact address of the file you want to open is unknown, you can use Edge by inserting the complete address into the search bar. The address must lead to a file that can be opened by Edge, such as a pdf file or a music file.

Wrapping Up

These are just some of the methods to access local files on your browser. It makes work much easier and increases productivity if one has to keep looking for different files for their work while online.

Don Sharpe

Don has been writing professionally for over 10 years now, but his passion for the written word started back in his elementary school days. His work has been published on,, eHow,,, The Writers Network and a host of other companies.

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