.URL File Extension

URL Shortcut File

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What is a URL file?

A URL file is a shortcut that points to a specific Uniform Resource Locator. When you double-click a URL file, your computer accesses the URL the file contains. URL files most often contain https: web addresses and are used to access web pages. However, URL files can also contain mailto:, tel:, file:, or other URLs.

More Information

Screenshot of a .url file in Apple TextEdit
URL file open in Apple TextEdit

Each URL file contains at least the following plain text information:

URL=URL Address

For example, a URL file used as a shortcut to start composing an email to [email protected] would contain:

URL=mailto:[email protected]

In Windows, you can quickly create a URL file that points to a web address by dragging the address from your web browser to your desktop. This is an easy way to create a desktop shortcut to a specific webpage. (On a Mac, dragging a web address to your desktop will instead produce a .WEBLOC file.)

A URL file may also reference an icon (.ICO) file. If an icon file is listed, that icon overwrites the URL file's default icon.

NOTE: Windows does not display the .url file extension, just as it does not display the .LNK file extension for Windows shortcuts.

How to open a URL file

To use a URL file as a URL shortcut, double-click the file. Provided your file is formatted correctly, the URL your file contains will open in your web browser or another associated program.

To view the plain text data a URL file contains, open the file in Microsoft Notepad (Windows), Apple TextEdit (Mac), or any other text editor.

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Programs that open URL files

Double-click to open URL in associated program
Included with OS
Double-click to open URL in associated program
Included with OS
Double-click to open URL in associated program

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the URL Shortcut file format and Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

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