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Windows Tip: How to Make Yahoo Messenger Use Firefox as Default Browser in Vista

Yahoo! MessengerOkay, okay. I know I’ve been a critic of Windows Vista and you might be wondering why the heck I’m writing Vista tips. I’ve recently acquired for myself a laptop and it came with a free Windows Vista Home Basic OS. Since I figured I’m still paying for it (even if they say it’s free), I might just use it and get a first-hand Vista (horror?) experience out of it. Vista Home Basic doesn’t have Aero and I also figured I don’t need that much of a fancy interface anyway. In any case, I’ve set my system settings to work for performance over appearance, so that’s that.

In any case, one of the immediate pet peeves I encountered is that my Yahoo! Messenger is using Internet Explorer as its default browser. That is even if I’ve set Firefox to be my default browser. So whenever I click on links in Yahoo! Messenger windows, darned IE just keeps popping up. And, in case you might not know, Yahoo! Messenger uses IE as it’s backbone.

A little exploration in Vista’s labyrinth of options and menus led me to this solution.

  • Click the Start menu
  • Click Default Programs
  • Click “Set program access and computer deaults”
  • Select Custom then click on the drop arrow
  • Look for “Choose a default web browser” and select Mozilla Firefox
    Select Firefox as default browser in Vista
  • Click OK

102 Responses to “Windows Tip: How to Make Yahoo Messenger Use Firefox as Default Browser in Vista”

  • SHYNE says:

    you rock! i just got my new vista laptop and was searching for a fix. thanks so much!

  • myshkin says:

    Any idea how to get Firefox to show up in that list? Both Vista and FF say FF is the default, but it doesn’t show up in the list when I try to set program defaults.

  • Alex says:

    Hmm… I can’t seem to recreate that problem. Firefox shows up every time. Try setting it to use Current Web browser.

    Or try this routine. Set IE as default. Then run FF and set it as default when it asks you. Then check the default programs list again. I’m not sure this would work, though.

  • Georgia85 says:

    Woohoo! I can’t wait to get home and try this new setting on my laptop. I have the reverse problem, Yahoo opens links in Firefox and I want to use IE7. That is my default browser, Firefox has never been, and my internet options show that IE7 is my default. But I will mess around with this new setting. THanks

  • Artsygal says:

    Ah hah! That’s been driving me insane for the last 2 days. Thanks so much!

  • Pam says:

    Yey! This fixed my little ym-browser problem. Thanks!

  • K says:

    thank you – I have also been trying for days

  • Simona says:

    THANKS so much! i’ve been SOOO frustrated by this thing and now..i have finally found serenity, thanks to you :)

  • Khalid says:

    I love you! :P
    That’s been a massive annoyance since I started using messenger on my new machine.


  • RED says:

    Wow! Your Super!

    It’s driving me insane for a week now… Thank you so much!

    Also to my friend Khikko… He led me to you… I’m kinda pre-historic!

    Have a Great Day!

  • Cy21 says:

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!

  • tapuleo says:

    OK. That was too easy. Thanks, man. Awesome tip!

  • boxoffice says:

    great tips keep them cmin fella

  • John says:

    Thank you so much. It’s true you DO rock!

  • ios says:

    Thanks a lot! :D

  • Annoyed says:

    AWESOME! It bugged me for so long and could not find a fix.


  • Sophia says:

    I am using Avant Browser and XP and having the same issue…..where can I go since I don’t have a “default programs” link?

  • bbbobbbo says:

    wonderful tip yet useless to me :((, that is, as “myshkin” user above has already mentioned, forefox is not shown in Default programs > Custom list.

    i have vista ultimate so i am wondering, is Default Programs menu different in vista ultimate compared to vista home (basic or whatever)?!?!
    could microsoft have implemented such policy in ultimate as to not allow users (owners!!!) of vista to manipulate desired programs at their own choice? hmmm….

  • bbbobbbo says:

    okay i solved it; after lots of searching found some useful tips somewhere suggesting i should reinstall firefox, and that i did – what do you know? it’s now showing up as an option under default programs > custom list – youhoooo all links from within yahoo messenger now open in firefox rather than ie7 – great!

  • saeed says:

    Thanks Man! Oh, what a relief!!!!!

  • Mike says:

    Thanks for making my day! You’re the best, man! :-)

  • Weeze68dt says:

    Thanks a lot! Been annoyed by this for ages and even tried the new Yahoo Instant Messenger Vista Beta to try and avoid this issue… as well as others. Needless to say, the Beta is not so great yet. Thanks for the help, worked like a charm.

  • Dave says:

    This has been annoying me for a long time. I think you just made my whole year! Thank you!

  • Melodie says:

    Thanks a lot!!
    I’ve been living with having to right click on links and copy and pasting them onto firefox!

  • Kai says:

    thanks, Alex !!
    really helpful for me.

  • Pranay says:

    Hello ,
    It worked thanks
    Actually IE 7 is the worst it always hangs so I wanted firefox

  • Christina says:

    Thank you so much! I figured there had to be a way around that just didnt know how lol and it was simple. thanks again

  • arfan says:

    Thanx a million

  • lalith says:

    This is absolutely one shot answer for my pbm.. thanks for the post..

  • Eliza says:

    Thank you so much!
    I’ve been wondering for a long while. It’s absolutely useful.IE is no favor to me, and will not be. I just followed the steps and it doesn’t occur anymore when I use Yahoo! Messenger.
    But I don’t know why Windows Live Messenger is still using IE as default after the settings… Microsoft wants it? I did not intended to use Windows Live Messenger, but most of m friends are using it, and many features are lost when I use Yahoo! Messenger to chat with them.
    Will there be any solutions? I really don’t want to see IE anymore…

  • Rick says:

    Thank you very much!

  • Tailwind says:

    I never thought the fix is just this simple but it seems real out hard without you pointing us the way out.

    Thanks, you’re my SUPERMAN!

  • M says:

    You are my FAVORITE person EVER! i was looking for that fix, but i was looking in the wrong spot. (it didn’t work from “set your default programs”) I can’t express how frustrated i was getting!! thanks again ever so much!

  • baolkvn says:

    Thank you very much.

  • Kows says:

    Thanks! Sure beats cutting and pasting links from my yahoo msger like i had been doing!!!

  • whatever says:

    thnx a lot , i was searching for that for long time
    really thnxxxx
    I HATE IE :D

  • Cru3L says:

    thanks a lot, this is the one that i’ve looking for

  • Jomaro says:

    Thanks, i was searching for this fix, you saved me :)

  • Dror Sever says:

    Thanx it was so elegant… (Dror from Israel)

  • oi71 says:

    damned. i never thought it so simple. looking for solution almost 1 year. lucky found this site. thanks so much. u save my day. fuhhh…

  • Tin says:

    I wouldn’t have figured this out myself. Good thing I didn’t waste time trying to solve the issue on my own but went surfing for the answer right away. I knew someone out there had surely figured it out already. Thanks!

  • KD says:


  • Tien Do Xuan says:

    Great. Got it done.

  • rcfnpl says:

    Thanks so much. Just like all the others, I’d been searching for days and you answered my question. Your explanation was very detailed and well illustrated.

  • ichi says:

    perfect! thank, thank, thank :-)

  • claudio says:

    thank you a lot!

  • scott says:

    thanks. nearly drove me insane

  • mihir says:


  • Trisha says:

    This information was so helpful to a T I am so thankful I stumbled across it and found it thanks a big bunch I was so in the dark looking for it…AGAIN Thanks for posting it!

  • Tara says:

    Your a TOTAL legend ya know! Thank you so so much for this. It has been sending me insane! YAYYYYYY!

  • BD says:

    Thank you very much , I hate IE but now after I followed your instructions the IE nightmare is gone

  • MJU says:

    Many thanks, I hate IE so well pleased with the fix.

  • askshameer says:

    U r the best! thnx a lot! I was totally mad tryin 2 make Firefox as my default browser

  • rayland says:

    just the fix i needed! thanks!

  • gail says:

    I have been searching for days and finally ran across this. Thanks so much!

  • Pao says:

    Thank you very much!

  • elizabeth says:

    THANK YOU thank you. That was bugging the hell out of me!

  • Preetham says:

    Thanks dude. Ur tio helped me…..on XP too. Cheers mate :)

  • Hamid says:

    hoho its ok thanks a lot :0

  • chie says:


  • dfunkt says:

    thanks!!! =)

  • osteologation says:

    omg this has to be the greatest thing ever you are my hero

  • nur says:

    Hi, thank u very much!! i google for the answer of my problem and i found this site… it worked! :)

  • Leoal says:

    Hey, Thanks, I needed to fix this only the other way around, because every time I tried Firefox it gave me nothing but problems. This time, Yahoo was opening links in firefox, even though it kept crashing each time. I changed default browsers, nothing. Then I uninstalled firefox, and Yahoo wasn’t working at all, so I tried this, and now it is working fine again! Much appreciated!

  • X-Man says:

    Thanks Man, this has been bugging me no end since I went to vista a couple of months ago. Just want to add ALSO WORKS WITH OPERA !!! [were opera is a option in the dialouge box].

    Thanks again

  • pierre says:

    I’ll thank you in french so french users can get the tip too by searching in google. Merci beaucoup pour l’astuce, j’ai cherché comme un malade pendant trop longtemps comment faire fonctionner yahoo messenger avec firefox sous vista. T’es un chef !

  • Chris says:

    Thanks so much! :D I’ve always had a problem with this. It was so annoying because I hate IE on my computer. It’s so slow. If I clicked on a link in YIM, it would take like 30 seconds for the IE to open and the link to load. So I was always just copying links and pasting them in Firefox.

    So this really helped. ;)

  • rohit says:

    bingo! u made my life easier. i was tired of looking anything in messenger’s setting.

  • huou says:

    Thanx, man. It works ^^

  • simona says:

    Awesome, thanks dude, you deserve a statue!

  • Shawna says:

    yay!!! thank you SOOOOO much this issue with yahoo has been driving me nuts!

  • Val says:

    In Yahoo Messenger you go to Preferences>General about half way down you will get to “Open web links in a new browser window” if you uncheck that it will open in whatever browser you have. I think since Yahoo uses the IE browsing engine for it’s interface when you tell it to open in a new browser window it opens IE since IE is running…then again who knows!

  • Sabah says:

    Cool! u rock! for ages i’ve struggled w/ this problem.

  • Sabah says:

    hi, i followed all the instructions and got it set correctly and it worked too, but now, after a restart it doesnt work at all :(
    i set it again but whenever i click the mail link in messenger, it opens up on IE….and then again i go to set the options and see tht the selection went to ‘use my current browser’ automatically. this time i set it to ff and when i click….there it goes to IE. and this cycle goes on and on…. :( any help wud be appreciated. thanks.

  • Chris says:

    Thank god. I recently switched to Mozilla since I’ve heard such great things (plus some friends have been nagging the crap out of me). The yahoo thing has been bugging the hell out of me! Thank you a million times over.

  • darky says:

    It works (on vista + y!mess 9.0) :D
    thx! :)

  • Paul says:

    Finally an easy explanation and fix that works! Thanks for posting this and making it easy even for beginners!

  • LB says:

    This fixed my very annoying problem. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

  • LB says:

    forgot to mention I use XP and it worked for that too

  • TheNetOwl says:

    Tried the above, set Mozilla as default browser, yet Yahoo Messenger still faithfully opens Windows IE explorer every time I click on a link. Any other suggestions?

  • hamed-persian boy says:

    yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!thats it.thanx thanx.god make you happy

  • Pranab says:

    thanks “VAL” i got it….i was using XP so either of any dint work…now it works..ur technique was the best thru yahoo messener–preference–general…

  • Eugen says:

    Hye! Very helpfull with Xp SP2 to! Works great! Thanks a lot!

  • Mike says:

    finally. i got the solution. thanks.

  • JLo says:

    whew. thank you!

  • tsioh says:

    you rock! thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    THANKS SO MUCH! This has been annoying me for days. I couldnt figure out why yahoo messenger was the ONLY thing that used ie. I dont like IE and it locks my computer up for a min. when I forgot and used the email notification to check my email and it automatically opened my mail in IE. arrrg. But now it works! yay!

  • Erin says:

    it’s not working; and I restarted both firefox and yahoo messenger just to be sure

  • grow23 says:

    First off thanks, this was exactly what needed to be done and it was very helpfull.

  • Billynair says:

    w00t!! WORKS!! Why the F doesn’t setting firefox as your default in firefox work anymore? used to pre-vista/7. We use Yahoo! at work for intra-office messages and this was driving me NUTS!! already have a bunch of tabs open then leviathan (IE) launches and sucks all your remaining resources…

  • Larry says:

    I was having a heck of a time and tried going to “set program access…” Custom, appling mozilla as default and would never work but finally today I went to mozilla and tools, options, advanced, make sure tab is on general and apply it there and it worked.

  • Lennie says:

    I have a really weird issue.

    IE 8 insisted on installing in my puter and now when I open pages in it I get a blank page and a little “done” in the bottom. Error message res://ieframe.dll/dnserror.htm#
    I have a 10 month old HP Pavilion with Vista Home premium.
    I have Norton 360 installed.
    Yahoo comes up and I can read the little flash message box at the bottom but get a blank chat window. If I send an emoticon or conversation the other person sees it but I can’t see what I sent!
    HELP please.

  • hamed says:

    you solve my big trouble
    thanks dude :-)

  • pud-l-mak-er says:

    Where the heck have I been! I have been putting up with this issue for years! Lately IE takes hours to load anything, I finally did some googling and found this page. I never new it was so easy, but so hard to find (within vista)? Thank you so much.

  • omar sirwan says:

    thank you very much my friend that was so useful

  • Prince says:

    You’re the best…
    That’s what i’ve been looking for,for almost a year… .

  • imi says:

    wow you’re the best, That worked so great, Thank youuuuuuuuu ♥

  • HELP says:

    AW GAWD THIS IS NOT WORKING!!! It does not give me the option to change the settings for Y! IM! It only has ONE OPTION: DEFAULT but MOZILLA *IS* MY DEFAUTL. WHAT NOW? WHAT DO I DO NOW PLEASE? I was on IE having tons of problems, I went under OPTIONS and ADVANCED and clicked RESTORE DEFAULT SETTINGS. I did what you say above, it’s not working!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE DONE THE ABOVE 3 TIMES ALREADY BACK TO BACK AND EACH TIME Y! IM OPENS ON IE! WHY????? HELP ME ASAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!

  • HELP says:

    UGH! I was on IE having tons of problems, I went under OPTIONS and ADVANCED and clicked RESTORE DEFAULT SETTINGS. After that new incoming mail so I clicked Y! IM mail icon and it normally ALWAYS opens on FFOX but it now opeend on IE. WHY? I didn’t touch nothing just the Advance settings on IE as above, I didn’t mess with FFOx settings pleaeas help me

  • HELP says:

    Never mind Larry got it: “I went to mozilla and tools, options, advanced, make sure tab is on general and apply it there and it worked.” Apply it there = restore Firefox as default. It worked, whew! Thanks Larry! :)

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