Default Browser Switcher Extension for Visual Studio 2010 - Improve Productivity



There are many instance when we have "Browser1" as the default browser in the system and we want our web application to be run inside a different browser (say "Browser2") from the Visual Studio IDE. To do this, we need to open the "Browser2" application and set it as default one, so that, the "Browser2" will start as the application handle from the IDE. After that, you have to revert back the default browser to "Browser1" by doing the same step.

 

This is really very difficult job. To simplify this thing, there is an Extension for the Visual Studio 2010 IDE. If you download and install that free extension, you will be able to do this very easily. In this post I will share the step and show you how this will improve your productivity.

 

Installing the Extension

First you need to install the extension from the Visual Studio Gallery. The name of the extension is "Default Browser Switcher Extension". To download it, open your Visual Studio instance and go to the "Tools -> Extension Manager" as shown in the below screenshot:

 

Open Tools - Extension Manager

 

This will open up the "Extension Manager" dialog Window to the screen. Do the following steps inside this:

    1. Click on the "Online Gallery" tab
    2. In the search box, enter "default browser switcher" to search the extension online (you need Internet Connection, of course)
    3. This will show the search result in the main panel as shown below. Click the download link to start the download process

Download the required Extension

 

Once the download is done, it will start the installation process. In the first screen, you will see the following Window. Click "Install" to continue.

 

Installation of the Extension

 

Once the installation process is done, the extension in the main panel will have a Green tick, which inform you that the same has been installed in your PC. After the installation process, the IDE will ask you to restart the instance of the IDE for the changes to take effect. The "Extension Manager" dialog window will look as below:

 

Restart Visual Studio in order for the changes to take effect

 

Click the "Restart Now" button to restart the Visual Studio. Once the new instance of the IDE has been launched, you will find the Browser switcher toolbar in the screen.

 

Default Browser Switcher Toolbar

If you already installed the extension in your local PC, you will see the below Toolbar inside your Visual Studio IDE:

 

Browser Choser Toolbar added to Visual Studio IDE

 

This has 5 different browser buttons. The browser button that you selected in the toolbar, will open up when you run a web application from your IDE. Here in this instance as the IE is selected, it will open the web application inside IE. If you chose Chrome there, it will launch it inside the Google Chrome.

 

This will only work if you have the specified browser installed in your PC. If you don't have the specified browser, the button will not toggle.

 

One thing to say here is, this will not change the default browser of the system. It will just launch the web page from Visual Studio inside the selected browser.

 

If you didn't find the said toolbar, right click on any blank space of the existing toolbar panel and from the context menu, select the "Default Browser Switcher" submenu as shown in the below screenshot:

 

Right Click and Add the Toolbar from the Context Menu

 

This step will add the toolbar in the Visual Studio Toolbar panel. Now you are good to go with the extension. Just follow the steps mentioned above and it will improve your productivity a lot. If you are still confused whether this will really help or not, my dear friend, just use it for sometime. You will come to know what I want to say here.

 

At the end, thanks for your time to read this post. Don't forget to share the cool tip to your friend and colleagues. This will definitely help them a lot if they are developing web applications using Visual Studio.

6 comments

  1. Productivity would go even higher if we didn't have to keep uninstalling/reinstalling every time it expires ;0

    ReplyDelete
  2. You don't have to worry about expired product here because the extension is FREE to use.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kunal, to set the default browser without the extension, you can right click an .aspx page in your web project and select "Browse with...". From there, you can set your default browser without having to go through the steps that you mentioned.

    The extension does save you a few steps though, which I find worth it, so thanks for the post.

    It would be nice if the extension ran the code necessary to associate each browser with the debugger extensions. eg, you cannot hit breakpoints if you select anything other than IE.

    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Aaron,

    First of all, "Browse with" option is not available by default in Visual Studio, I guess. You need to install some extension for that.

    Right clicking the page to Browse with different browser needs couple of clicks and hence the productivity word comes into the stage.

    Other side, if you want to run in debug mode, you can't right click and say "Browse with". Yes, some browsers are not able to debug, but there are some mechanism to kick them up for that. Running proper code to attach with debugger is a great suggestion but you need to inform this to the product team. :)

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback. Appreciate your time and suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice extension, it will defiantly save some time when developer is developing cross browser applications.

    ReplyDelete


 
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