Most people think that web browsers can only be used to explore the internet and websites. It is not true. You can actually use a web browser more than its intended purpose. In this article, I will show you how you can use a web browser to explore your computer hard disks and why it works better than the default File Explorer in some cases.
How to use web browser to explore your computer? Browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc. can be used to browser local folders and files on hard drive. Open a web browser on your computer, it can be Firefox, Opera or Chrome, but not Internet Explorer, because IE or Microsoft Internet Explorer will redirect you to default windows explorer. In this demo, we will use Google Chrome on Windows computer. Type in the browser address bar file:///C:/ and press enter, you will see find that all files and folders on C drive with file sizes, modified date and time displayed in browser window. A screenshot like this.
You can use the web browsers to explore your computer like you browse through your computer folders and files with Windows file explorer. If you have a web hosting and use a FTP client to connect to your web server, you will find it works quite like your browser through website directories on web servers through a FTP tool.
Can I use web browser to connect to remote web server to upload and download files between local computer and web server? Yes, you can. We will show you how to do it in another post.
But as you will notice that the interface of web browser does not look so good compared to the default file explorer on your PC or Mac. And you will find a lot of things you can do on the default file explorer can’t be done with the web browser. They are made for distinct purposes. So we are not going to compare them here. When you browse your local hard drive with a web browser, you will find all folders and files are displayed in order list. And those files set to hidden will also be displayed. The web browser will simply ignores its display settings on files and folders. You can click on folders and sub-folders to open them within web browser, you can also click to open some supported file types directly on the web browser, such as the image files.