Can I say:

It opens the browser on the URL [X]

meaning that something is opening the browser with the URL [X] already typed in and loading?


Preposition on may be acceptable in that context, but is less suitable than with, using, or at. You might also reword the sentence, for more-proper semantics:

It opens the browser to display the page at URL ...


Yes, you may. With or at are more common, but a Google search for "browser on url" shows plenty of hits with this usage, for example: How to open a browser on a given URL

  • With is certainly not more common in this context—it is quite nonsensical, I would say. “Clicking the Learn more button will open your browser with the URL www.xyz.com/learnmore/”, for instance, is very clearly not right. I would only use with when the verbal and prepositional objects are switched: you open a URL with your browser, but you open your browser on/to/at a URL. Jun 25 '14 at 19:36
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, you are right that "with" is less common, but it's not nonsensical. Again, just Google search for the exact phrase "open your browser with the URL" and you will see many examples. I'm not saying the number of hits is significant, but the context of most hits indicates that the usage is as above and the writer is generally someone who should know better.
    – JeffSahol
    Jun 25 '14 at 19:56

You may open url in/with a browser.

Order of the action: usually you open a browser, then the browser opens url.

In case you have some "shorcuts" on your "desktop" you may open "the browser with the url" by clicking it. That means, the browser will be opened with the url adress embedded in shortcut.

You may "open url in a browser" - you type the url to the browser address bar.

Personally, I have never heard of open browser on url.


I'd say it opens the browser to the url.

The url represents a location(on a server somewhere) that the browser moves to. The browser does not contain/possess the url so you can't open a browser with a url.

It's like: "Drive your car with your house." vs "Drive your car to/at your house."

  • Why might to be better than at or with?
    – tchrist
    Jun 25 '14 at 18:52
  • While I can follow your reasoning, "to" doesn't seem common here. In fact, I've never heard "open X to Y" before. You might, however, say "point the browser to <URL>".
    – balu
    Sep 23 at 10:29

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