How to fix Tweetdeck & Adobe AIR links…

by Fred von Graf on February 10, 2009

Do the links in TweetDeck not work for you?  For a while now any links that I wanted to follow in TweetDeck would not work by clicking on them, so I would have to copy and then paste them in to a web browser.  Needless to say this was not ideal and made TweetDeck a far less appealing application to use, even with it’s many other advantages (saving that for another post).  Well with some exploration I was able to determine the cause of the problem and ultimately a fix.  

Now I’m posting my findings here so others can refer to them and correct issues they have with links working within Adobe AIR applications.  I say Abobe AIR applications because the problem turns out not to be a fault of TweetDeck but rather a fault of Adobe and how they determine what the default browser is.

It all relates back to the Windows registry and where programs look to determine what browser to open when a .htm or .html file is clicked on.  Well most application look in the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\.htm and the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\.html registry entries both which default to Internet Explorer and are changed by other browsers when they are set as the default browser.  Well Adobe doesn’t look at these registry keys but rather look at the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\htmlfile entry which is not usually set by the browsers when being set as default (with the exception of Firefox).

Simple solution to getting links working in AIR applications, including TweetDeck:

1. From the Start Menu select ‘Set Program Access and Defaults’ in XP and in Start, Default Programs then ‘Set Program…’ in Vista

Start Menu Selection

2. From the Custom configuration click on the double down arrows to the right.

Custom Config

3. Select Internet Explorer and click OK.

Select IE

4. You should briefly see a notice that Internet Explorer is being set at default.

IE Set

 

5. Go to your Adobe AIR application, TweetDeck in our case and test a link.

Test AIR link

6. Internet Explorer should now open the link. Close Tweetdeck and Internet Explorer.

IE Opens

7. Now go to Firefox and have it check to see if it’s the default browser.

FireFox Default Setting

8. Change it so Firefox is the default browser.

Firefox Set Default

9. Now open your Adobe AIR application, Tweetdeck for us and test a link again.

Test Link in AIR App

10. This time the link should open in Firefox. Problem fixed.

Link in Firefox

 

Advanced (avoid unless the above does not work).

Only difference from the above simple instructions is the removal of three registry entries prior to following the above steps.  Use these options ONLY if the above didn’t work for you.

1. Go in to RegEdit (or your favorite registry editor).

regedit

2. Find the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\.htm registry entry and delete it.

3. Find the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\.html registry entry and delete it.

4. Find the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\htmlfile registry entry and delete it.

Find Classes.htm.html

reg delete

5. Now go back to step 1 in the simple section and go from there.

Here’s a small video that illustrates the above simple solution:


TweetDeck / Adobe AIR Link Fix from Fred von Graf on Vimeo.
 

I hope you found the above helpful and it solves your Adobe AIR link problems.

You can always follow me on Twitter @fvongraf

Disclaimer: The above steps worked for me but I take no responsibility for any issues or damage following the above suggestions has.  Use the information at your own risk.

 

UPDATE (2009-2/24): Thanks to this entry being mentioned on Twitter (thanks @InsultComicDog & @HuffPost ) I’ve become aware of this great link that answer many a TweetDeck question.  Follow this link if you have more TweetDeck questions: http://www.richardbarley.com/2009/02/22/all-your-tweetdeck-questions-answered/ – Thanks @richardbarley for the great compilation of TweetDeck knowledge!