Emerald Viewer vs SLURL

Update 12/24/2016: See the newer version of this information: Second Life: How to FIX SLURL’s.

UPDATE: The Emerald Viewer is long gone. But, these steps work with any viewer and web browser. You are changing Windows’ settings. Use your viewers name in place of ‘Emerald’.

This SLURL thing has been a problem for me for a long time. The problem is clicking on any SLURL in Google Chrome, or any Internet Browser, causes the SL Viewer to start up. If I’m lucky and have Emerald running, the SLURL will open in Emerald, but not always. This is how to fix that problem, so SLURL’s open the viewer you prefer. These changes can be made for any viewer you like.

DTShady posted a solution on the Modular Forum: SLURLS and Emerald (dead links removed). This solution is for Windows. I think it works on all versions of Windows. I am only testing it on Vista.

WARNING! These are changes to your Registry. You could conceivably mess up your computer changing the registry. So, be careful and pay attention to details. Making a Restore Point for recovery is a great idea. (Google: “How to” make Restore Point) Also there are a couple of minor errors in DTShady’s posted file. (You would normally correct those in the process of adding your path, so it may be unfair to call it a mistake. Sorry.)

I’m going to provide two ways to make the changes. One will use the Registry Editor and the other will use a Registry File as DTShady’s does. If you just want a quick change and don’t care about the details head over to Modular and grab DTShady’s file. – Update: See text of file below.


In the  various versions of Windows one needs to open REGEDIT. On Vista press the Windows Key or click START and type regedit in the search field, give it a second to find the program, you’ll see it come up and highlight, then right-click on it and select Run as administrator. This won’t work if you are not running as administrator. You will get a popup or two if you have UAC (User Access Control) running, which it is by default. You can Google for how to turn it on and off. Regedit will open and you will be looking at the insides of your registry. Do NOT mess with what you do not know. I’m serious.

The entry you are looking for is in the top key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Click the small triangle to expand the tree. Scroll down to Second Life (appears as secondlife). Again click the triangle and expand the tree.  Expand the key shell, then open and you should be able to see the key command. Click on command and highlight it. This is the entry that tells your browser which program to use.

In geek-speak that paragraph is usually written as;

go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ secondlife\shell\open\command

At this point you should probably make a backup of the registry key. With the backup you can change back and forth, if you want. Save it to a folder and name it something meaningful to you. To back it up: click on the key secondlife. Then in the menu click File -> Export and save as a REG file (something.reg). If you see some weird hash of hexadecimal entries in this section, you can also save this key as a TXT file and turn the hash into something readable. If everything goes sideways you can use the REG file to restore things. Or just use the Restore Point you created.

Now, on with the change. In the right window are the entry types and values. When I wrote this I was using the Sl Beta Viewer. Whatever, the value needs to change. You are probably seeing a value something like what I see: “C:\Program Files\SecondLifeBetaViewer\SecondLifeBetaViewer.exe” –channel “Second Life Beta Viewer”  –settings settings_betaviewer.xml -url “%1”

For Emerald that needs to change to something like: “C:\Program Files\GreenLife Emerald Viewer\Emerald Viewer Alpha\ Emerald.exe” “%1”

UPDATE: For Firestorm 1691 you need:

“C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Release\”

Yours is going to be different. Mine is weird because I installed my newer Beta’s over my Alpha and I started using Emerald when it was Greenlife Emerald. You can find your exact path and avoid having to type the path by clicking START -> Computer -> Local Disk (C:) -> Program Files -> … and finding your Emerald installation. Typically that path is:

“C:\Program Files\ Emerald Viewer\Emerald Viewer\”

You need to add Emerald.exe to the end of that. You also need to add a space and “%1”. The double quotes are required when you type this into the Regedit value field. Also, if you prepare the text in Word be sure you use plan ” quotes not the curly “ quotes. Notepad is a better choice for this type of work.

You will probably be changing the value to:

“C:\Program Files\Emerald Viewer\ Emerald.exe” “%1”

“C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Release\Firestorm-Release.exe” “%1”

Next is an optional change. There is an icon that can be used. The original setting points to the SL viewer file and the icon it contains. If you want to change that to Emerald’s icon, you need to make this change. Click on DefaultIcon in the left window. Change the value to the one you used in command minus the “%1”.

You’re done. Test it.

Google’s Chrome will ask if you want to adopt this choice permanently. That is up to you. Since I expect to change mine at some point to the Final Release Emerald rather than the beta, I haven’t made the change permanent. Of course even that ‘permanent’ change can be changed at a later date.

File Change

DTShady  uses a file that you can edit to make the SLURL change. Here I modified the file to handle the icon change too.

You must make changes to this file to correct the path and viewer name you want to use.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"(default)"="URL:Second Life"
"URL Protocol"=""
@="URL:secondlife Protocol"

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Emerald Viewer Alpha\\Emerald.exe\""

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Emerald Viewer\\Emerald.exe\" \"%1\""

Copy this into a file and name it something.reg. I named mine EmeraldChange.reg.

I suggest you use the steps in the REGEDIT section to find the key and save a copy before you make the next change. That will let you easily change back at sometime if you choose. Also make sure your path to Emerald, or whatever viewer you use, is correct. Otherwise this won’t work.

Once you are sure you have it right, you have two choices. Navigate to the file you made, use START – Computer, and double click the file. You get a long ‘Are you sure?’ question. Say OK. If things don’t work, double click the file you exported and it should revert to previous behavior.

The other alternative is to use RegEdit and import the file. Both ways work.


One can make a set of these REG files and click them to change how their browsers handle SLURL’s. Something I’ll likely do from time to time.

Let me know if there are any mistakes here.

12 thoughts on “Emerald Viewer vs SLURL

  1. never worked, i even reinstalled the secondlife viewer 1.23 but it just proceed me to ask to download the 2.1 viewer which is not as better quality as the previous 1.23 version plus i lost most of objects from my inventories only most folder are still there but no more files inside, but although i use emerald but when i tried one of slurls with IE explorer mozilla or opera, it happened as the same as snowglobe not like no snowglobe yet all viewer worked with slurls.

    • Any new install of a viewer may over write these settings. One would have to open Regedit and look to see if they changed it. TPV’s are usually more polite and don’t change it. LL assumes they can change it to the standard default.

    • This fix will be overridden if you change the web browser. Several tutorials show people how to change SLURL by changing the browser’s preferences. If the browser is changed, it can override the Windows settings changed in this process.

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