Webmail/ Google Apps email - launch links which lead to local files/shares

posted Aug 26, 2014, 1:39 PM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated Aug 28, 2014, 12:52 PM ]
This took a bit of experimentation, but, I came up with a few work arounds for links to local files.  It's not at all ideal, but for now, its an option...

Copy / Paste this link in to Internet Explorer, and a file explorer window will launch with the contents of that folder
file://server/share/

Copy/Paste this link in to Chrome or Firefox, and browser will open displaying the contents in a SharePoint-like fashion
file://///server/share/

Note: The links for Firefox and Chrome are not really the same, but the
 ///// will work in both Chrome and Firefox. Chrome just converts the 5 /'s down to 2 of them.​

Also Note: Any of these can be used as Bookmarks on the Browser of your choice, and work well to launch a location... but these do not work as a link within an email...as most browser clients for email services lock down the launching of links to only external web hosts, and not to internal file, or domain hosts.  I have toyed with smb:// and can make that work for non-windows shares.  But this post is geared for working within a Microsoft domain.
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There is a way to launch a link from an email, but it takes a couple steps... and its not pretty... but it works... 

First open notepad, or text editor of your choice.

Use the following as the contents of this new text file:

<html><a href='file://///ServerName/ShareName'>Click Here to link to ShareName</a></html>

Now save the file as Link2Resource.html

Once saved, you can create your email, and attach this html file.  

When the person in your local network receives the file, they can click to download the link, and then when the file executes, you can click the link, which will open up the path to that file/folder location.

It's a quick way to send out a mass email to a bunch of staff members for a UNC location that has a lot of sub folders, and reduces down the steps to 2 or 3 clicks depending on browser and OS.

Of course, the user could just copy the path file://///server/share and then paste it in to a browser window manually... but what fun is that?

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