Jump to content

Check out our Community Blogs

Register and join over 40,000 other developers!

Recent Status Updates

View All Updates

- - - - -

How To Detect Installed Web Browsers

  • Please log in to reply
No replies to this topic

#1 Luthfi


    CC Leader

  • Expert Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1320 posts
  • Programming Language:PHP, Delphi/Object Pascal, Pascal, Transact-SQL
  • Learning:C, Java, PHP

Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:18 PM


Sometimes we want to know what web browsers is installed in the computer where our program is running. This tutorial will show you how to detect installed web browsers using Delphi codes. Codes used in this tutorial and the demo project was written with Delphi 7. But I believe they were valid for other Delphi versions and FreePascal/Lazarus.

Windows Registry

As usual, we should inspect windows registry to see if information of installed web browsers is available there. Fortunately it is. After researching the registry I found that general information of installed web browsers is stored under this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet.

Each installed web browser will have at least a subkey under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet (from now on we will refer it as Web Browsers Root Key) that hold general information about itself. Unfortunately a web browser might created additional subkeys to store additional information. Lucky for us, we can easily detect which one is the "official" one since it always has the web browser name for the default value of the subkey.

For example, my registry for the Web Browsers Root Key looks like below:


Reading Web Browsers Information

To properly use OOP (Object Oriented Programming), I created two following classes, and store them in a new unit I named WebBrowsers.pas.
  • TWebBrowser to represent a web browser installed in the system.
  • TWebBrowsers to store multiple instances of TWebBrowser and also to provide a way to read installed web browsers.
TWebBrowser Class

In the current case, this class has only little use except to convey the names of the installed web browsers. However later we can extend it to provide more functionalities.

TWebBrowsers Class

The main function of this class is to hold instances of TWebBrowser objects for easy manipulation. It has interesting method named ReadFromSystem which will read installed web browser information, create an instance of TWebBrowser for each detected web browser, and store the created instances of TWebBrowser in itself.

Declaration of TWebBrowsers:
    FItems: TObjectList;
    function GetIsOwnItems: Boolean;
    function GetCount: Integer;
    function GetItem(Index: Integer): TWebBrowser;
    constructor Create(const AOwnItems: Boolean);
    destructor Destroy; override;

    // Clear the content of this collection. When its IsOwnItems is true,
    // the content will also be destroyed upon clearing
    procedure Clear;
    // Clear and then populate this collection with TWebBrowser instance(s)
    // corresponding with installed web browser(s) in the system
    procedure ReadFromSystem;

    // Flag that indicates if this collection is responsible to destroy its content
    property IsOwnItems: Boolean read GetIsOwnItems;
    property Count: Integer read GetCount;
    property Items[Index: Integer]: TWebBrowser read GetItem; default;
And implementation of TWebBrowser.ReadFromSystem:
procedure TWebBrowsers.ReadFromSystem;
  cBrowsersRootKey = 'SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet';
  i: Integer;
  vReg: TRegistry;
  vName: string;
  vBrowserKeys: TStrings;
  vWebBrowser: TWebBrowser;
  // Empty the current content, if any

  vReg := TRegistry.Create;
    // we deal only with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE root
    vReg.RootKey := HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE;

    vBrowserKeys := TStringList.Create;
      // Open the "Web Browsers Root Key"
      if not vReg.OpenKeyReadOnly(cBrowsersRootKey) then
      // get the subkeys names

      // Just get out of here immediately if there is no subkey found
      if vBrowserKeys.Count=0 then Exit;

      for i := 0 to vBrowserKeys.Count-1 do
        // try to open a subkey to a possible webbrowser general info
        if not vReg.OpenKeyReadOnly(cBrowsersRootKey + '\' + vBrowserKeys) then Continue;
        // get the "offical" name of the web browser from default value of the subkey
        vName := vReg.ReadString('');

        // if no name specified, we are not in web browser "main" subkey
        if vName='' then Continue;

        // Store the general information into an instance of TWebBrowser and
        // store it in the internal collection
        vWebBrowser := TWebBrowser.Create;
        vWebBrowser.FName := vName;
Demo Project

GUI Preparation
  • Create a new application. Keep the default name Project1 and Form1 and store them.
  • Drop a TMemo to Form1, adjust its size and position so to cover nearly all client are of Form1. Leave its name to the default of Memo1
  • Drop a TButton just below Memo1. Adjust its Left and Width properties to match Memo1's. Leave its name to the default of Button1.
You should get Form1 to look something like below. If not, adjust it.


Coding The GUI
  • Add WebBrowsers.pas unit to our demo project. Use menu Project-Add to Project.
  • Open Form1 in form design mode.
  • Make sure Form1 uses WebBrowsers.pas. Use menu File-Use unit... for this.
  • Double click on Button1. This will generate skeleton code for Button1's OnClick event handler.
  • Use the following codes for Button1's OnClick event handler.
    procedure TForm1.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
      i: Integer;
      vWebBrowsers: TWebBrowsers;
      vWebBrowsers := TWebBrowsers.Create(True);
        if vWebBrowsers.Count=0 then Exit;
        for i := 0 to vWebBrowsers.Count-1 do
Run the Demo

Press F9 to compile our project and run it. Initially you will get empty form like this.


Click on "Get Installed Web Browsers Information" button and the memo control will be filled with installed web browsers information. Just like shown below.


From the above picture, it is clear that in the test computer I have 3 web browsers installed, i.e.:
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera
Full source code of WebBrowsers.pas and the demo project is attached below. Feel free to use it.

Attached File  Demo.zip   202.12KB   568 downloads

Edited by LuthfiHakim, 10 February 2013 - 09:41 AM.

  • 0

Recommended from our users: Dynamic Network Monitoring from WhatsUp Gold from IPSwitch. Free Download