How to Quickly Open URL with VBA Code in 3 Minutes (Excel)

Written by Kasper Langmann

In the digital age, automation is key to efficiency. One such automation technique involves using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code to open URLs directly from Excel. This process can be executed in a matter of minutes, and this guide will walk you through each step of the process.

Understanding VBA in Excel

Before diving into the specifics of opening URLs with VBA, it’s important to understand what VBA is and how it works within Excel. VBA, or Visual Basic for Applications, is a programming language developed by Microsoft. It’s used to automate tasks in Microsoft Office applications, including Excel.

Excel VBA is a powerful tool that allows you to automate complex tasks and enhance the functionality of your spreadsheets. By writing VBA code, you can create macros, automate data entry, and perform a variety of other tasks that can save you time and effort.

Why Use VBA to Open URLs?

There are many reasons why you might want to use VBA to open URLs from Excel. Perhaps you have a list of websites that you need to visit regularly, and you want to automate the process of opening these sites. Or maybe you’re working with a dataset that includes URLs, and you want to be able to quickly access these sites without having to manually copy and paste each URL into your browser.

Whatever your reason, using VBA to open URLs can be a significant time-saver. It’s also a great way to enhance your Excel skills and learn more about the power of automation.

Steps to Open URL with VBA Code in Excel

Now that you understand the basics of VBA and why you might want to use it to open URLs, let’s dive into the specifics. The following steps will guide you through the process of writing VBA code to open a URL from Excel.

Step 1: Enable Developer Tab

The first step in writing VBA code in Excel is to enable the Developer tab. This tab is not visible by default, but you can easily enable it by following these steps:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the ribbon and select ‘Customize the Ribbon.’
  2. In the Excel Options dialog box that opens, check the box for ‘Developer’ under the ‘Main Tabs’ section.
  3. Click ‘OK.’ The Developer tab should now be visible in the ribbon.

Once the Developer tab is enabled, you’ll have access to the VBA editor and other developer tools in Excel.

Step 2: Open the VBA Editor

Next, you’ll need to open the VBA editor. You can do this by clicking on the ‘Visual Basic’ button in the Developer tab. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + F11.

The VBA editor is where you’ll write your code. It includes a variety of tools and features that can help you write and debug your code.

Step 3: Write the VBA Code

Now it’s time to write the VBA code that will open your URL. Here’s a basic example of what this code might look like:

Sub OpenURL()
    ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink Address:="", NewWindow:=True
End Sub

In this code, ‘Sub’ and ‘End Sub’ define the beginning and end of the subroutine. ‘ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink’ is the method used to open the URL, and ‘Address’ is the property that specifies the URL to open. ‘NewWindow:=True’ ensures that the URL opens in a new browser window.

Step 4: Run the VBA Code

Once you’ve written your code, you can run it by pressing F5 or by clicking the ‘Run’ button in the VBA editor. If your code is written correctly, it should open your specified URL in a new browser window.

Additional Tips and Tricks

While the above steps provide a basic guide to opening a URL with VBA code in Excel, there are many additional tips and tricks that can enhance this process.

Opening Multiple URLs

If you have a list of URLs that you want to open, you can modify the VBA code to loop through each URL and open it in a new browser window. Here’s an example of how you might do this:

Sub OpenMultipleURLs()
    Dim URL As Range
    For Each URL In Range("A1:A10")
        ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink Address:=URL.Value, NewWindow:=True
    Next URL
End Sub

In this code, ‘Range(“A1:A10”)’ specifies the range of cells that contain the URLs you want to open. The ‘For Each’ loop then goes through each URL in this range and opens it in a new browser window.

Error Handling

When working with VBA code, it’s important to include error handling to ensure that your code runs smoothly. This can be done using the ‘On Error’ statement, which allows you to specify what should happen if an error occurs while your code is running.

For example, you might want to include a message box that informs the user if an error occurs. Here’s how you could modify the previous code to include error handling:

Sub OpenMultipleURLs()
    Dim URL As Range
    On Error GoTo ErrorHandler
    For Each URL In Range("A1:A10")
        ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink Address:=URL.Value, NewWindow:=True
    Next URL
    Exit Sub
    MsgBox "An error occurred. Please check your URLs and try again."
End Sub

In this code, ‘On Error GoTo ErrorHandler’ specifies that if an error occurs, the code should jump to the ‘ErrorHandler’ label. The ‘MsgBox’ statement then displays a message box with a specified error message.


Opening URLs with VBA code in Excel is a powerful technique that can save you time and enhance your productivity. While it may seem complex at first, with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to automate this process with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or a beginner looking to enhance your skills, understanding how to use VBA to open URLs is a valuable skill that can greatly enhance your Excel capabilities.