Stupid Testing Trick #1: Quickly access your hosts file


Today marks the day where QAInsight.net is gonna stir the QA pot, put some fuel on the fire, and add a pinch of spice (ground Cayenne). It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes, I am getting so hot… uhum well…anyway. To pour some vivation into this parched QA terrain called QAInsight.net I’m going to kick-off a new series dubbed “Stupid Testing Tricks”. Each post in the series will be well… a stupid testing trick that is short, uncanny, and helpful. So let’s get the stupid stuff started:


Stupid Testing Trick #1: Quickly access your hosts file


When testing in a browser, there is often a need to edit your hosts file, but traversing the relevant, overpopulated Windows directories to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts” is a royal pain. Ease the pain by creating a browser Favorite/Bookmark that points to your hosts file.



  1. From the browser’s Address bar navigate to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\”  (or wherever your hosts file is located)
  2. Create a Favorite/Bookmark to this location
  3. Right click the Favorite/Bookmark and click “properties”
  4. Change the “Target” field to C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (or wherever your hosts file is located)

When you need to edit the hosts file you just click the bookmark and select an application to open it (you will need to do this since the file can’t be permanently assigned to an application due to its lack of an extension).


Have a Stupid Testing Trick? Email me using the “E-Mail” link on the right.

One Response to Stupid Testing Trick #1: Quickly access your hosts file

  1. Mark says:

    Sure you can’t assign it, but, you can use a parameter on an EXE and make it do what you like.

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\notepad.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

    as a shortcut will open it up with notepad. Use Wordpad or TextPad, or, MS Word if you like!

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