URL, Internet shortcut file (.url)
The URL Misc file format
URL refers to Uniform Resource Location, which corresponds to the "Internet Location" of certain data or information. Files with this extension generally do not show up on systems. To view contents of an URL file, a text editor can be used to transfer the file from the browser to an open text editor window. However, these files are at high risk for infection and should be scanned regularly and downloaded with caution. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Apple Safari, and other web browsers can access and use the information of such files. URL files can be sent, but sending links through textual means or hyperlinks is much more common.
Technical details of URL files
When dragging an URL address from a web browser to a computer desktop, an URL file is created - even though this file does not usually have the URL extension. Clicking on the file will result in the standard browser to open the internet location associated with the file. The contents, however, can only be viewed in a text editing program. Next to the webpages address the file refers to, information such as a favicon, the icon's path, and date can be contained in URL files.