WWW FAQ: Can I browse HTML files locally when I'm offline?

Can I browse HTML files locally when I'm offline?

If you do not use Microsoft Windows, the answer is usually "no problem!" Just use the "Open File" or equivalent option on the file menu of your web browser, instead of "Open Location" or "Open URL".

Note: for the most part, this is not a problem for Windows 95 and Windows NT users. This section applies primarily to Windows 3.1 users.

If you use Microsoft Windows, and particularly if you use Netscape, you may have difficulty viewing local files when not connected to the net. Some web browsers will refuse to run unless there is functioning Internet software running on the system. Netscape offers a solution to this problem in the release notes to version 1.1 of their product. Essentially, you can install an "empty" Internet interface (winsock.dll) that keeps Netscape happy.

An easy way to do this for users of some Internet connectivity software is to launch your Internet software but refrain from dialing out. The details vary from one package of Internet software to another. It is helpful to change Autoload Home Page=yes to Autoload Home Page=no in your netscape.ini file in the [Main] section.

World Wide Web FAQ