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Configure a Shortcut Item

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

Shortcut preference items allow you to configure a shortcut to a file system object (such as a file, folder, drive, share, or computer), a shell object (such as a printer, desktop item, or control panel item), or a URL (such as a Web page or an FTP site). Before you create a Shortcut preference item, you should review the behavior of each type of action possible with this extension.

Creating a Shortcut item

To create a new Shortcut preference item

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console . Right-click the Group Policy object (GPO) that should contain the new preference item, and then click Edit .

  2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration or User Configuration , expand the Preferences folder, and then expand the Windows Settings folder.

  3. Right-click the Shortcuts node, point to New , and select Shortcut .

  4. In the New Shortcut Properties dialog box, select an Action for Group Policy to perform. (For more information, see "Actions" in this topic.)

  5. Enter shortcut settings for Group Policy to configure or remove. (For more information, see "Shortcut settings" in this topic.)

  6. Click the Common tab, configure any options, and then type your comments in the Description box. (For more information, see Configure Common Options.)

  7. Click OK . The new preference item appears in the details pane.

Actions

This type of preference item provides a choice of four actions: Create , Replace , Update , and Delete . The behavior of the preference item varies with the action selected and whether the shortcut already exists.

 

Create

Create a new shortcut for computers or users.

Delete

Remove a shortcut for computers or users.

Replace

Delete and recreate a shortcut for computers or users. The net result of the Replace action is to overwrite the existing shortcut. If the shortcut does not exist, then the Replace action creates a new shortcut.

Update

Modify settings of an existing shortcut for computers or users. This action differs from Replace in that it only updates shortcut settings defined within the preference item. All other settings remain as configured in the shortcut. If the shortcut does not exist, then the Update action creates a new shortcut.

Shortcut settings

 

Name

Type a display name for the shortcut. If modifying or deleting a shortcut, the name entered must match the name of the existing shortcut.

Target Type

Select the type of target to which the shortcut points. If modifying or deleting a shortcut, the target type selected must match that of the existing shortcut.

If the shortcut can be addressed:

  • Using a Windows path (such as a file, folder, drive, share, or computer), click File System Object .

  • Using a URL (such as a Web page, Web site, or FTP site), click URL .

  • As an object within the Windows shell (such as a printer, desktop or control panel item, file, folder, share, computer, or network resource), click Shell Object .

Location

Select the location where the shortcut is to appear on the computers targeted by this preference item. Locations other than All Users are relative to the logged-on user. If modifying an existing shortcut, the location selected must match that of the existing shortcut. This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

To place the shortcut in a subfolder at the location, enter the subfolder path in the Name field followed by the display name. (For example, to place a shortcut with the display name My Shortcut in the MyCorp subfolder of Explorer Favorites, type MyCorp\My Shortcut for the Name and select Explorer Favorites for Location .)

If selecting <Specify full path> , type the full path followed by the display name in the Name field. (For example, to place a shortcut with the display name My Shortcut in the MyCorp subfolder of Program Files, type %ProgramFilesDir%\MyCorp\My Shortcut for the Name and select <Specify full path> for Location .)

Target Path

Enter a local path, UNC path, or drive letter to which the shortcut will lead. This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is File System Object and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Target URL

Enter a URL to which the shortcut will lead. This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is URL and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Target Object

Select the shell object (such as a printer, desktop or control panel item, file, folder, share, computer, or network resource) to which the shortcut will lead.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is Shell Object and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Arguments

Type any arguments to be used when opening the target file or folder.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is File System Object and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Start in

To specify a working directory that contains files required by the target, type the path for the folder. Do not include quotes or a trailing slash. This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is File System Object and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Shortcut key

To provide a keyboard shortcut for launching the shortcut, click the Shortcut key field and press the key combination. (To remove the keyboard shortcut, press DELETE or BACKSPACE .)

This option is available only if the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Run

Select the size of the window in which to open the target of the shortcut.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is File System Object or Shell Object and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Comment

To display a tooltip when the mouse pointer pauses on the shortcut, type the text for the tooltip. This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

This option is available only if the Target Type selected is File System Object or Shell Object and the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Icon file path and Icon index

To specify an icon for the shortcut other than the default for the type, browse to an icon file and select an icon. (You can also type the full path for an icon file, and then type an icon index.) Do not include quotes. The Icon file path field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

These options are available only if the action is Create , Replace , or Update .

Additional considerations

  • Because mapped drives exist only for users, if any path in the configuration for a shortcut includes a mapped drive, the Shortcut preference item must be under User Configuration , the drive letter must exist before the Shortcut item is processed, and Run in logged-on user's security context must be selected on the Common tab.

  • By default, variables in the Target path are resolved by Group Policy before the shortcut is created or modified. To include the variable rather than its resolved value in the shortcut (so that the variable is resolved in the environment on the computers to which this Shortcut item is applied), use unresolved variable syntax, such as %<ProgramFiles>% in place of %ProgramFiles% .

    Because unresolved variable syntax is resolved in the environment of computers to which the Shortcut item is applied, use only environment variables (rather than preference processing variables).

  • User specific paths resolve to .default when applying a shortcut item to the computer.

  • You can use item-level targeting to change the scope of preference items.

  • Preference items are available only in domain-based GPOs.

Additional references

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