If you’re looking for a quick and ‘easy’ method to create shortcut links to website URLs that are part of a user’s start menu…and that can be found by Windows search…follow this simple process.
- Create a generic program shortcut to %windir%\explorer.exe. An easy way to do this is just browse to the executable file, right-click, and select Sent To > Desktop.
- Modify the properties of the .lnk file to have:
- The URL after the name explorer.exe; note that prefacing the URL with http:// or https:// maybe necessary.
- Change the icon to be more website looking (optional)
- Change the name of the shortcut to something ‘friendly’ (on the General tab)
- Copy the shortcut to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\CustomLinkDirectoryName\
Now the URL shortcut will be listed in the start menu for all your users! An added bonus is that this link will open in whatever is the user’s default browser as well. These links can then be distributed and managed by a systems management tool such as ConfigMgr.
To automate this process using PowerShell, see my post Automating Web URLs as Start Menu Links.