Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Add desktop shortcut icon through Group Policy


In this article I am going to explain about how to add desktop shortcut icon through group policy. This is a very common task in any domain environment for either all of your user’s computer or to a certain group of user’s computer depending on your needs.

Related Posts:  Add start menu shortcut via Group Policy , Pin Program to Taskbar via Group Policy ,- Pin a Program to Start menu via Group Policy

Steps to Add desktop icon shortcuts via group policy

1. Open the Group Policy Management console by running the command gpmc.msc.

2.  Expand the tree and Right-click on the OU you want this policy to be applied to. Now, I am going to apply users who are under the OU WebsiteTeam. so Right-click the OU WebsiteTeam, and click Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here...

add desktop icon shortcut via group policy

3. Give the new policy name and click OK. Here, I am giving the policy name shortcut-policy
add desktop icon shortcut via group policy

4. Now Right-click on the newly created gpo shorcut-policy and click edit.

how add desktop icon shortcut via group policy

5. In the Group Policy Management Editor window, expand User Configuration and go to the node Shortcuts (User Configuration/Preferences/Windows Settings/Shortcuts).

6. Right-click in the white empty area, select New and then select Shortcut.

add desktop icon shortcut through group policy

7. In the General tab, fill the following details:
      Name: MorganTechSpace.com (this is the name that will show up on the shortcut in the user's desktop)
      Target type: URL
      Location: Desktop
      Target URL: http://www.morgantechspace.com

how to add desktop icon shortcut through group policy

8. Click on the Common tab.
Select Remove this item when it is no longer applied and select OK to the prompt about changing the Action field to ‘Replace’.What this will do is remove the icon if we delete this policy, or if the user falls out of the OU structure that has this policy applied to it.

how to add desktop icon shortcut via group policy

9. In the Description field, write the description as easy way to understand what is this policy, click Apply, and OK.

how to add desktop shortcut through group policy

10. Now update the GPO by running the command gpupdate /force

how do you add desktop icon shortcuts via group policy

11. That's all. Now we have successfully created desktop shortcut icon of the website morgantechspace.com for the users who are under OU WebsiteTeam. You can see that shortcut by logging into any of the user's desktop who are under WebsiteTeam OU

how do you add desktop icon shortcuts via group policy

Now, you can create your own GPO, and create desktop shortcut icon via Group Policy as per your wish.......

Related Articles:

Add start menu shortcut via Group Policy
- How to Pin a Program to Start menu via Group Policy
Create Folder on Desktop via GPO
Pin Program to Taskbar via Group Policy
Add Environment Variable via group policy



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  5. This worked perfectly, thanks for the info.

  6. Hi there, great guide!
    Is there a way to force that shortcut to open only via IE? So in the "Target URL" i tried putting: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" https://mywebsite_that_only_works_with_IE.com
    Thant does not work though:(

    1. What if you tie it in with a GPO as IE the default browser

    2. yes u r right..it works

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  8. Hi,
    How do you manage the security of the shortcut? Like making it read & execute to everybody except the admins?

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