Monday, December 6, 2010

Windows can't create a shortcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the Desktop instead?

Here is a Techbyte ... and a solution:

It used to be easy creating a folder in the "All Programs" menu in Windows XP. All you had to do is go to the "c:\Document and Settings\All Users" profile, and there you could add shorcuts for all users in the Desktop, Programs, and Startup. Ever since Vista and Windows 7 Microsoft tighten the security and now it is not as easy, or at least not as straight forward. I can see why they want to tighten it up, but it is still frustrating to jump though hoops.

You really should not have to add "folders" to the "All Programs" during normal software installs it asks you if you want it for all users or just the current user. There are applications thought that fail, or there are stand alone programs that are grouped in a folder and you need or want to add the list to the "All Programs" area.

Recently I wanted to add the group of Putty applications to my "All Programs" menu and I wanted for all users on my Laptop. Now I just did this quick and dirty, but it works just fine. Just remember to change the rights back.

Here are the locations of the Desktop and Start Menu for "All Users"

All users desktop:
C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop\

All users start menu:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\


1. I wanted to add a folder called "Putty" to the "All Programs" for "All Users"
2. Open C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
3. Open the "Programs" folder and create the folder, it will ask for "confirmation". I created a folder called Putty. It will let you create it that way.
4. Right click on the folder and select Properties.
5. Select the "Security" Tab.
6. Look for your name (account), then select "Edit".
7. Give yourself "full controll" then click on "Apply", then "OK" to close.
8. Now open the folder, select the file(s) you want to put in there, but drag and drop with the right mouse button not the left. When you do this it will ask you if you want to move, copy, or create shortcut --- Select "Create Shortcut".
9. Now go back to steps 4 through 7 and remove the rights you just gave to your account. You should leave (it is greyed out), the special permissions at the bottom. That is normal.
10. Now you will see it in the "All Programs".

If you have a better way, plase leave me a note, and I will post it as a comment on the blog.



Thomas Goodson said...

If you are logged in as a domain administrator, you can bypass setting the security on the folder, you all ready have the needed rights.

Delco said...


Thanks for responding and trying to help. I appreciate it very much.

No domain. Local administrator. It is stand alone machine. The user has local administrator rights.

In Windows 7, the local administrator is disabled by default since it is not needed as the functions that require administrator are elevated much like Linux Ubuntu where root is not required, you just have to sudo (super user) any function you need root privileges. In a domain then the "domain admin" would be able to super impose on the local machine.

If you enable the "administrator" account on a stand alone Windows 7, and log in with that account, then it is the same as the you stated and you are able to do it. My question is more of "without changing any privileges, or doing any hacks like I did, what is the way to do it if there is any? If not, then it seems silly to me. I did Google around and did not really find the answer I was looking for, although there are some other workarounds that really do not address my original problem (or lack of understanding :) )