How to customize the Favorites Links list in common file dialog boxes in Windows Explorer in Windows Vista

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Article ID: 926167 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

In Microsoft Windows XP, the places bar is displayed on the left side of common file dialog boxes. For example, the places bar is in the Save As dialog box. You can customize the places bar in Windows XP by using the following two Group Policy policies:
  • Hide the common dialog places bar
  • Items displayed in places Bar
In Windows Vista, the Favorite Links list resembles the places bar. To view the Favorite Links list in the Save As dialog box, click Browse Folders. You can also view the Favorite Links list in Windows Explorer in Windows Vista.

However, even though the Favorite Links list in Windows Vista resembles the places bar in Windows XP, you cannot customize the list by using the same Group Policy policies that you can use in Windows XP. The links that appear in the Favorite Links list are stored as Windows Shortcut (.Ink) files in a user profile. The user profile is located in the following folder:
User_Profile\Links
Therefore, instead of using Group Policy to customize the Favorite Links list, you must customize the .Ink files that are in the Links folder.

MORE INFORMATION

In an enterprise environment, you can use a logon script to write new .lnk files into the Links folder. This causes new links to appear in the Favorite Links list in all common file dialog boxes, and in Windows Explorer. Similarly, you can use a logon script to delete .lnk files from the Links folder. This behavior causes links to be removed from the Favorite Links list in all common file dialog boxes and in Windows Explorer.

Note The following three links are added programmatically to all common file dialog boxes:
  • Desktop
  • Recent places
  • Computer
These three links are not .Ink files in the Links folder. Therefore, the links cannot be removed from the Favorite Links list in common file dialog boxes. Additionally, these three links do not appear in Windows Explorer.

Because the Links folder is in the user profile, you always have the required permissions to change the links that a logon script adds or deletes. If you must customize the links in the Favorite Links list to prevent users from making changes to the link files, you can use the Folder Redirection feature in Windows. This feature redirects the Links folder to a folder on a server. On a server, you can control which links appear in the Favorite Links list. Then, you can grant permissions to the Links folder on the server so that the user cannot make changes.

For more information about logon scripts, visit the following Microsoft TechNet Web site:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/84b5457b-1641-4707-a1f4-887b5f9471dd1033.mspx?mfr=true
For more information about the Folder Redirection feature in Windows, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
232692 Folder Redirection feature in Windows

Properties

Article ID: 926167 - Last Review: March 15, 2007 - Revision: 2.5
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
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