Create a direct shortcut to Network Connections

Posted in Windows Vista by Steve Sinchak

The new Network and Sharing Center in Windows Vista is great for the average Windows user but can be a huge headache for advanced users. When I need to make a change to my network settings I don't want to be forced to go through the networking interface for the average non-technical users.  I want to go right to the settings screen and make the change. 

I am a big fan of the old Windows XP network approach where I could modify all of the network settings and connect to wireless network from the Network Connections screen.  In Windows Vista, the Network Connections screen still exists, as shown above, but you have to go through the Network and Sharing Center screen first.  Using a very useful explorer trick I discovered when playing with "::" and explorer class IDs, you can create a shortcut that will take you directly to the Network Connections screen.

  1. Right click on the desktop and select New and then Shortcut.
  2. In the location box, copy and paste explorer.exe ::{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E} and hit Next.
  3. Type in Network Connections as the name and Finish.

Your shortcut directly to Network Connections is now on your desktop. I like to create a copy in my quick launch bar for easy access. If you want to change the icon to the correct Network connections icon, the icon can be found in %SystemRoot%\system32\netshell.dll in the first position.

Enjoy!

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