Windows Explorer folder shortcuts

Replace a file system folder with your web site

Windows has its regular shortcuts, which can be used to jump from a location in the file system to another. In addition to these regular shortcuts, there are so called "Folder Shortcuts". Folder shortcuts are used on Windows 2000 and later e.g. in the My Network Places folder. My Network Places is actually simply a folder %userprofile%\NetHood, which contains one folder shortcut for each network place you have added there.

When you open a network place, its sub folders are displayed like your local folders in the folder pane of the Windows Explorer although those sub folders are not true sub folders under the NetHood folder. Similar folder shortcuts can be created to any location in the file system, on local drives or on network shares. In addition to this, they can point to anywhere in the file system, to external sites, or even to web pages!

Example of a folder shortcut pointing to a regular web page. When the user opens the  folder in Windows Explorer, the web page is displayed directly in the Windows Explorer window. The Folders pane shows  that the web site is just one folder among the others.

There are lots of instructions for creating a folder shortcut that points to another folder on your computer. It simply involves creating a folder which has the R attribute set and contains file desktop.ini with special content and regular shortcut named target.lnk which points to the intended location. However, it is no so easy to create folder shortcuts that point to external sites because you cannot enter an URL as the target of a regular shortcut file (*.lnk). An internet shortcut file (*.url) does not work as a folder shortcut target either.

To work around this limitation, download the VBScript file below that can be used to create a folder shortcut pointing to anywhere (local file system files or URLs).

Download "shortcut.vbs" script (VBS, 2 kB)
Script for creating new folder shortcuts, editing the exisiting ones, and converting existing folders to folder shorcuts (essentially hiding the actual contents of the folder).
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