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Pin a Shortcut onto the Taskbar or Start Menu

, 8 Oct 2014 CPOL
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Pin a shortcut onto the Taskbar or Start Menu using VBScript

Introduction

This script solves the problem of pinning applications (adding short-cuts) onto the task bar and start menu with no user interaction. This can be especially useful to System Administrators in a domain environment looking to add short-cuts to a profile with no user interaction. I find this solution is best implemented with Group Policy Object's logon script but it can be used independently as well.

Background

The code works by passing parameters to a sub procedure with an application path & name, a name for the future pinned item, and a boolean directing the location of pinned item. The first step creates a short-cut in a temporary location. This is a workaround necessity to create a short-cut for applications that will not be pinned directly. The next step takes that short-cut and loops through its shell object's verbs and selects the pinned item the boolean selected pinned location. Finally, it selects the matched verb and pins the application to the selected pinned location.

Here is the full script in VBScript:

If WScript.Arguments.Count = 3 then
    Call PinApplicationToTaskBar(WScript.Arguments(0), WScript.Arguments(1), WScript.Arguments(2))
Else
    WScript.Echo "Missing parameters.  String AppPathAndName String ShortcutName Boolean OnStartMenu." _
    & vbCr & vbCr & "  Example cmd.exe CMD  false" & vbCr & _
    vbCr & "  Example %windir%\system32\SnippingTool.exe SnipIt false" 
End If
    
Public Sub PinApplicationToTaskBar(AppPathAndName, ShortcutName, OnStartMenu)
    'This is on for a soft failure. Uncomment this if error checking for a hard failure is needed for debugging.
    On Error Resume Next

    Dim FileSystemObj, ObjShell, ObjShellApp
    Set ObjShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    Set FileSystemObj = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    
    'Create a temp location for the short-cut to exist
    TempShortcutLocation = FileSystemObj.GetFolder(ObjShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%TEMP%"))
    'Where is it being pinned?  Determine the location where the pinned item will reside
    If(trim(lcase(OnStartMenu)) = "true") then ' pinned to start menu
        HasAlreadyBeenPinnedShortCut = ObjShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%APPDATA%") & _
        "\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu"
    Else
        HasAlreadyBeenPinnedShortCut = ObjShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%APPDATA%") & _
        "\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar"
    End If
    'Temporary location for the application short-cut
    TempShortcut = TempShortcutLocation & "\" & ShortcutName & ".lnk"
    'Possible location of a pinned item
    HasAlreadyBeenPinnedShortCut =  HasAlreadyBeenPinnedShortCut & "\" & ShortcutName & ".lnk"
    
    'If this already exists, than exit this procedure. The application has already been pinned.
    If(FileSystemObj.FileExists(HasAlreadyBeenPinnedShortCut)) Then
        'MsgBox(HasAlreadyBeenPinnedShortCut & " Already Pinned")
        Exit Sub
    End If
    'Create a short-cut using the shell
    Set lnk = ObjShell.CreateShortcut(TempShortcut)
    lnk.TargetPath = AppPathAndName ' Full application path and name
    lnk.Arguments = ""
    lnk.Description = ShortcutName 'The name that appears on the start menu.
    lnk.Save
    
    Set ObjShellApp = CreateObject("Shell.Application")
        
    'Get the newly created short-cut full path
    Set ShortCutToPin =  ObjShellApp.NameSpace(TempShortcutLocation) 
            
    If(FileSystemObj.FileExists(TempShortcut)) Then 
        Dim ShortCutToPinItem, verb
        'Set the location to pin the item to do based on the passed OnStartMenu argument
        If(trim(lcase(OnStartMenu)) = "true") then
            verbToDo = "Pin to Start Men&u"
        Else    
            verbToDo = "Pin to Tas&kbar"
        End If
        For Each ShortCutToPinItem in ShortCutToPin.Items()
            'Look for the pinning verb when the temporary short-cut name matches the passed ShortcutName argument
            If (ShortCutToPinItem.Name = ShortcutName) Then
                'Loop through the shell object's (the short-cut) commands looking for the pinning method.
                For Each verb in ShortCutToPinItem.Verbs 
                    'The verb matches the verbToDo so pin it to verb's defined location
                    If (verb.Name = verbToDo) Then verb.DoIt
                Next
            End If
        Next
        'Delete the temporary short-cut used to pin the application
        FileSystemObj.DeleteFile(TempShortcut) 
    End If
    'clean up
    Set ObjShell =  Nothing
    Set FileSystemObj = Nothing
    Set ObjShellApp = Nothing
End Sub

Using the Code

The best way to create a pinned application is by calling the "PinApplicationToTaskBar" procedure.

There are only three arguments that need to be passed to this script:

  1. Full application name and path
  2. Name for the new pinned item
  3. A boolean to pin onto the Start Menu (true) or Taskbar (false)

Using the procedure example:

Call PinApplicationToTaskBar("C:\WINDOWS\system32\SnippingTool.exe", _
"Snipping Tool", "true")

Using the command line:

PinToBar.vbs AppPathAndName ShortcutName OnStartMenu

Pinning the Snipping Tool onto the Taskbar:

C:\PinToBar.vbs C:\WINDOWS\system32\SnippingTool.exe "Snipping Tool" false

Pinning a Command Prompt onto the Start Menu:

C:\PinToBar.vbs C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe "Command Prompt" true

References

  1. Programmatically PIN shortcut onto Taskbar on Win 7 by Wayne Ye
  2. Pin and unpin applications from the taskbar and Start-menu by Jan Egil Ring, Crayon
  3. MSDN Shell objects for scripting

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Spencer Kittleson
Software Developer
United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionDoesn't work on Windows Server 2012 R2? [modified] Pinmemberhighend@web.de7-Nov-14 20:15 
QuestionWhere to enter the code for desired apps... PinmemberMember 111363077-Oct-14 12:34 
AnswerRe: Where to enter the code for desired apps... PinprofessionalSpencer Kittleson8-Oct-14 5:56 
AnswerRe: Where to enter the code for desired apps... PinprofessionalSpencer Kittleson8-Oct-14 7:40 
QuestionUnpin from taskbar Pinmembervn.9xpro19-Sep-14 4:38 
AnswerRe: Unpin from taskbar PinprofessionalSpencer Kittleson7-Oct-14 19:52 
QuestionErrors PinmemberMember 301751411-Jun-14 3:22 
SuggestionRe: Errors PinprofessionalSpencer Kittleson11-Jun-14 18:39 
GeneralRe: Errors PinmemberMember 1090172623-Jun-14 13:22 
GeneralRe: Errors PinprofessionalSpencer Kittleson1-Jul-14 14:04 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberWooters22-Jan-14 20:43 

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