Restore Windows Recent Places functionality when using a mandatory profile and RES Workspace Manager “Replace all unmanaged shortcuts”-mode

Recent PlacesUsing a mandatory profile combined with RES Workspace Manager “Replace all unmanaged shortcuts”-mode, breaks Windows Recent Places functionality. Normally, folder locations visited in the recent past are listed over here, just like recent opened items are listed in the Recent Items menu. Recent Places can be found listed under Favorites on the left sidebar in Windows Explorer, composed by filtering al items from Recent Items, only showing folders.

After quite some testing with not skipping Active Setup, different mandatory profiles, Replace or Merge unmanaged shortcuts-modes and calling with RES Support, I received an e-mail from Patrick van Grinsven of RES Software Support stating directions how to solve this issue. It somehow has something to do with Windows needing a Windows Explorer link in “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\”.

Since RES Workspace Manager moves all “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\”-items to “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.mslinks\” when composing the start-menu in “Replace unmanaged shortcuts”-mode, it’s needed to restore this link using an Execute Command task configured on an autolaunch-application.

To restore the  Recent Places functionality, you can use the following workaround:

  • Create a newWindows Recent Places settings application functionally named “Windows Recent Places” but leave the command line and working directory empty.
  • Remove the “Create Start Menu shortcut” flag
  • Adjust the following settings on the settings tab:
    • enable “Do not list in Powerhelp”
    • enable “Do not show in “New Applications””
    • change “Autolaunch at session start” to mandatory
    • enable “Hide application”
  • Create an “Execute Command” within Configuration using this line of batch-code, inserted at the “Script”-tab:

  • Insert the script reference at the command line (%script%)Execute Command settings
  • enable “Run hidden”
  • make sure “Run Once” is set to no

At startup of the session this will create an unmanaged shortcut of Windows Explorer in the Accessories folder, unfortunately also visible in the users Start Menu.

Workspaces configured with a “Windows Shell shortcut creation” set to “Do not create shortcuts” or “Merge with unmanaged shortcuts” don’t have a broken Recent Places functionality, because the Start Menu items are not being moved to the “Start Menu.mslinks” directory.

This issue kept me busy for several days and unfortunately there was no RES Software Support Knowledge Base article to guide me solving this problem.  Too bad, but on the contrary it motivated me to start blogging again since I purged my former blog a few years ago.

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