Push out a chrome shortcut to a certain website?

Hello all,

We are a school district.  I currently have a shortcut to our "intranet site" (which is just a Google site with some Google Drive integration) on teachers desktops that is pushed out via Group Policy. I just used a URL shortcut, and it works great. However, it opens up in IE, because IE is the default browser on our machines (annoying, I know, but we have a critical system that needs IE as default...) To make matters more annoying, the IE version is version 9, which is not supported by Google Drive.  So, what I'm trying to solve is how to leave IE as default browser, but get my shortcut to open up in Chrome.

The kicker is that we are mixed 32 and 64 bit Win 7.

I was hoping to just create a shortcut to Chrome, then load that specific website. The problem there is the mixed environment. So, that's two different shortcuts For example, for x32, the shortcut is:
"C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" https://ourwebsiteaddress
but for x64, the shortcut is:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" https://ourwebsiteaddress

If I use a group policy, I can't specify to only apply to one architecture or the other.

If I use a file sync and labels from the K1000, I can't specify to only apply this to teacher logins, not student logins.

I'm wondering if anyone here has any creative solutions to this scenario...  Maybe something I'm not thinking of with either a GPO or K1 File Sync?

Thanks for any ideas.

Carl Sundermann

0 Comments   [ + ] Show comments

Answers (4)

Answer Summary:
Posted by: jagadeish 9 years ago
Red Belt
Push this VBS file to the target machines and create a shortcut for the same

Dim oShell
Set oShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

If Is64Bit()="True" Then
oShell.Run Chr(34) & "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" & Chr(34) & " " & "https://www.itninja.com"
oShell.Run Chr(34) & "%ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" & Chr(34) & " " & "https://www.itninja.com"
End If

Set oShell = Nothing

Function Is64Bit()
   Is64Bit = InStr(oShell.Environment("SYSTEM").Item("PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE"), "64") > 0
End Function
Posted by: anonymous_9363 9 years ago
Red Belt
Have you tried using the environment variable, as in '%ProgramFiles%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" https://ourwebsiteaddress'?
\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" https://ourwebsiteaddress - See more at: http://www.itninja.com/question/push-out-a-chrome-shortcut-to-a-certain-website#sthash.2GC7aNLG.dpuf

  • Great idea, I had not thought of this, but I tried it and it does not work. Apparently the environment variables do not work. In the GPO, when I put the target as:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
    it works. But when I put the target as:
    nothing happens, so it must not work with environment variables. - sundermannc@wdmcs.org 9 years ago
    • Hope you have tried like this... %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe - jagadeish 9 years ago
      • Thanks, I tried that, but it only then found the x86 one, and would not see the x64 location. - sundermannc@wdmcs.org 9 years ago
Posted by: EdT 9 years ago
Red Belt
Couple of things to try:
1. Add the location to Chrome.exe to the path and just call it as Chrome.exe without specifying the path to it.
2. Install Chrome under ProgramData instead. The location will then be independent of operating system bitness.

  • Thanks EdT. No go on that, the chrome.exe looks like it needs the full path to work... And 2) Good idea, but this is already installed on all our machines, and our images. It might take some work to change the location around, but it's a good idea for the future. I think VBScab's solution below is what will work. Thank you! - sundermannc@wdmcs.org 9 years ago
Posted by: anonymous_9363 9 years ago
Red Belt

I didn't think my original post through and completely forgot about the different paths for 32 and 64. D'oh!

You could either:

- use a batch file to determine the OS http://support.microsoft.com/kb/556009 and use that for the shortcut's target;
- use a script to do the same (too many examples to list!);
- use Group Policy's WMI filters (http://www.nogeekleftbehind.com/2013/09/10/updated-list-of-os-version-queries-for-wmi-filters/) or
- build 2 MSI packages containing the shortcuts.

  • Thanks for the ideas. I used the Group Policy WMI filters, and this seems to work great. The only down side was that I had to create 2 more GPOs... One that targets the 32 and one that targets the 64. We try to keep our GPOs to as few as possible. However, that hasn't seemed to be a problem yet, so this is a good solution. Thank you! - sundermannc@wdmcs.org 9 years ago
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site and/or clicking the "Accept" button you are providing consent Quest Software and its affiliates do NOT sell the Personal Data you provide to us either when you register on our websites or when you do business with us. For more information about our Privacy Policy and our data protection efforts, please visit GDPR-HQ