This issue is quite annoying but as it seems shortcuts to URLs placed in the Start menu is not being returned in the quick search in Windows 10, i.e. press the Windows button and type the name of a Start menu item pointing to a URL. You have to click “Search my stuff” for it to be displayed.
A few customers have a bunch of MSI packages containing shortcuts pointing to URLs which are published in the start menu in Windows 7 and in there being easily findable in the search feature in the start menu. When moving to Windows 10, the user logic comes to a halt when shortcuts in the start menu is not being returned in the quick search.
Steps to reproduce
- In File Explorer, go to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.
- Right click anywhere in the empty space and choose New > Shortcut.
- Enter a URL, for instance http://www.microsoft.com, then click Next.
- Name the shortcut “TEST URL” and click Finish.
- Wait a few seconds and then try to search for it by pressing the Windows key and start typing “test”. It will find nothing which is what one is expecting in this scenario.
Clicking “My stuff” will show the shortcut, and it is also listed in the root of the start menu under All apps. Also, creating a shortcut the same way but to an EXE instead, using the above steps will return it in the search results instantly.
The Microsoft search and indexing team thinks that returning internet shortcuts placed in the start menu means too much “noise” to the users. My opinion is that whatever is found under Start > All apps would also be returned when just pressing the Windows button and starting to type.
Well there are a few workarounds but none are actually appealing nor logical.
- GPO Preferences. Yeah you could distribute the Internet shortcuts with GPO Preferences.
- Repackage the MSI packages (or by scripting) and point shortcuts to “iexplore.exe http://www.microsoft.com”. This is what Microsoft recommends. Hmm, well is that a good solution? So when the customer wants to switch their standard browser that will this workaround be a good idea? What happened to defining standard programs and URLs open in the browser defined as the standard program? I try to make my customers Windows client environments less complex and more standardized…
To sum it up, the chances of Microsoft actually fixing this problem is very much zero percent chance as I interpret the communication we had with various Microsoft people in this issue.