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Shortcut for non-admin users to connect to Hyper-V machine in Windows 8/10 Pro+

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Using the Hyper-V Manager requires administrator rights. This guide shows how to add shortcuts and Start Screen tiles for normal users to quickly connect to local virtual machines rather than using the otherwise recommended Remote Desktop connection.

Manage and connect to Hyper-V machines

By default, the Hyper-V Manager of Windows 8/10 Pro is for administrators only.

This is fine for setup and configuration of the Virtual Machines and to check out these.


However, if the machine is in an Active Directory, this is not very useful as normal users are not granted administrator rights, thus will be incapable of accessing the VMs.


To solve this, the users' group - Domain Users - has to be granted rights to connect to the VMs. Luckily, this is a simple task.

 

Modify users' rights on host

First go to the host:


    1. As Administrator, open Computer Administration and go to Local Users and Groups

    2. Locate the group: Hyper-V Administrators

    3. Add to the list of members the group: Domain Users

    4. Close the group and Computer Administration

 

Modify users' rights on guest

Then - as Administrator - start and go to the Virtual Machine:


    1. As Administrator, open Computer Administration and go to Local Users and Groups

    2. Locate the group: Users of Remote Desktop

    3. Add to the list of members the group: Domain Users

    4. Close the group and Computer Administration


Now a normal user can open the Hyper-V Manager, connect to a Virtual Machine, and log on to this.

 

Desktop shortcuts

For frequent use you will prefer to provide the user a shortcut to connect to the VM.


To do so, somewhere - like on the Desktop - right-click and select to create a new shortcut.

The New Shortcut wizard opens and asks you to type the location of the item. Write:

vmconnect.exe localhost nameofyourvmachine

where "nameofyourvmachine" is the name from the Hyper-V Manager of the Hyper-V machine to open.

Click Next. The wizard asks you to name the shortcut. This will be the text label under the icon. Write for example:


    Hyper-V Windows 8 32-bit


Click Finish to create the shortcut. Double-click it to confirm that the VM opens and you are connected. Shortcuts on Desktop


Shortcut tiles on Start Screen

If you prefer a tile on the Start screen to select for all users of the machine, copy the shortcut to this folder:


C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

or

%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Note, that to copy the shortcut to the ProgramData folder, you will need administrator rights.

To create a tile for the current user only, use the user's profile folder:


C:\Users\<InsertCurrentUserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

or:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

You will not need administrator rights for this.


The shortcut will now appear as a tile on the "show all" pane of the Start screen. To copy it to the main pane, right-click on the tile and select: Pin to Start.


Tiles on Start screen


Before using this option, make sure the label of the tile is quite short, or it will be cut off when applied to the tile. See the screenshot above.


This is one simple way to make Hyper-V guest machines accessible to normal non-admin users on computers hooked up in Active Directory.


I hope you found this article useful. You are encouraged to ask questions, report any bugs or make any other comments about it below.


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