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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 recommended Remote Desktop connection.

Manage and connect to Hyper-V machines

By default, the Hyper-V Manager of Windows 8 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

Open in new window

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 for the user to select, copy the shortcut to this folder:

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

Open in new window

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 screenBefore 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.
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1 Comment

Expert Comment

by:Curtis Booker
The Best I've heard it put yet

Thanks a bunch

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