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Microsoft Windows Vista – Get quick access to a network connection

Vista Beta 2 is about to go public, so I thought I’d start sharing some of my Vista tips. I’ll number them and collect them on a special page.

In recent reviews of Beta 2, I’ve read several complaints that it takes too many clicks to get to the Network Connections folder. Here’s the quickest route:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Network. This opens the Network folder, which lists all available shared resources on your local network.
  3. Click the Network Center button, which opens a new Control Panel window.
  4. Click the Manage Network Connections link in the task pane on the left.

You’re now at a window that lists all available network connections on your computer.

(Update: In the comments, Chris Smith points out that you can open Network Center a few clicks quicker by just double-clicking the network icon in the tray.)

For quicker access next time, point to the icon at the left of the address bar (I’ve circled it in red below).

Click and drag that icon onto the Start button. You now have a shortcut that takes you directly to the Network Connections folder.

Want instant access to a specifc connection icon? Drag the icon itself onto the Start button, or right-click the icon and choose Create Shortcut. In the latter case, your shortcut will show up on the desktop.

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