I've been puzzling how to do this for a little while, as I had some common shortcuts I wanted to add to the desktop for everyone on my team to use.

The way to do this in Windows XP has been to use the "All Users" account and add to the desktop folder.  The process is the same for Windows Vista, but "All Users" has been renamed "Public" and the "Desktop" folder is hidden by default.

To create shortcuts for everyone either

  • Open Windows Explorer (Easiest way is Windows key + e)
  • Type "C:\Users\Public\Desktop" directly
  • Add shortcut to this folder

Or unhide all the folders and navigate there

  • Open Windows Explorer (Easiest way is  Windows key + e)
  • Press Alt to show the menu
  • Open Tools->Folder options menu
  • Select View tab
  • For the Hidden Files and folders option check "show hidden files and folders"
  • Now navigate to c:\users\public\desktop, you'll actually see it but it's ghosted out (because it's a hidden folder).
  • Add shortcut to this folder

I'm sure there's a million other ways to do this -- but I hope this helps!