How can I create a “landing page” that will always open in Windows?

thurana May 17, 2010
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My friend asked for my help to customize the computers on his school lab to display some kind of “Landing Page” that will open every time those computers start. He wants to put several things there (exercise, couples of applications and kid-safe browser) and he doesn’t want students to be able to access anything other than the items showed on that page.

All I can think of is customize the desktop with web page (right click desktop – Properties) and create a customized html page with links to those preferred apps. But if any of you has any other ideas – alternative applications to do that, please share some enlightenment.

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  1. Aibek
    May 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Hey Jeffry,

    How about a customizable application launcher that serves as an alternate Windows shell. It starts automatically on boot and only provides access to the shortcuts/programs you choose. See KidsMenu.

    • Anonymous
      May 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Aibek. I've skimmed the article you've suggested and I think this might be it. I'll try it out.

      Thank you very much for the idea.

      • Aibek
        May 19, 2010 at 3:37 am

        cool. let me know how it goes.

  2. Jack Cola
    May 18, 2010 at 2:15 am

    I would suggest making it the homepage in IE or FF, and when the computer boot's up, make IE or FF startup.Then all you have to do is block everything apart from that website (or just simple remove the address bar if the kids don't know how to get it back)

    If you need instructions on how to do this, just reply to me

    • Anonymous
      May 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Jack,

      I've tried this method. Unfortunately, the "Start" button is still there. So they still can access other files and applications. This is exactly what my friend wants to avoid.

      • Jack Cola
        May 19, 2010 at 1:33 am

        What you can do is unlock the taskbar and drag it down a level so it doesn't appear (of memory, I think you can do that - not to sure)

        What you might want to do then is create a limited account for the students and keep the admin account for yourself. Then just modify what's in your start menu.

        Move everything out of C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersStart Menu and move it into C:Documents and SettingsYOURUSERACCOUNTStart Menu.

        When students login to their account, there will be no programs that they can select. You might just want to keep IE their or something.

        Then right click on the start menu, select properties, click on customize and modify the start menu appropriately to remove network connections, my documents, my computer etc.

        If your students are smart, they can still access everything, but it just reduces the chance of casual looking.

        I hope this help. If anything is unclear, let me know

        • Anonymous
          May 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

          I'll try it and will get back to you for more help. :) Thanks a bunch.

  3. Saikat Basu
    May 17, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    One idea could be to setup a virtual desktop with only the program icons one wants. Free virtual desktops are available. You have Virtual Win, Microdesk, Dexpot, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Manager. You can password protect each desktop. But I am not sure if the underlying programs can be shielded from access.

    • Anonymous
      May 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks Saikat. I'll definitely try the Virtual Desktop options.

  4. Steve Campbell
    May 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Thurana,

    The only thing that comes to mind is what you said with creating an html page and then setting it up to run at boot. If the computers in the lab are part of the school network, restrictions can be applied to student accounts if you were to create a separate domain for student login. This would limit the programs they could access on the machine.

    I'm sure a program exists that can do what you are looking for, but I do not know what it would be categorized under or how to go about finding it. Sorry, I tried!

    • Anonymous
      May 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks for the idea Steve. Unfortunately, the lab is not as advanced as school network. It's just several computers in one room, so the setup should be done one by one.

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