Personalization Add Custom Shortcuts to Win+X Quick Link Menu in Windows 11


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Start.png


The method in this tutorial is reportedly no longer working in Windows 11.



The Win+X Quick Link menu (aka: Power User menu) is a pop-up menu from the Start button that includes shortcuts of common management, configuration, and other power user tools for Windows.

The shortcuts on the Win+X Quick Link menu are broken up into 3 groups. Group1 shortcuts in the bottom section, Group2 shortcuts in the middle section, and Group3 shortcuts in the top section.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22579, Windows Terminal and Windows Terminal (Admin) in the Win+X menu has been replaced by Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell (Admin). If you have Windows Terminal installed and would like Windows PowerShell to open in Windows Terminal, set Windows Terminal as your default terminal app.

This tutorial will show you how to add any custom shortcuts you want to the Win+X Quick Link menu for your account in Windows 11.


EXAMPLE: Default shortcuts on Win+X Quick Link menu

Win+X_Quick_Link_menu.jpg



Here's How:

1 Download the free hashlnk_0.2.0.0.zip file created by Rafael Rivera on GitHub.


2 Unblock the hashlnk_0.2.0.0.zip file.

3 Extract (drag and drop) the hashlnk.exe file from the hashlnk_0.2.0.0.zip file, and save the hashlnk.exe file to where (ex: Desktop) you like.

This hashlnk.exe file will be used to apply the required hash to the new Win+X menu shortcut in step 9.


4 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

5 Copy and paste the location below you want into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter.

For current user only: %LocalAppdata%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX

OR​

Applied to new users when created: C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX

6 Open the Group1 (bottom), Group2 (middle), or Group3 (top) folder for the Win+X Quick Link menu group you want to add a shortcut to. (see screenshot below)

If you would like to add more group(s) to the top of the Win+X menu, then you can create a new Group4, Group5, etc... folder to open and add shortcuts to.


WinX_folder-1.png

7 Create a shortcut for any app or item (ex: "Registry Editor") you want in this Group1, Group2, Group3, etc... folder. Leave this File Explorer window open. (see screenshots below)

If you wanted to remove a shortcut from your Win+X Quick Link menu, you can just delete the shortcut from the Group1, Group2, Group3, etc... folder, and go to step 11.


WinX_folder-2.png
WinX_folder-3.png
WinX_folder-4.png

8 Open Windows Terminal, and select Command Prompt.

9 Perform the following actions in the command prompt to apply a hash to the new Win+X shortcut: (see screenshot below)

A) Copy and paste the full path wrapped in quotes of the hashlnk.exe file from step 3 into the command prompt.​

B) Add a Space after the path above.​

C) Copy and paste the full path wrapped in quotes of the new shortcut from step 7 into the command prompt.​

D) Press Enter.​

For example:

"C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\hashlnk.exe" "C:\Users\Brink\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2\Registry Editor.lnk"


Win+X_command.png

10 You can now close the command prompt and File Explorer if you like, and delete the hashlnk.exe file from step 3 if you like.

11 When finished adding shortcuts, restart the explorer process or sign out and sign in to apply your changes to the Win+X Quick Link menu.

12 You can now open the Win+X Quick Link menu to see your new shortcut (ex: "Registry Editor") added. (see screenshot below)

Win+X_new_shortcut.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Last edited:

Stigg

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When it comes to linking a Windows App, I see that Windows 11 duplicates the executable.
For example, Windows Terminal is here: %localappdata%\Microsoft\WindowsApps
and in a sub-folder here: %localappdata%\Microsoft\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Any thought on which executable will be more reliable to link to?

One other thing.
Do environmental variables work rather than using a profile folder name?

Edit:
I can answer a couple of my own questions now.
1. Environmental variables work.
2. I used "%localappdata%\Microsoft\WindowsApps" for the path. The command prompt "where wt.exe" pointed to it, so I thought it might be best.
 
Last edited:

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Stigg

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How do you get Windows Terminal (Admin) to display as Windows Terminal (Admin)?
I have two listings of Windows Terminal. One shortcut is running as Admin, but I cannot manage to change the shortcut name without it changing the file name.

Edit: I think I worked it out. You just edit the comment to what you want to be displayed.

By the way, after I finished using the hashlnk commands, I found out that Winaero Win+X Menu Editor uses the hashlnk tool source code.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
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    Stigg's Build
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-10900X
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE X299X DESIGNARE 10G
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    Corsair 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) CMW64GX4M4C3000C15 Vengeance RGB Pro 3000Mhz DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Super Mini ITX 6 GB OC
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 27" FHD LED FreeSync Gaming Monitor (LS27F350FHEXXY)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 Pro Series 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    PSU
    Corsair HX1200 1200W 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 Black Solid Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black
    Keyboard
    Razer Ornata V2
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    Razer DeathAdder Essential
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    FTTN 100Mbps / 40Mbps
    Browser
    Mozilla Firefox
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    N/A
    Other Info
    Logitech BRIO 4k Ultra HD USB-C Webcam
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS
    CPU
    Core i7-8750H
    Motherboard
    Zephyrus M GM501GS
    Memory
    SK Hynix 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) HMA82GS6CJR8N-VK 16 GB DDR4-2666 DDR4 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC294
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AU Optronics B156HAN07.1 [15.6" LCD]
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung MZVKW512HMJP-00000 512 GB, PCI-E 3.0 x4
    Samsung SSD 860 QVO 4TB 4 TB, SATA-III
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    N/A
    Cooling
    N/A
    Mouse
    Razer DeathAdder Essential
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    PC/AT Enhanced PS2 Keyboard (101/102-Key)
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Brink

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Edit: I think I worked it out. You just edit the comment to what you want to be displayed.

Hello mate, :-)

Correct. You would rename by editing the comment.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
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    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
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    Intel Iris Plus
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    Intel SST
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    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
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    3840 x 2160
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Stigg

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To create Windows Terminal (Admin), did you go to the shortcut Properties > Shortcut tab > Advanced and select "Run as Administrator"?
That's what I did and it worked.


My original 01 - Windows Terminal and 02 - Windows Terminal shortcuts that failed to work seem to be protected. The target line and "Run as Administrator" are grayed out. I am thinking now that I could have possibly re-used them instead of making new ones and just used hashlnk to fix the WinX menu.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Stigg's Build
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-10900X
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE X299X DESIGNARE 10G
    Memory
    Corsair 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) CMW64GX4M4C3000C15 Vengeance RGB Pro 3000Mhz DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Super Mini ITX 6 GB OC
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 27" FHD LED FreeSync Gaming Monitor (LS27F350FHEXXY)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 Pro Series 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    PSU
    Corsair HX1200 1200W 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 Black Solid Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black
    Keyboard
    Razer Ornata V2
    Mouse
    Razer DeathAdder Essential
    Internet Speed
    FTTN 100Mbps / 40Mbps
    Browser
    Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    N/A
    Other Info
    Logitech BRIO 4k Ultra HD USB-C Webcam
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS
    CPU
    Core i7-8750H
    Motherboard
    Zephyrus M GM501GS
    Memory
    SK Hynix 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) HMA82GS6CJR8N-VK 16 GB DDR4-2666 DDR4 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC294
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AU Optronics B156HAN07.1 [15.6" LCD]
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung MZVKW512HMJP-00000 512 GB, PCI-E 3.0 x4
    Samsung SSD 860 QVO 4TB 4 TB, SATA-III
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    N/A
    Cooling
    N/A
    Mouse
    Razer DeathAdder Essential
    Keyboard
    PC/AT Enhanced PS2 Keyboard (101/102-Key)
    Internet Speed
    FTTN 100Mbps / 40Mbps
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    USB2.0 HD UVC Webcam

RafhaCorreia

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In version 22H2 22621.105 is not working. Could anyone test it? Used the Control Panel shortcut in Group1 both on Win10 and on Win11 version prior to 22621.105
 

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Brink

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In version 22H2 22621.105 is not working. Could anyone test it? Used the Control Panel shortcut in Group1 both on Win10 and on Win11 version prior to 22621.105

Hello, :-)

Be sure the shortcut you add doesn't have the same name as any other existing shortcuts, or it will not work.

As a test, add the shortcut to both locations in step 5 to see if it will work for you then. Some have reported it still worked doing that.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

Antonimo

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Windows 11 22000.795
I have been using Win+X Menu Editor from Winaero for a long time. After an update yesterday, I lost the custom items I had added and Win+X menu Editor does not seem to work any longer.

Luckily, I found this post.

I have run the command from PowerShell (as admin)

Code:
"C:\Custom\hashlnk_0.2.0.0\hashlnk.exe" "C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group4\ugl.lnk"

When I press enter I receive the following error:

Code:
At line:1 char:42
+ ... ashlnk.exe" "C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Gr ...
+                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unexpected token '"C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group4\ugl.lnk"' in expression or statement.
    + CategoryInfo          : ParserError: (:) [], ParentContainsErrorRecordException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : UnexpectedToken

Can anyone advise what might be wrong?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 22000.795
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core Processor 3.70 Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon RX 570 Series
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Cooling
    Artcti Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB
    Keyboard
    Custom
    Mouse
    Microsoft Mobile 3500
    Internet Speed
    800 mbps
    Other Info
    Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22000.795.0

Brink

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Hello @Antonimo, and welcome. :-)

As a test, run the command in a command prompt instead of PowerShell in case it's a formatting issue.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

Antonimo

Member
Local time
9:20 AM
Posts
2
OS
Windows 11 22000.795
There is no error when I run using elevated cmd.exe, but after restarting explorer.exe, the shortcut hasn't appeared in the Win+X menu.

Does it matter what the shortcut points to? I am trying to create a shortcut to an e-mail template in C:\Users\USER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Also, what exactly is hashlnk.exe doing behind the scenes? Is it adding something to the registry?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 22000.795
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core Processor 3.70 Ghz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon RX 570 Series
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Cooling
    Artcti Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB
    Keyboard
    Custom
    Mouse
    Microsoft Mobile 3500
    Internet Speed
    800 mbps
    Other Info
    Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22000.795.0

Brink

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There is no error when I run using elevated cmd.exe, but after restarting explorer.exe, the shortcut hasn't appeared in the Win+X menu.

Does it matter what the shortcut points to? I am trying to create a shortcut to an e-mail template in C:\Users\USER\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Also, what exactly is hashlnk.exe doing behind the scenes? Is it adding something to the registry?

hashlink adds a security hash to the shortcut so it will be used in the Win+X menu.

Do note, that only app shortcuts will work.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Local time
10:20 AM
Posts
1
OS
Windows 11
Hello to all,
I was using hashlnk but it doesn't work anymore.
I am on Windows 11 22000.832. Did you find another tip?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7600 CPU @ 3.50GHz
    Memory
    16,0 Go
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 1060 6Gb
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