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I have some portable apps and when I download them they extract to a normal directory structure, but the structure includes a version number, How do I create a start-up shortcut to the program so it doesn’t break when the application is updated?

For example:
I can create a shortcut to “D:\PortableApp\V1\prog.exe” and place the shortcut into Startup items and it works fine. Now the program is updated to V1.1. How do I get the shortcut to update to “D:\PortableApp\V1.1\prog.exe”without manually updating the shortcut?

Thanks in advance


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When the program gets updated, does the old version folder (V1) and exe file (prog.exe) stay in the PortableApp folder or are they deleted? – amiregelz Aug 3 '12 at 10:02
The existing folder "V1" is deleted and a new extracted folder "V1.1" is created. – mikeparkie Aug 3 '12 at 10:23
I don't think updating a shortcut path automatically is possible, but you can extract the new V1.1 folder to the PortableApp folder and set the shortcut path to D:\PortableApp\prog.exe. I know it's not exactly what you're looking for, but except for the version folder not existing, it's more or less the same. You can also use a tool like that to recover broken shortcuts, but I'm not sure it's more efficient than reformatting the shortcut path manually. – amiregelz Aug 3 '12 at 12:44
I think that may be the way to go. thanks for your input :) – mikeparkie Aug 6 '12 at 7:42

You can create a custom Environment Variable and use that in the shortcut's path instead of hard coded version path.

Use the %MYCUSTOMPORTABLEPATH% in the shortcut path itself instead.

You can also keep part of the path fixed and just store the version in the Environment too.


Just like you can use %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH% in a shortcut path, you can also create your own vars.

Just update your environment variable when you upgrade and the shortcut should point to new stuff.

That said, having version-less paths may work fine too depending on your needs.

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