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Originally written as a launcher app for VNC sessions onto other machines, VNCHelper is able to launch any application, URL, file or folder. It's as small on your screen as possible, and remembers where it's placed.

Clicking each item on the menu brings up a sub menu containing commands. You can customise each item on this sub menu, and choose a title, and the command it launches. For example, for a VNC session, the title might be the hostname of the machine you want to control, the command line the path to vncviewer.exe, and the parameters the command line parameters you need to start a session. For a web site, the item would be the name of the site, and the parameter the address.

Each top level item can be given a hostname. Where the text %HOST% appears in subitem commands, this hostname is substituted.

Data is stored in a file in the same directory as the executable, called vnchelper.ini

Command types

Items you add to the submenus can be one of four types:

  • Custom command
    Give this a name, enter the command you'd like to run, and also any parameters to that command. You can choose to have a confirmation dialog appear when you run the command, for when you enter something you need to be sure of running!
    If you include the text '???' (three question marks) anywhere in the Params box of an item, when that item is clicked a box will appear asking for input. The '???' is then replaced with whatever you then type into the box when the command is executed, so to edit a variable file in notepad, set the Command to be 'notepad.exe' and the Param to be just '???'. Click the item, and type the path to the file you'd like to open.
    Similarly, if you use '***' (three asterisks) then you'll be asked for a password, which is again replaced in the command executed.

  • Windows Template
    Enter the name of a Windows server, and the drives the server has shared. The resultant item will then allow you to:
    • RDP
    • Access shares
    • Manage
    • Reboot
    • Shutdown
    • Ping
    the server.
    For example, a file server might be named "server01" and the drives may be: "c$,d$,data". This will allow you to quickly browse the administrative shares, along with the manually created "\\server01\data" share.

  • URL
    Launches a web site of your choosing either using your system default browser, or optionally (for those sites which just insist on you using IE!) an alternate browser.

  • Separator
    A menu separator for neatness

You can move each of these items in the list, and choose the icon and background colour of the top-level menu item.


  • v3.01 - fixes a problem when cancelling a copy of a top-level menu item
  • v3.20 - auto-windows added, ??? parameter added
  • v3.60 - *** parameter added for password input
  • v3.80 - fixed final item truncation problem, fixed black text on black background problem with high contrast colour schemes

If you used an earlier version of this application, this is a separate program. It does not store data in the same way, so will not interfere with v1 or v2. The down side to this is that the app does not import earlier data.

vnchelper.zip (82k)

© Zhorn Software 2019