Adding Shortcuts to the Windows.
Want to open apps, files, folders and websites faster? Try creating shortcuts on your desktop. This guide shows you how to do it on a Windows 10 or 11 PC.
Although Microsoft has paid less attention to desktop shortcuts in Windows 10 and 11, you can still use them to access your favorite apps, files, and websites more quickly. There are several ways to add shortcuts to the Windows desktop, and we will cover them all.
Add App Shortcuts via the Start Menu
If you want to create a shortcut on your desktop for a Microsoft Store app — Photos, Calendar, etc. — or a traditional program on your PC, the quickest way is to drag it from the app list to the Start menu onto your desktop .
Open the Start menu and select All Apps to open the list of apps.
Find the program you want to add.Drag the program to the desktop and release it when the cursor changes to Link.
On Windows 10, you can also drag pinned apps from the Start menu to your desktop as shortcuts.
Add App Shortcuts via the Applications Folder
The Applications folder in Windows 10 and 11 is a special directory that contains a complete list of all Microsoft Store and non-Store apps on your computer. It offers an alternative way to create desktop shortcuts for programs on your computer and lists items you would not normally find in the Start Menu, such as the Control Panel.
Press the Windows key + R to open the Run window. Then type shell:AppsFolder and press Enter. The Applications folder will appear in the Explorer window.
Find the program you want to add to your desktop. Then right-click and select Create Shortcut.
Select “Yes” in the “Windows cannot create a shortcut here” popup. The shortcut should immediately appear on your desktop.
Alternatively, you can access the Applications folder in Windows through the command line console. Type cmd in the start menu, select open and run the explorer shell command: AppsFolder.
Add Traditional System Shortcuts
Windows 10 and 11 only show the Recycle Bin on the desktop by default. But you can put whatever you want there, including traditional system shortcuts like This PC, your user account folder, network devices folder, and Control Panel via the Desktop Icon Options dialog.
Right-click the Start button and select Settings.
Select the Personalization category.
Scroll down and select Desktop Icon Settings.
Check the boxes next to the shortcuts you want: Computer, User Files, Network, Recycle Bin, and Control Panel.
Choose Apply > OK.
Create Program, File, and Folder Shortcuts via File Explorer
Another way to create application shortcuts includes File Explorer. You can also use it to create shortcuts to files and folders.
Creating program shortcuts
Open File Explorer and navigate to the program’s installation directory. The default installation location for traditional desktop applications (such as Microsoft Office) is Program Files and Program Files (x86) on the system partition. To find the Microsoft Store app, you need to visit the hidden WindowsApps folder.
Locate the main executable (EXE). This is an application type file (you can identify it by setting View to Details), usually containing the name and icon of the program. If you want to be sure, double click the file. If the program runs, you have identified the correct file.
Advice. If you’re having trouble finding the non-Store app’s executable, right-click the program in the Start menu and select More > Open file location. This should take you to the shortcuts folder for the start menu. Right-click the program again and select “Open file location” to open the application directory with the main EXE file highlighted.
Drag the executable to the desktop and release it when the cursor changes to Create Link on Desktop.
Or, right-click the application file and choose Send To > Desktop (Shortcut) from the context menu. You can also press and hold the right mouse button (not the left mouse button), drag the item to the desktop, and select Create Shortcuts Here.
Create Shortcuts to Files and Folders
Open File Explorer and locate the file (such as Excel or Word) or folder.Alt-drag the item to the desktop. Release when the cursor changes to Create Link on Desktop.
As with application shortcuts, you can also right-click a file or folder and choose Send To > Desktop (Shortcut) or simply drag it to the desktop by right-clicking and select the Create Shortcuts option here”.
Drag and Drop URLs to Create Website Shortcuts
If you want to create a shortcut to a website or web page, you can quickly do so by dragging the URL to your desktop.
Load a website or web page in a browser tab.Click anywhere in the address bar to highlight the URL.Drag the URL to your desktop.
The above steps work on Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and any other web browser you use on Windows 10 and 11.
Create Progressive Web App Shortcuts
If you’re using a Chromium-based browser like Chrome or Edge, you can create Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for websites that display on the desktop. PWAs contain website icons, making them easier to distinguish from regular website shortcuts.
To install a site as an app in Chrome:
Visit the home page of the website.Open the Chrome menu and select More Tools > Create Shortcut.
Check the box next to Open as window and select New.
If you’re using Edge, simply open the Edge menu and choose Apps > Install this site as an app.
Use the New Shortcut Wizard
The Shortcut Wizard is a slow but reliable tool for creating application shortcuts on the desktop. You can also add shortcuts to programs, files, folders, and websites.
Right-click an empty area on your desktop and choose New > Shortcut.
Enter the path to the program’s executable file, file, or folder, or add it using the Browse button. If you want to create a shortcut to a website, paste the URL instead.
Click Next.Rename or give a new name to the shortcut.
Now that you know how to create desktop shortcuts on a Windows 10 or 11 PC, what’s next?
Shortcuts won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to get to your desktop faster. If you have too many shortcuts, you might want to change the spacing between app icons.Try customizing your desktop by changing the default icons for shortcuts.
Adding Shortcuts to the Windows
Adding Shortcuts to the Windows