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How to Create Desktop Shortcuts on Windows 10 the Easy Way

How to Create Desktop Shortcuts on Windows 10 the Easy Way


Windows 10 still allows you to create desktop shortcuts for apps, files, folders, and even websites. Desktop icons may be a bit outdated, but they are still useful as part of a well-organized desktop.

How to create an app shortcut

To do it the easy way, open the Windows 10 Start Menu. Find the app you want to use by scrolling through the list of apps on the left side of the list. If it is in the list of tiles on the right side of the list, you can also drag it from there.

Once you find it, drag and drop the application shortcut from the Start menu to the desktop. You will see the word “Link” appear when you hover over the desktop. Release the mouse button to create a link to the program, also known as a desktop shortcut.

Note that you cannot search for the app by name in the Start menu. Windows 10 will not allow you to drag and drop anything from search results. It should, but it doesn’t.

How to create a shortcut to a file or folder

To create a desktop shortcut to a file, first, locate the file somewhere in File Explorer. Press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard and then drag and drop the file or folder to your desktop. The words “Create a link on the desktop” will appear. Release the mouse button to create the link.

Holding down Alt is necessary. If you don’t hold down Alt, Windows will display the words Move to Desktop, and will move the folder or file to the Desktop instead of just creating a link.

How to create a website shortcut

In Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you can quickly create desktop shortcuts for websites. When you open a webpage, drag and drop the icon to the left of the address barβ€”generally a padlock, or the letter “i” in a circleβ€”on your desktop.

This does not work in Microsoft Edge for some reason. Edge will not let you create desktop shortcuts directly. However, you can create them in Chrome or Firefox, and they will automatically open in your default web browser – even if that’s Microsoft Edge.

Work with your shortcuts

Whatever type of shortcut you create, you can right-click on it afterwards, select Rename, and change the name to whatever you want.

You can use all the above methods to create shortcuts in other folders as well. Want to create a shortcut to a website or app in your Downloads folder? Continue forward! Simply drag and drop it to the desired location instead of the desktop.

If you don’t see any shortcuts on the desktop, they may be hidden. Right-click on the desktop and select View > Show Desktop Icons to show it.

You can also choose the size of the desktop icons from here – large, medium or small. For more size options, place your mouse pointer over the desktop, hold down the Ctrl key, and scroll up and down with the mouse wheel.

Related: How to Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (and Keep It That Way)

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