How to Create a Shortcut on Android

Add a shortcut to any app or website on your home screen

What to Know

  • To add an Android app’s icon to your Home screen: on some phones you'll long-press its icon and select Add to home on others, long-press the app and drag it to the home screen.
  • Long-press an app icon then long-press a function’s name and drag it to your Home screen to create an app function shortcut.
  • To make a website shortcut on Android, open the site in Chrome, tap the ellipsis, and select Add to Home screen.

This guide will explain all of the steps for adding an app icon to an Android tablet or smartphone’s Home screen, how to make a shortcut to a website, and what to do to make a shortcut to an Android app function.

How Do I Put an Icon on My Home Screen?

You can add a shortcut for any app to your Android Home screen as long as you have the app installed. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Open the list of all of your apps.

    This can usually be done by tapping the icon that looks like a white circle with six blue dots in it or swipe up from the bottom of the phone.

  2. Find the app you want to create a shortcut for and long-press on its icon.

  3. Tap Add to home.

    On some Android devices, you will need to long-press the icon and drag the app to the home screen.

    An app and Add to home highlighted on Android home screen
  4. The app’s icon should then appear in the top-right corner of your Home screen on your Android tablet or smartphone. Long-press the app icon and drag it to where you want it to be.

How Do I Create a Shortcut for an App Function?

Some Android apps support functions which can be accessed by performing a long-press on their app icon. These functions can be pinned to your Android home screen as a separate icon to act as a shortcut to that specific task.

  1. Perform a long-press on the app whose function you want to create a shortcut for.

  2. A menu of available app functions should appear. Long-press the function you want to create a shortcut for and drag it onto your Home screen.

    Google Chrome icon and shortcut options on Android home screen
  3. Move the shortcut icon to its desired position and release your finger. The icon will now work as a shortcut which will open the Android app and immediately activate that one specific function.

    A Google Chrome app shortcut being dragged across the Home screen on an Android tablet

How Do I Create a Shortcut to a Website on Android?

Much like how you can create shortcuts for apps and app functions on Android tablets and mobiles, you can also add shortcuts to websites to your device’s Home screen.

For this example, we’ll use the Google Chrome app which comes pre-installed on most Android devices. You can also create website shortcuts with some other Android web browser apps which use similar steps though the phrasing may be slightly different.

Here’s how to pin a shortcut to a website onto your Android Home screen.

  1. Open the Google Chrome web browser and navigate to the website you want to pin to your Home screen.

  2. Tap the ellipsis icon in the top-right corner.

  3. From the menu, tap Add to Home screen.

    More button and Add to Home screen highlighted in the Google Chrome browser on Android
  4. Enter a custom name for the website.

    This name will be the word or words which will appear under the shortcut on your Home screen (shorter is better).

  5. Tap Add.

    Add to Home Screen pop-up and Add highlighted in Chrome Browser on Android
  6. Tap Add to Home screen or Add Automatically for the shortcut to be added to the top-left of your Home screen. Alternatively, you can long-press the icon and place the website shortcut icon manually.

    Whichever option you choose, you can manually move the shortcut icon afterwards to wherever you like.

    Add Automatically and Disney website link on Android Home screen

How Do I Create a Shortcut to My Android Home Screen?

There’s no need to create a shortcut to your Home screen as all Android devices have built-in ways to return to your Home screen no matter what app you’re using or which video you’re watching.

Close-up of a hand holding a Samsung Galaxy S6 Android smartphone.

guvendemir/iStock Unreleased/GettyImages

To return to your Home screen, tap the Home button. Depending on your Android smartphone or tablet model, it may look like a circle or a horizontal line. It’s always located under the screen.

Alternatively, some Android smartphones allow you to return to your Home screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

How Do I Delete Shortcuts on Android?

To delete a shortcut from your Android Home screen, long-press its icon and tap Remove from the popup menu. However, on the Google Pixel and other version of Android you may need to long-press and then drag the icon to the Remove area at the top of the screen.

This process will just delete the icon for the shortcut. To delete the app from your Android smartphone or tablet, tap Uninstall from the same menu. Or if you're using a Pixel, you'll need to drag the app icon to the Uninstall section at the top of the screen.

  • How do I create a shortcut for a downloaded file on Android?

    In the My Files app, go to the Downloads folder and select the file. Then, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner and choose Add shortcut from the drop-down menu. Note, however, that this option isn't supported on all Android devices.

  • How do I create a contact shortcut on my Android home screen?

    You can add contact shortcuts as Android widgets. In the Widget menu, choose Contacts to add a contact to your home screen.

  • What are the built-in shortcuts on my Android home screen?

    Android comes with many built-in shortcuts for making calls, taking photos, sending texts, and more. Many Android devices also allow you to control your phone using gestures.

  • How do I find hidden apps on my Android?

    In the app drawer, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner and select Hide Apps to view your hidden Android apps. If you don't see the Hide apps option, you have no hidden apps.

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