Software & Apps Windows How to Add Shortcuts to Your Desktop on Windows 10 Create time-saving desktop shortcuts By Julia Borgini Writer Julia Borgini is a former Lifewire writer and a technical copywriter. She's written for B2B News Network, Kissmetrics, Social Media Examiner, and more. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Julia Borgini Updated March 07, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email Shortcuts on your Windows desktop are a convenient way to use your computer. You can use them to access applications, to navigate to a website quickly, or to open a file buried somewhere in My Documents. When you install a new application in Windows, you're often given an option to create a desktop shortcut for it, but there are several other ways to create a desktop shortcut in Windows 10, too. How to Create a Desktop Shortcut From the Start Menu Select the Windows icon to open the Start Menu. In the app list, select and drag any application to your desktop. Windows creates a shortcut to the application without removing the app from the Start Menu. How to Create a Desktop Shortcut for an Application If you're a little more tech-savvy or maybe you forgot to add a Start Menu item for the application when you installed it, you can create a desktop shortcut for it through File Explorer. Open File Explorer as you normally would, or press Windows+E. Navigate to C:/ > Program Files. Open the folder for the application you want to create a shortcut for. In this example, we're creating one for Notepad++. Find the .exe file for the application. Here, it's notepad++.exe. Right-click the .exe file and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut). Your shortcut is created and added to your desktop. Create a Desktop Shortcut in Windows 10 for Files and Folders Creating a desktop shortcut for a document or folder from File Explorer is the same as doing so for an application, but involves an extra step. Press Windows+E to open File Explorer. Right-click the file or folder name. Select Create shortcut. Windows creates a shortcut in the same folder as the original file or folder. Select and drag, or copy and paste, the shortcut to your desktop. How to Make a Desktop Shortcut for Any Item From the File Explorer Menu In the previous methods, you created desktop shortcuts using the right-click menu and keyboard shortcuts. Here, we'll explain how to create them using the File Explorer menus Press Windows+E to open File Explorer. Navigate to the location of the file or folder you wish to create a shortcut for. Select the address bar to reveal the location of the file or folder. Press Ctrl+C to copy the location to your clipboard. In the New section of the Home ribbon, select New Item > Shortcut. Press Ctrl+V to paste the location in the Type the location of the item field, then select Next. Type a name for the shortcut, then select Finish. Your shortcut is created. Select and drag the shortcut to your desktop and you're done. Create a Desktop Shortcut From the Desktop The final way to create shortcuts in Windows 10 is to do it directly on the desktop. Right-click a space on your desktop and select New > Shortcut. Select Browse to find the item you're creating the shortcut for. Select the file or application, then select OK. The location will appear in the Type the location of the item field. Select Next to continue. Type a name for the shortcut. Select Finish to create the desktop shortcut.