How to Create a Desktop Shortcut on Windows

Set up easy access to programs and files you frequently use

When you create a shortcut on the Windows desktop, you get easy access to any file or program installed on your computer. There are two requirements for creating a shortcut. You must know the file or program path or be able to navigate to it. You must also have permission to access the file or program.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

Create a Shortcut From the Desktop

  1. On your desktop screen, right-click in any empty space.

  2. A menu appears. Select New > Shortcut.

  3. In the Create Shortcut wizard, select Browse to find the file or program you want to create a shortcut for.

    If you already know the path to the file or program, type it and proceed to step 5.

  4. Navigate to the file or program you want to create a shortcut for. Select OK.

  5. Select Next.

  6. Type the name you want to assign to the shortcut, then select Finish.

  7. Your new shortcut appears on your desktop. You can use it as you would the other shortcuts.

Create a Desktop Shortcut Using File Explorer

You can also create a desktop shortcut from File Explorer.

  1. From your taskbar, launch File Explorer.

  2. Navigate to the file or program and select it.

  3. Right-click the name of the file. From the menu that appears, select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)

  4. Your new shortcut appears on your desktop. You can use it as you would the other shortcuts.