How to Create a Desktop Shortcut on Windows

Set up easy access to programs and files you use frequently

Creating shortcuts on your desktop gives you easy access to any file or program installed on your computer. The only requirements to create a shortcut are to know the path to the file or program you want to access, and to have the right permissions to access it.

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

How to Create a Shortcut From the Desktop

  1. Right-click any empty space on your desktop.

  2. Navigate to New > Shortcut.

  3. Once the Create Shortcut wizard launches, 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. Do not forget to include the file extension.

  4. Navigate through File Explorer until you locate the file or program you want to create a shortcut for.

  5. Select Next.

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

  7. Confirm your new shortcut appears on your desktop.

  8. Launch the file or application using your new shortcut.

How to Create a Desktop Shortcut Using File Explorer

Another alternative to creating a desktop shortcut is doing it right from File Explorer.

  1. Launch File Explorer.

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

  3. Right-click the file and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)

  4. Confirm your desktop shortcut was created successfully.

  5. Launch your file or program.