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How to create a desktop shortcut in Windows 10

Any given computer has all sorts of files, folders, and apps on it. No one stores everything in one place but more often than not, you will find the need to access several different items repeatedly. To be able to access them quickly, and easily is essential.

create a desktop shortcut

Desktop Shortcut in Windows 10

The desktop is one of the most convenient places to access a file, folder, or app from. Unfortunately, you cannot save everything to the desktop. If nothing else, the risk they may be lost to accidental deletion or to a system crash is too high.

What you can do instead is place shortcuts to various items. A shortcut links to a file, folder, or app but deleting it doesn’t delete the actual item. It gives you the convenience of quick access but lets you keep everything where it is originally stored.

1. Create desktop shortcut – File

To create a desktop shortcut for a file, follow these steps.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the file you want to create a shortcut for.
  3. Right-click the file.
  4. From the context menu, go to Send to>Desktop (create shortcut).

2. Create desktop shortcut – Folder

To create desktop shortcut for a folder, follow these steps.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder you want to create the shortcut for.
  3. Right-click the folder.
  4. From the context menu, go to Send to>Desktop (create shortcut).

3. Create desktop shortcut – Apps

To create a desktop shortcut for an app, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Go to the Apps list.
  3. Look for the app you want to create the shortcut for.
  4. Click and drag the app and drop it on to the desktop.
  5. A shortcut to the app will be created.

4. Create empty shortcut

Windows allows users to create ‘empty’ shortcuts. These are shortcuts that do not link to a file, folder, or app. Instead, these refer to locations or sometimes even commands that are to be run in Command Prompt. You must know what it is you want to run when you run this shortcut. The following is an example of a shortcut that will clear the clipboard when it is run.

  1. Go to the desktop.
  2. Right-click an empty area on the desktop.
  3. In the context menu, select New>Shortcut.
  4. In the location field, enter the location or command that you want to run e.g. %windir%\System32\cmd /c echo off | clip
  5. Click Next.
  6. Give the shortcut a name and it will be created.

Conclusion

Desktop shortcuts can be used with scripts, they can be moved to other folders, or to the Startup folder. They’re useful. If you find you don’t like the desktop cluttered, you can hide the desktop icons, add the desktop toolbar to the taskbar and access everything from the Desktop toolbar’s menu.

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