How to Create Desktop Shortcuts on Windows 10 the Easy Way

Chrome desktop and desktop shortcuts in Windows 10

Windows 10 still allows you to create shortcuts on the desktop for applications, files, folders, and even websites. The desktop icons may be a bit out of date, but they are still useful for a well organized office.

How to create a shortcut to an application

To do this, easily open the Windows 10 Start menu. Find the application you want to use by scrolling through the application list on the left side of the menu. If it is in the thumbnail list on the right side of the menu, you can also drag it from there.

Once you've found it, drag the application shortcut from your Start menu to your desktop. The word "Link" appears when you hover over the desktop. Release the mouse button to create a link to the program, also called a shortcut on the desktop.

Creating a Desktop Shortcut from the Windows 10 Start Menu

Note that you can not search the application by name in the Start menu. Windows 10 will not let you drag anything from the search results. This should, but it is not.

How to create a shortcut to a file or folder

To create a desktop shortcut to a file, first locate the file somewhere in the file explorer. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and drag the file or folder to your desktop. The words "Create a link on the desktop" appear. Release the mouse button to create the link.

Creating a shortcut on the desktop from a file in the Windows 10 file explorer

Maintain Alt is necessary. If you do not hold down the Alt key, Windows displays the words "Move to Desktop" and moves the folder or file to your desktop rather than simply creating a link.

How to create a shortcut to a website

In Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you can quickly create shortcuts to websites. With a web page open, drag the icon to the left of the address bar (usually a padlock or an "i" in a circle) on the desktop.

Creating a shortcut link on the desktop to a web page with Google Chrome on Windows 10

This does not work in Microsoft Edge for any reason. Edge will not let you directly create shortcuts on the desktop. However, you can create them in Chrome or Firefox and they will automatically open in your default web browser, even if it is Microsoft Edge.

Work with your shortcuts

Whichever type of shortcut you create, you can then right-click on it, select "Rename" and change the name as desired.

You can also use all the methods above to create shortcuts in other folders. Want to create a shortcut to a website or app in your Downloads folder? Go for it! Just drag and drop it to the desired location instead of the desktop.

If you do not see any shortcuts on your desktop, it may be hidden. Right-click on the desktop and select View> Show Desktop Icons to view them.

Cancel desktop icons on Windows 10

You can also choose the size of your desktop icons from here: large, medium or small. For more size options, place your mouse cursor on the desktop, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll up and down with the mouse wheel.

RELATED: How to organize your messy Windows desktop (and keep it that way)

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