How to create a Windows shortcut

Updated: 12/20/2017 by Computer Hope

To create a shortcut in Microsoft Windows, follow one of the steps below.

Create a shortcut within the folder the program resides

One of the easiest methods of creating a shortcut is to create the shortcut in the folder that the program resides and then copy and paste or move that shortcut to where you want it. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the folder or directory that contains the program you want to create a shortcut for in Windows Explorer (called File Explorer in newer versions of Windows).
  2. Right-click on the program and select Create Shortcut.

Create shortcut in Windows

  1. Doing so will create a shortcut named "Shortcut to <your program>" in the current directory. If you want to rename this shortcut, right-click the file and select Rename.
  2. Once the above steps have been completed, you can copy or cut this shortcut and paste it anywhere to execute this program. You can also rename the shortcut anytime.

Create a shortcut using Microsoft's wizard

new Windows shortcutMove to the location or folder you want to create the shortcut (e.g., your Desktop), right-click on an empty location of the folder or screen, and click New > Shortcut or Create Shortcut.


In Windows 7 and earlier, open Windows Explorer, click File > New in the menu at the top, and select Shortcut. Once in the shortcut wizard window, you can browse to the location of the file you want to create the shortcut.