How to create a Windows shortcut

Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Windows logo.

Shortcuts are a great way to quickly access programs, files, folders, and even web pages. They can be conveniently placed on your desktop or in certain directories or folders. There are a few methods used to achieve these results. To proceed, make your selection from the list below.

Create a shortcut using Microsoft's wizard

This method allows users to create shortcuts on the Windows desktop or in a folder.

  1. Right-click a blank space on the Windows desktop, a folder, or in a directory.
  2. Move your mouse cursor over New in the drop-down menu that appears.

Selector to create a new item in Windows.

  1. Then select Shortcut.

Selector to create a shortcut in Windows.

  1. On the Create Shortcut window, click the Browse button in Windows. button.
  2. Locate the program you'd like to use for the shortcut (A), and then click OK (B).

Menu in which users may create a desktop shortcut.

  1. Click the Next button button.
  2. Type in a name for the shortcut, then click the Finish button in Windows. button.
Tip

You can pin a desktop shortcut for a program to the taskbar by dragging and dropping it there.

Create a shortcut from a folder

  1. Open the Windows File Explorer by pressing Windows key+E at the same time.
  2. Browse to the folder containing the program you want to use for the shortcut.
  3. Right-click the program and select Create Shortcut from the drop-down menu that appears.

Selector used to create a shortcut in Microsoft Windows.

  1. Doing so creates a shortcut named "<selected program's name> - Shortcut" in the current directory.
Tip

If you want to rename this shortcut, right-click the file and select Rename.

  1. After completing the steps above, you can right-click the shortcut to copy or cut it, and then paste it to another location.