Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

A shortcut may refer to any of the following:

Keyboard shortcut

1. In Microsoft Windows, a shortcut is a link that points to a program on the computer. Shortcuts allow you to create links to programs in any folder, Start bar, Taskbar, desktop or other locations on the computer. A shortcut in Windows has a small arrow in the bottom left corner of the icon and are files that end with a file extension of .lnk. The picture shows an example of a Windows shortcut that links to the game SimCity.

If you are more familiar with Linux, you can think of a shortcut as a symbolic link.

A shortcut is useful for accessing software programs or files more easily. Having a shortcut on the Windows desktop eliminates the need for users to look through the Start menu Programs list to find a specific software program. A shortcut also makes it much quicker to open a file and not have to dig through the My Documents folder or other folders on the computer to find a file.

2. A shortcut is also used to describe a keyboard shortcut.

Mnemonic, Operating system terms