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Adding a Desktop Shortcut Under Windows 10

This is done differently from prior versions of Windows and the technique varies depending on whether the thing you want to create the shortcut for is for file or folder versus a Windows built-in  app (e.g. Mail, People) , Store App or Installed Desktop App (e.g. MS Word, Adobe Reader, etc.).

For Installed Desktop Apps (formerly known as programs you’ve installed) or Windows Built-In Apps or Store Apps you’ve installed:

1.       This involves using a very seldom used view for applications that is most easily invoked using the Run command.  Hit Windows Key+R then enter the following, without the quotes, “shell:AppsFolder”, then hit enter.

2.       You will now get a File Explorer window that shows you nothing but all the applications that are installed on your computer whether these are Windows Built-In Apps, Store Apps you later installed, or Installed Desktop Apps.

3.      Navigate to the App for which you want the desktop shortcut and select it.  Under Windows 10 alone I am able to use the first letter of the app in question to get to its general area then keep hitting that letter and it advances to the next app starting with that same letter.  You can jump directly to the first app that starts with any letter.  If you’re a really fast typist you can start typing the name of the app itself rapidly and you should land on it, or something very near to it.  This is working for me even when the screen reader is running because it’s a Windows feature.

4.      Hit the Applications/Menu Key or Shift+F10 if your machine doesn’t have it.  This will invoke a context menu for the selected App.

5.      Either hit the letter ‘S’, which will directly invoke the “Create Shortcut” option, or arrow down until you hear “Create Shortcut” announced then hit enter.

6.      You will immediately get a dialog that tells you that, “Windows can’t create a shortcut here.  Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead?,” to which you will, of course, answer “Yes.”

7.      You now have a shortcut on the desktop.  This shortcut will have the name of the app in question followed by a hyphen and the word shortcut.  If you’re like me you’ll want to rename that shortcut to get rid of that hyphen and the word shortcut, but this is entirely optional.

For quick access to specific files or folders you’d like on the desktop:

1.       If you happen to know where the object you want the desktop shortcut for is located, navigate to the folder that contains it, then select it.    Proceed directly to step number 3.

2.       If you don’t know the location your best bet is to use Windows Search and enter search criteria that are enough to get you a short list of possible results.  Very often what you’re looking for will be the first thing returned if you choose decent search terms.  Once you’ve found the object you wish to make the shortcut for when reviewing the results make sure you have focus on it then proceed to step 3.

3.      Hit the Applications/Menu Key if your computer has it, or Shift+F10 if it does not, and a context menu should come up.  Choose “Open file location” from this context menu.  This will open the folder that contains the program, file, or subfolder you had focus on and it will already be selected.

4.      Hit the Applications/Menu Key or Shift+F10, then do one of the following:

a.      Hit N (which invokes the Send To) option, followed immediately by D (which invokes the Desktop create shortcut option).  You’re finished.

b.      Arrow down until you hear that you have focus on the Send To option, hit enter, then in the submenu for send to arrow down until you hear “Desktop (create shortcut)” and hit enter.  You’re finished.