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5 Easy Ways to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11

Creating desktop shortcuts in Windows 11 has not changed much compared to the instructions for Windows 10. However, there are even faster and easier ways to do it in Windows 11. We will walk you through all the steps in this guide under How to create Shortcuts on the desktop in Windows 11.

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Create Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11

If you want to create desktop shortcuts in Windows 11, you have several options. You can drag and drop from the Start menu, File Explorer, Windows 11 app list, Create Shortcut Wizard, or Edit the Registry.

Let’s see how to create desktop shortcuts in Windows 11.

Sometimes apps and files don’t work in the start menu, so you need to create a shortcut instead. Here’s how.

  • Click Start and then click All Apps. You can also find apps using the Pinned section.
  • Use your mouse to drag the app you want from the Start menu to your desktop. You can see the link appear when you drag it to the desktop. desktop shortcuts in windows 11
  • You should find the application icon on your desktop. You can drag it to another location on your desktop, or right-click on any empty space on your desktop to use the Sort By option to arrange your icons.

    desktop shortcuts in windows 11

    If you don’t see any shortcuts on your desktop, right-click on an empty space on your desktop and choose View and make sure “Show desktop icons” is checked.

    #2 Use open file location in explorer

    Another way to create a desktop shortcut is to use File Explorer. Follow these steps:

  • Click “Start” or the “Search” icon on the taskbar and enter the name of the application for which you want to create a desktop shortcut on your keyboard.
  • Click Open file location. Alternatively, you can right-click on some applications in the application list and select the “Open file location” option, but this does not always work as expected. It is important to note that some applications automatically create desktop shortcuts during installation.
  • Right-click the .EXE file for the application you want to use, then click Show advanced options.
  • Click “Submit”, then select “Desktop” (create a shortcut).
  • #3 Applications Folder in Run Mode or Command Prompt

  • Use the keyboard shortcut Windows + R to open Run and type: explorer shell:AppsFolder. You can also open a command prompt (run as administrator) and use the same command.
  • Right-click the desired application and select “Create Shortcut”.
  • Check your desktop and the app shortcut you just created should be there.

    #4 Shortcut wizard

  • Right-click the application you want to create a desktop shortcut for and select Copy As Path (Ctrl+Shift+C). desktop shortcuts in windows 11
  • Go to the Windows 11 desktop, right-click on any empty space and select New. Select “Shortcut” from the “Create” menu. 5 Easy Ways to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11 - OnMSFT.com - December 29, 2022
  • Paste the path to the copied application into the Enter the location of the item field and click Next. 5 Easy Ways to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11 - OnMSFT.com - December 29, 2022
  • Use a custom name in the Enter a name for this shortcut field and click Finish. 5 Easy Ways to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11 - OnMSFT.com - December 29, 2022
  • The newly created application will appear on the desktop.

    #5 Make changes in the registry editor

    If you are having trouble using any of the above options, you can use the last resort and make changes to the Windows Registry. But don’t forget to back up your system before making any changes to the registry. Failure to back up your machine can have serious consequences.

    In the same way that you created a desktop shortcut using the Create Shortcut Wizard, it is important to know the path to the application for which you want to create a desktop shortcut, as you will need this information to create a desktop shortcut using the Registry Editor.

  • Open the Registry Editor using the keyboard shortcut Windows + R to open Run.
  • Type regedit and click OK. desktop shortcuts in windows 11
  • In the registry editor navigate to the following path: ComputerHKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryBackgroundshell
  • Right click on the shell. Click “Create” > “Key” to create a new key. 5 Easy Ways to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11 - OnMSFT.com - December 29, 2022
  • Rename the new key you just created to the name of the application you want to use as your desktop shortcut.
  • Right click on the new key you just created and click New > Key again and rename the new key Command.
  • Then open File Explorer and copy the application path as described in the 4th method of this list.
  • Return to the Registry Editor, press the Command key, double-click the value (default), copy the application path into the Value field, and click OK. desktop shortcuts in windows 11
  • The desktop shortcut will appear in the right-click desktop context menu and can be used as needed. desktop shortcuts in windows 11

    If you’re not getting an icon for a specific desktop shortcut, be sure to check out our guide on customizing icons on Windows 10 and Windows 11. Let us know in the comment section which method is best for creating desktop shortcuts on Windows 11.

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