How to create a desktop shortcut in Windows 10

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One of the changes Microsoft made with Windows 10 was how to create a shortcut to a file or a program and have that shortcut on the desktop screen.

Windows 10 tip


A lot of people – myself included – weren’t too happy the first time we tried to make a shortcut to the desktop using Windows 10.

The “old” way, which was used for years with Windows XP and Windows 7, was to just find the file or the program in the “All Programs” list on the Start menu, do a right click and choose “Send to” then “Desktop – create shortcut”.

Try to do that with Windows 10, and you’ll see that you can still right click on a program name in the “All apps” list, but there is no more “Send to” option in the right-click menu. For a while in the beginning I just wrote it off as Microsoft taking away something handy for no good reason. I actually figured out a different (more complicated) way of putting shortcuts on the desktop – until I discovered the better and easier way to do it.

This is so simple it’s ridiculous:

Click the Start button and All Files, then find the program you want to make a shortcut for. Then, use your left mouse button and just drag it to the desktop area. Done!

You can do the same thing with any of the tiles that are in the Windows Start menu – just drag them to the desktop.

BUT – Microsoft actually has not completely done away with the old process. If you have a file in your Documents folder, or a picture in your Pictures folder, or any other type of file or sub-folder in one of those areas, you would use the old process for making a shortcut to it on your desktop. Just do a right-click, put the cursor over “Send to”, and in the menu that slides out, choose “Desktop – create shortcut”.

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