How to Make Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11

Creating desktop shortcuts in Windows 11 is a breeze. All you have to do is right-click on your desktop, navigate to “New,” and then select “Shortcut.” You’ll then be prompted to choose a file, folder, or application to link the shortcut to. Once you’ve done that, just click “Next,” name your shortcut, and hit “Finish.” Voila, you’re done!

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Make Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11

In this section, we’ll walk you through each step to create desktop shortcuts on your Windows 11 computer. This guide will help you quickly access your most-used files, programs, or folders right from your desktop.

Step 1: Right-click on your desktop

Right-click anywhere on your desktop to open a context menu.

Right-clicking is the gateway to various options. When you do this, you’ll see several choices like “View,” “Sort by,” and “Refresh.” For creating a shortcut, you’ll focus on the “New” option.

Step 2: Select “New” and then “Shortcut”

Navigate to “New” in the context menu, and select “Shortcut” from the dropdown.

The “New” menu is packed with various options, but selecting “Shortcut” will open a new dialogue box where you can specify what you want your shortcut to link to.

Step 3: Choose the location of the item

In the dialogue box, type the path or browse to the file, folder, or application for which you wish to create a shortcut, then click “Next.”

You can either type the path manually or click “Browse” to find it. This step is crucial as it determines what your shortcut will open when double-clicked.

Step 4: Name your shortcut

Enter a name for your shortcut in the next dialogue box, then click “Finish.”

Naming helps you quickly identify the shortcut later on. Be specific enough that you’ll remember what it’s for when you see it on your desktop.

Step 5: Verify the shortcut

Check your desktop to confirm that the shortcut has appeared and functions as expected.

Once the shortcut is created, double-click it to ensure it opens the intended file, folder, or application. If it doesn’t work, you may need to repeat the steps.

Now that you’ve completed these steps, your new desktop shortcut should appear on your desktop. Whenever you double-click it, it will open the associated file, folder, or application, saving you time and effort.

Tips for Creating Desktop Shortcuts in Windows 11

  • Always double-check the file path to ensure your shortcut works correctly.
  • Use meaningful names for your shortcuts to avoid confusion.
  • You can customize the icon of your shortcut by right-clicking it, selecting “Properties,” and clicking “Change Icon.”
  • Organize your shortcuts into folders if you have many, to keep your desktop tidy.
  • Deleting a shortcut does not delete the original file, so don’t worry about removing it from your desktop if you don’t need it anymore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I delete a shortcut?

Deleting a shortcut only removes the link from your desktop. It doesn’t delete the original file, folder, or application.

Can I create shortcuts to websites?

Yes, you can. Right-click on your desktop, select “New,” then “Shortcut,” and enter the website URL.

How do I change the icon of a shortcut?

Right-click the shortcut, select “Properties,” and click the “Change Icon” button to choose a new icon.

What should I do if my shortcut doesn’t work?

Double-check the file path, and make sure the file, folder, or application hasn’t been moved or deleted.

Can I create shortcuts to network locations?

Yes, you can create shortcuts to network folders or drives by following the same steps.


  1. Right-click on your desktop.
  2. Select “New” and then “Shortcut.”
  3. Choose the location of the item.
  4. Name your shortcut.
  5. Verify the shortcut.


Creating desktop shortcuts in Windows 11 is a simple yet powerful way to streamline your workflow. Whether it’s a frequently-used application, an important document, or a handy website, having shortcuts readily available on your desktop can save you precious time and effort. By following the steps outlined above, you can customize your workspace to best suit your needs.

Remember, shortcuts are just links and won’t affect the original file or application, so feel free to create as many as you need. If you encounter any issues, refer back to our FAQ section for quick solutions. Now that you know how to make desktop shortcuts in Windows 11, why not give it a try and see how much more efficient your daily tasks can become?

For further reading, consider exploring more advanced features of Windows 11, such as virtual desktops and improved snap layouts, to get the most out of your computing experience. Happy shortcutting!

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