How to make desktop shortcuts in Windows 10

How to make desktop shortcuts in Windows 10

If you're switching from Mac to PC, one of the primary difference you'll come across is how to add program shortcuts to your desktop. On the Mac, you just dragged a program's icon from the Applications folder to the Desktop, and voila! a shortcut was made! On the Windows laptop, there are two kinds of programs (Desktop apps and Modern apps) and there's no single visible folder that holds all of your apps, so things are a little more complicated.

Luckily, we've put together instructions for how to make desktop shortcuts for both Modern apps (a convention that started in Windows 8 and includes Microsoft Edge, Mail and other programs) and Desktop apps (which you download yourself, like Chrome). The way to tell if an app is Modern or Desktop is if "Show File Location" appears as an option when you right-click on it in the Start menu.

Looking for even more time-saving life-hacks? These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will save you clicks, we promise.

Method #1: Desktop apps only

1. Select the Windows button to open the Start menu.

2. Select All apps.

3. Right-click on the app you want to create a desktop shortcut for.

4. Select More.

5. Select Open file location. If this option does not appear, this app is a Modern app, so you'll want to use the second set of instructions.

6. Right-click on the app's icon.

7. Select Create shortcut.

8. Select Yes.

You've now got a desktop shortcut for your Desktop program!

Method #2: Modern or Desktop apps

1. Tap on the Windows icon to open the start menu.

2. Type "Command Prompt" into the the Cortana box.

3. Select Command Prompt from the results.

4. Type "explorer shell:AppsFolder" without the quotation marks and press Enter.

5. Right-click an app.

6. Select Create shortcut.

7. Select Yes.

Your app now has a desktop shortcut!

To learn how to place website links on your desktop, check out our guide on how to create website shortcuts on your desktop with Chrome. And if you want to fill your desktop with custom folders, here's how to create a folder in Windows 10.

Mac to PC Guide: How to make the switch