Creating a Shortcut to a Computer File or Folder

Creating a Shortcut to a Computer File or Folder

Desktop shortcuts are icons on the computer desktop that provide a shortcut to open a program or file. These handy little icons give you quick access to the items you use frequently.

“Your computer usually comes with some shortcuts, like the Recycle Bin and a browser shortcut, but you can also add or delete shortcuts. Click the desktop shortcut to start a related program”

To create a new shortcut, choose Start → All Programs and locate the program in the list of programs that appears. Right-click on an item and choose Send to → Desktop (Create Shortcut). The shortcut appears on the desktop. Double click on the icon to open the application.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when working with shortcuts:

  • Occasionally, Windows 7 offers to delete desktop icons that you haven’t used in a long time. Leave it. The desktop should be reserved for the most frequently used programs, files, and folders. You can always easily recreate the shortcuts if you need them again.


  • To clean the desktop manually, right-click on the desktop and choose Personalize. Click the Change desktop icons link on the left. In the Desktop Icon Setup dialog that appears, click the Restore Default button, which reverts to the original desktop shortcuts set up on your computer.


  • You can create a shortcut to a completely new item by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing New and then choosing an item to place there, such as a text document, bitmap, or contact. Then double-click the shortcut that appears and start working on the file in the associated application.