How to Create Desktop Shortcuts for Files, Folders, and Websites in Windows 11

This article explains the steps you can take to create desktop shortcuts for files, folders, and websites in Windows 11.

Shortcuts are links that point to the original location of files, folders, and other items in Windows. For example, a file that is located in your home directory under C:\Users\geekrewind\Documents can have a shortcut on the desktop: C:\Users\geekrewind\Desktop.

When a user clicks on the shortcut link on the desktop, the original location of the folder content will be opened, not on the desktop but where the folder is created.

Windows lets you create two types of shortcuts. A standard shortcut is where you copy and paste content to another location, like your desktop.

The other is pinning an app or item to the Taskbar or Start menu.

Create desktop shortcuts using a new item wizard

As described above, there are multiple ways to create shortcuts in Windows. The traditional way to create a shortcut on your desktop is to use the new item shortcut wizard.

Users can also create a shortcut for apps by pinning it to the Taskbar or Start Menu.

To create shortcuts on the desktop using the wizard, right-click on any blank area of the desktop, and select New -> Shortcut. Alternatively, right-click on the desktop, select Show more options (Shift+F10), then select New -> Shortcut.

windows new item shortcut wizard on desktop
windows new item shortcut wizard on the desktop

Next, type the location of the item you want to create a shortcut for. If you don’t know the location, you can use the Browse button to find it.

windows new shortcut wizard browse to item
windows new shortcut wizard browses to the item

When you browse, you will be able to select the target of the shortcut (files, folders). For this example, we’re creating a shortcut for the Documents folder.

Select the Documents folder and click OK.

windows select target of the shortcut
Windows selects the target of the shortcut

Click the Next button to continue.

windows new item shortcut wizard continue to complete
windows new item shortcut wizard continues to complete

Next, type the name of the shortcut and click the Finish button to complete that wizard

windows create shotcut on desktop for files and folders
the window creates a shortcut on the desktop for files and folders

You should now have a Document shortcut icon on the desktop pointing to the Documents folder in your home directory.

Create desktop shortcuts using the Send to command on the context menu

Yet another way to create shortcuts on your desktop for files, folders, and other items is to right-click on the item and use the Send to command on the context menu.

Again, let’s create a shortcut for your Documents folder on the desktop using the context menu option.

Open File Explorer and browse to the Documents folder or whatever folder you want to create a shortcut for.

Then right-click on the folder and select Show more options (Shift+F10) on the context menu. Then click Send to -> Desktop (create shortcut).

A new shortcut icon will be created on the desktop that points to the Documents folder.

windows create shortcut from context menu
windows create a shortcut from the context menu

Create desktop shortcuts from the Start menu

Windows also allow you to create shortcuts to apps and other items directly from the Start menu. To do that, click on the Start menu button and select All apps.

From there, you can select and drag and drop items on the menu directly to your desktop.

windows create desktop shortcut by dragging and dropping
windows create a desktop shortcut by dragging and dropping

Create desktop shortcuts for websites

Not only can you create desktop shortcuts for files, folders, and apps, but you can do it for websites and other network resources.

Windows allows you to drag and drop website addresses or URLs directly to your desktop and create shortcuts.

To do that, open your web browser and browse the website you want to create a shortcut for. Then select the address in the address bar, then drag and drop on the desktop.

windows drag website to desktop to create shortcut
windows drag the website to the desktop to create a shortcut

If you don’t want the shortcuts on the desktop, simply delete them. When you delete a shortcut, it doesn’t delete the original file or folder. You can also change the icons and names for all the shortcuts on the desktop.

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to create desktop shortcuts in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.