You can search and open files/folders from the Windows file explorer. But going through the tedious navigation process each time isn’t so ideal, especially when you have to find the file from a deep pile of clutter.
Though Windows Search will help you skip the hassle of navigation, creating shortcuts will overshadow it in terms of convenience. Shortcuts on Windows are links that can redirect you to specified locations.
You can create and place shortcuts of desired files, folders, and apps in easily reachable locations like desktop, taskbar, start-menu, etc., and open them directly from there.
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You can easily create file or folder shortcuts from their context menu. Such shortcuts can be moved to any location and can be accessed from there.
- Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.
- Go to the file location you want to create a shortcut for. If you want to create a shortcut for an application, go to the location of its
- Right-click on the file/folder and choose Show more options.
- Select Create shortcut.
- A shortcut of identical file icon but overlay with shortcut icon (curved arrow) will appear in the same location. The name will also consist of ‘Shortcut’ at its end. You can just rename the shortcut and move it to any desired location.
Some files and folders may ask to create a shortcut on the desktop since it couldn’t be created at the current location. You can press the Yes button to proceed with it.
In addition to that, you can create a shortcut, particularly for desktops. Since the desktop is the first screen you see after starting up, it is convenient to access a file from the desktop shortcut. You can either create such a shortcut from a file’s context menu or from the desktop directly.
From File’s Context Menu
- Right-click on the file and choose Show more options.
- Click on Send to and select Desktop (create shortcut).
- Right-click on an open space within the desktop.
- Click on New and then choose Shortcut.
- Press the Browse… button and select the file/folder/application(
.exefile) you will create a shortcut of. Then, hit Next.
- Rename the shortcut if you want and press Finish to complete.
Pin to Start Menu
The Start menu on Windows has a Pinned section where applications can be kept. You can pin any application from your app list on the Start menu.
- Press the Windows key to launch the start menu.
- Click on All apps > and scroll to the app of your need.
- Right-click on the app and choose Pin to Start.
- Click on the Back button. Press the lower dot among the two dots on the side Pinned section.
- Right-click on the application you pinned and choose Move to front.
Your application should list on the top of the Pinned section of the Start menu.
Pin to Taskbar
You can also pin applications and other desktop shortcuts to the Windows Taskbar. It is equivalent to creating a shortcut, but the shortcut will be listed within the Taskbar.
- Launch the Start menu by pressing the Windows key.
- Click on All apps.
- Navigate to your application, right-click on it and choose Pin to Taskbar. Some of the apps may show this option within More>
Create Desktop Shortcut for Store/All Apps
If you’re facing difficulty in finding the
.exe file of your application to create a shortcut. You can approach it through a different method, as mentioned below:
- Press Windows + R to open Run.
shell:appsfolderand hit Enter to open a folder containing all installed applications.
- Right-click on the desired application and select Create Shortcut.
- Press the Yes button to confirm the prompt of creating a shortcut on the desktop.
Create Custom Shortcut Key
After creating a shortcut, you can also assign a hotkey combo for it to further ease out its accessibility.
- Right-click on the shortcut and go to Properties.
- Proceed to the Shortcut tab.
- Click on the Shortcut key: text field and type whichever key would like to assign. You can only type a single key, and Ctrl + Alt will be the default prefix combo.
For example, if you type X after the on that field, your shortcut key combo to open would be Ctrl + Alt + X
Shortcut folder Control Panel Settings
You can create a super folder on Windows consisting shortcuts for 203 control panel settings. This is often revered as GodMode by many users.
- Right-click on any empty space within the desktop.
- Click on New and select Folder.
- Rename the folder to exactly:
The icon will change to the Control Panel icon with no name. You can double-click on it to open a folder containing all the settings shortcuts.