Operating system Windows How to add a shortcut to desktop and restore familiar icons back to your desktop in Windows?

How to add a shortcut to your desktop in Windows XP?

You can create shortcuts on your desktop that enable you to open your favorite files and folders by simply double-clicking your mouse.

To add a shortcut from a file to your desktop

  1. Browse through your My Documents folder, and find the file that you want to create a shortcut to.
  2. Right-click the file that you want to be able to open from your desktop, click Send To, and then click Desktop.

File shortcut menu with Send To – Desktop (create shortcut) selected

You’ll see the shortcut on your desktop.

Note: The shortcut icon has an arrow in the lower-left corner to indicate that it’s a shortcut rather than the actual file. You can open a shortcut just like you would any other file by double-clicking it. However, if you delete the shortcut, you won’t remove the file itself.

Shortcuts as they appear on the desktop

For more information about shortcuts, read Working with icons and shortcuts.

How to add familiar icons back to your desktop?

When you first got your computer, it probably had shortcuts for My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places, and the Recycle Bin on the desktop. If you or someone else removed any of those shortcuts and you’d like to get them back, you can easily restore them.

To restore you icons


Right-click the desktop, and then click Properties.

Desktop shortcut menu with Properties selected


In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Desktop tab, and then click Customize Desktop.

Desktop tab in Display Properties dialog box with Customize Desktop selected


In the Desktop icons area in the Desktop Items dialog box, select the desktop icons that you want to appear on your desktop.

Desktop Items dialog box


Click OK.

General tab in Desktop Items dialog box with OK selected


Click OK again.

Desktop tab in Display Properties dialog box with OK button selected

The icons you selected will be displayed on your desktop. You can also add shortcuts to your desktop or clean up unused icons on your desktop.

Operating system - Windows