How to Put an Icon on Your Desktop

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Adding shortcut icons to your desktop makes any file, program or URL accessible with a quick double-click. There are several ways to create a desktop icon, but a few are universally usable, regardless of content type. Windows 7 allows you to create a shortcut directly on the desktop with its "Create Shortcut" dialog window, or you can use a familiar copy-and-paste method.

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From the Desktop

Step 1

Right-click an empty area of the Windows 7 desktop. Point to "New" and click "Shortcut" to open the "Create Shortcut" window.

Step 2

Click "Browse" to open a navigational window. Click any file, folder or program, and click "OK" to select it as the shortcut's target. Alternatively, type a URL into the field, if you wish to create a shortcut to a website.

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Step 3

Click "Next."

Step 4

Enter a name for the shortcut and click "Finish" to put an icon on the desktop.

Copy and Paste

Step 1

Locate the item to which you wish to create a desktop shortcut. This can be a file or folder in Windows Explorer, a browser Favorite or Bookmark, or a Start Menu shortcut.

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Step 2

Right-click the item, and select "Copy" from the pop-up menu.

Step 3

Right-click an empty area of the desktop and select "Paste shortcut." If you cannot see the desktop, hold the "Windows" key and press "M" to minimize all windows.

Step 4

Press "F2," type a new name for the shortcut and press "Enter" to rename it.

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