How To Add Shortcut Icons To Desktop In Windows 11

By | April 2, 2022

Windows 11 takes a bit of getting used to, so here’s how to add a shortcut icon to your desktop in Microsoft’s new operating system.

Windows 11 has a redesigned interface that makes things easier. The new modern look improves accessibility and ushers in a new era for the world’s most popular operating system.

There have been some changes to the user interface, and routine tasks that you may be familiar with in Windows 10 or earlier may have changed in Windows 11. Read on as we detail how you can add shortcut icons to the desktop in Windows 11.

How to Add a Shortcut Icon to the Desktop in Windows 11

There are a few different ways to add new icons to the Windows 11 desktop: either through the Start menu or the taskbar.

Adding Icons via Start Menu

To add an icon via the Start menu:

  • Launch the Start menu by clicking Windows icon on the taskbar or pressing the Windows key from the keyboard.
  • Type the name of the program you want to add to the Windows 11 desktop.
  • Right-click on the most suitable and click Open file location; a new File Explorer window will appear.
  • Now, select the program icon and then right click to bring up the context menu.
  • Click Show more options to expand the context menu right click. You will now see a menu similar to the one in Windows 10.
  • Now click Send to and finally click Desktop (create shortcut).
  • The program icon will now be visible on your Windows 11 desktop.

You can repeat the above steps for any program like Google Chrome, Skype, Microsoft Word, etc. It can also work for system programs like Control Panel and Windows Terminal.

Adding Icons via Taskbar

Another method to add a new desktop icon in Windows 11 is as follows:

  • Click magnifying glass icon from the taskbar to launch the Windows Search flyout.
  • Type the name of the program you want to add to the desktop in the search bar.
  • Right click on the result and then click Open file location.
  • In the File Explorer window that opens, select the program icon from the list provided.
  • You can now drag and drop the icon to the desktop or right-click a program file and click the clipboard icon to copy the file (you can also use Ctrl + C to copy).
  • Once you have copied the files, click on an empty part of the desktop and press Ctrl + V from the keyboard.
  • You have now successfully added a new icon to your desktop.

When installing a new program, you can also check the options Add shortcut to desktop from the installation wizard to add new programs directly to the desktop.

How to Make Desktop Shortcut Icons Visible in Windows 11

If you don’t see any icons on your desktop and want to display the various available desktop icons, perform the following steps:

  • Right-click in an empty space on the desktop, and a context menu will appear.
  • Navigate to View then click Show desktop icons.

If you previously hid desktop icons, they will now be visible. If not, you may want to add a new icon to the desktop.

How to Hide Desktop Shortcut Icons in Windows 11

If you want a clean desktop without cluttered desktop icons, you may want to hide all desktop icons.

Here’s how you can hide or remove all desktop icons in Windows 11:

  • Right-click in an empty corner of the desktop, and a context menu will appear.
  • Hover over or click View, and from the flyout menu, uncheck Show desktop icons option.
  • All your desktop icons are now hidden, and you can enjoy a clutter-free desktop.

Managing Your Desktop Icons in Windows 11

Adding new icons on the Windows 11 desktop is easy and straightforward. Microsoft’s new operating system is built for comfort and convenience, running ten times as much for new Windows Settings app and better.