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Add Browser as Desktop Shortcut on Windows PC

Want quick open to your favorite browser on your Windows PC desktop? Learn how to create and add browser shortcuts on the desktop's screen.

The ability to quickly access different apps with just one click is one of the most common reasons why people like to make desktop shortcuts for them. You could run them straight from the Desktop rather than opening the Search menu, looking for that app, or visiting its installation location. Drag and drop the executable file on the desktop for a quick shortcut.

Create Browser Shortcut on Windows Desktop screen

One of the most prominent reasons people prefer to create desktop shortcuts for various apps is that they can easily access them with just a single click. Rather than bringing up the Search menu and finding that app or heading to its installation directory, you could directly launch them from the Desktop itself.

Web Browser Shortcuts on Windows Desktops screen

In this regard, it’s hard to argue that Web Browsers might be among your Windows PC’s most frequently used apps. So it only makes sense to have their shortcut on the desktop screen. And most of these browsers provide an option for shortcut creation when you are about to install them.

But what if you didn’t check-marked this option at installation? Or even if you did, you have removed it from the desktop and now wish to get it back?

This guide is here to help you in any of these scenarios. Here are the detailed steps to add browser desktop shortcuts on your Windows PC.

Follow along for the detailed instructions —

What is Browser Shortcut?

Before we start with the guide, there’s an important thing that we would like to draw your attention to. In Windows, two different types exist: Modern Apps and Desktop Apps. The former are the ones that came preinstalled on your PC.

Keeping our focus on the browser domain, you could count Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer as Modern Apps. On the other hand, Desktop Apps are the ones that you have manually downloaded from the web. Again, limiting it to the browser segment, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge Chromium are some famous names.

We bought this topic because the steps differ when creating desktop shortcuts for Modern and Desktop App Browsers. We have listed instructions for both under separate sections; refer to the one that meets your requirements.

Browser Desktop Shortcut

To reiterate the facts, this section deals with Desktop Apps browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, which are treated as user-installed.

Here are the steps to create a desktop shortcut on Windows:

  1. Head over to the Start menu.
  2. Search for the app of your choice. (Say, Google Chrome)
  3. Right-click on its name label, and select Open File Location from the quick menu.
    Open File Location menu option in WindowsYou shall now be taken to the directory where all the Start Menu’s programs and their shortcut are kept. This location shall be:

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  4. Scroll to Google Chrome’s icon chrome-logo (or the browser of your choice) and right-click to select Create shortcut option.
    Create Shortcut menu option for Windows Chrome App
  5. Hit on the Yes command button.
    Do you want to create desktop shortcut

That’s it. The shortcut for Chrome will now be created over to the desktop. Along the same lines, you could create shortcuts for other browsers you have manually downloaded from the web, such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge Chromium, etc.

Shortcut for Modern Apps

Regarding modern apps such as the legacy build of Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer, you couldn’t create their shortcut via the instructions above. This is because these app icons aren’t inside the Programs folder, and you must take a separate route to access them.

Here are the steps to create desktop shortcuts for legacy browser apps:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box via Windows + R shortcut keys.
  2. Type in cmd in the box and hit Enter on the keyboard.
    This shall launch the Command Prompt.
  3. Execute the below command in the CMD prompt window:
    explorer shell:AppsFolder

    Windows Command Prompt to open Apps Folder

    You should be taken to the Applications folder.

  4. Select the browser of your choice (say, Edge Legacy edge logo).
  5. Right-click for a quick menu, and choose to Create shortcut option.
    Create Shortcut for Windows Modern App Edge Legacy
  6. Hit on the Yes command button.
    Create Microsoft Edge Modern App Desktop Shortcut

This will create the browser shortcut for Microsoft Edge legacy. You can similarly create the desktop shortcut for Internet Explorer. You can also use the same method for creating a desktop shortcut for desktop apps like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.

Bottom Line

So with this, we conclude the guide on how to add browser desktop shortcuts on Windows. We have listed the steps for both the Modern Legacy and Desktop Apps.

With that said it would have been much easier if Windows had provided the option of creating these shortcuts right from the Start menu, which it does for pinning apps in Start and the Taskbar.

But since no such option exists, the steps above are the only way forward. You can also drag these shortcuts to the taskbar to create one-click shortcut icons.

Let us know if you have any queries concerning the just-concluded instructions.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Sadique Hassan

Sadique Hassan

Sadique is a Bachelor of Computer Application in Computer Science and an MBA professional. He became a tech writer by choice and has continued pursuing it for the last 7+ years. He is keenly interested in open-source technology like Android and also loves troubleshooting the tech. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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