How to create Windows desktop shortcuts

To create shortcuts in Windows 7, you don’t need really need 3rd-party tools, but some tools come in handy for managing a lot of shortcuts. Creating shortcuts can help you to improve your productivity dramatically. If you don’t know all of them you should at least learn all Windows 7 shortcuts.

How to create shortcuts in Windows 7

If you want to bind a keystroke to your mouse, many mice from Logitech allow you to bind keys via their Logitech Setpoint software. Other tools like WinHotKey also come in handy. One of my favorite tools for this is Autohotkey, which may be overkill for some but allows you to manipulate strings when copying something to the clipboard and then assign a shortcut to that string. Read our Autohotkey and productivity tutorials

Method 1: Create shortcut via icon properties

Let’s say you want to create a shortcut for iTunes. On your desktop you will probably have a desktop shortcut icon to iTunes already [if not create one: right-click on iTunes.exe in your iTunes folder and click on “Send to” – “Desktop (create shortcut)”].

Create Shortcut to desktop

Then right-click on your newly created desktop icon and click on “Properties”. On the following window you can assign a shortcut for that desktop icon.

Create Shortcut Key

Simply type in a key that you want to use as a shortcut, e.g. “I” for iTunes. Your assigned shortcut will be CTRL + ALT + I then (sorry about the picture it says STRG instead of CTRL).

Method 2: Create shortcut via software

There are plenty of shortcut and hotkey managers out there. Some of them support Windows 7. WinHotKey is one of those tools:

Shortcut Manager Windows 7

You can assign a shortcut to any command or application, but you can’t remove built-in shortcuts, e.g. Windows + R for “Run..”
This handy tool will help you to manager all your shortcuts and remember them, you can download it over at Softpedia.

Download WinHotKey

Published: Monday, February 15th, 2010 Last Modified: October 22, 2014