For Seniors: Create Windows 7 Shortcuts on a Laptop

By Nancy C. Muir

Shortcuts are icons you put on the Windows 7 desktop for quick access to programs or files you use frequently. On a laptop, shortcuts are especially useful for users who may have to get to what they need quickly to save on battery power.

1To create a shortcut to a program, choose Start→All Programs.

A list of all the programs on your laptop appears.


2Right-click an item and choose Send To→Desktop (Create Shortcut.

The shortcut appears on the desktop.

3To create a shortcut to something else, right-click the desktop and choose New→Shortcut.

You can create a shortcut to a file, folder, network computer, or Internet address. After you choose New→Shortcut, the Create Shortcut dialog box appears.

4Browse to the item, click Next, type a name for the shortcut, and click Finish.

The shortcut appears on the desktop.


5Double-click the shortcut icon.

If the shortcut is to an application, then the application opens. If the shortcut is to a file, then the file opens in the associated application. If the shortcut is to a folder or a network computer, then Windows Explorer opens displaying its files.

Occasionally, Windows 7 offers to delete desktop icons that you haven’t used in a long time. Let it. The desktop should be reserved for frequently used programs, files, and folders. You can always re-create shortcuts easily if you need them again.

To clean up your desktop manually, right-click the desktop and choose Personalize. Click the Change Desktop Icons link to the left. In the Desktop Icon Setting dialog box that appears, click the Restore Default button, which returns to the original desktop shortcuts set up on your laptop.