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Can I make a desktop icon for a web page shortcut?

I was wondering if I can make Hotmail an icon on my desktop? If
yes, how?

Sure! For the most part the desktop just holds shortcuts, and pretty much
any shortcut will do.

And there’s several ways to create them.

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Right click on your desktop, and select “New Shortcut”. Enter
http://hotmail.com as the location of the item, hit next, give it a reasonable
name (like “Hotmail”), and you’re done.

It’s just that easy.

If you like, you can then add that shortcut to your start menu as well.
Click and hold on the desktop icon. Now drag it over the Start button. Don’t
let go, wait and the start menu will pop up. Drag the icon to a position on the
menu and release. You could also hold it over a sub menu, wait for that to pop
out, and then release in the position you would like it to live on that sub
menu.

The reverse works as well… click and hold on a start menu item, drag it to
your desktop and release. The shortcut will be removed from the menu and appear
on your desktop. If you want the shortcut to remain in both places, hold down
the CTRL key before you drop the icon on the desktop.

Shortcuts can be created for programs, as you probably already know, and
URLs, as we just showed. You can also create shortcuts for any document or file
that Windows knows how to handle: for example “.doc” files, “.mp3” files and
others.

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42 comments on “Can I make a desktop icon for a web page shortcut?”

  1. I’m sorry Leo, but your article did not help me. I tried the first suggestion by clicking right, etc, naming my desktop item as hotmail, but it refused to acknowledge it. The icon that I want is the msn.hotmail icon, which is not located in the box when I click on start. I do have free msn.hotmail, but it isn’t even located at the bottom right side of icons that are already there. I recently had my computer repaired, and before that, the butterfly icon did show in both the start box and at the bottom right had corner. And I also have my account which I can only get to by putting http://www.hotmail.com into the address bar. I don’t understand what happened. Can you help me?

    Reply
  2. I’m sorry, but I can’t understand what steps you actually took, so I can’t tell what happened. I do know that the steps in the article do work, because I did it before publishing the article. What do you mean by “refused to acknowledge it”? Was there an error message, and if so what, exactly, was it?

    Reply
  3. I’m sorry Leo, but this isn’t what I was looking for. You should name this page “Can I make a desktop item for a web page shortcut?”. I was looking for a precedure to make an icon.

    Bottom line: You should name your pages more appropriately.

    Reply
  4. this artical helped me.. thanks.. but i wanted to knew more in this issue only. when i do the double-clik on the shorctut created by your procedure it opens in the existing opended webpages. that i don’t want. i want to open the shorcurt in a new page. Thanks in advance. Regards. shrawan kumar.

    Reply
  5. i used your method described above to make a shortcut to my hotmail….it works…..but it opens in Internet explorer….is there any way to have it open in MSN explorer which I like to use….Thanx….keep up the good work….aardee

    Reply
  6. To be honest, I’m not sure. I don’t know the command line for the MSN browser… if you right click on the MSN Browser Icon and select “Properties”, it may include a command line as the “Target”. You can try creating a new shortcut, with that followed by a space and the URL you want the shortcut to refer to. Let me know if that works.

    Reply
  7. How do you/I get the little thumbnail pictures on the desktop? Is there an ICON Folder somewhere? Sometimes I get the little icon pictures, other times I just get the shortcut with the IE blue E. Can an ICON thumbnail picture be created or copied? Thanks,
    Wood

    Reply
  8. this page is the most helpful I have found so far, I need to make a desktop icon suitbale for a mac and PC that links straight to my web page. I want to be able to put this onto disc so I can send it out to people to just drag onto their desktop or install. Any suggestions on where I start looking or how I do it?

    Reply
  9. Hi Leo, I can get the shortcut to appear on my desktop, but when I click on it I get the error message which says ‘this file does not have a program associated with it. Create an association in the Folders Option control panel.’ I have tried going in to Folder Options, but I can not find the relevant section ???? I am running windows XP. Steve

    Reply
  10. To those who keep asking how to create a custom icon to go with your new shortcut:

    1. Using a graphics editing program resize the image you want to use to 32×32 and save it to a directory you won’t forget. Most important, make sure to save the image as a .ico file. Google for graphics software that can do it – lots of free ones out there.

    2. Next, right click your new shortcut and select “Properties”. You’ll see an option to “Change Icon”. Simply browse to where your .ico is. That’s it.

    Reply
  11. You are amazing. I did exactly what you said about adding shortcut for hotmail and now I the icon on my desktop and it works. Thans sooooooo much.

    Reply
  12. Hi Leo, When I click some shortcuts on my desktop that take me to a web site, I get the error message which says – “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folders Option control panel.” Other desktop icons such as IE, open fine. I have tried many things to resolve this including renewing the icon, but I still have the problem. I am running windows XP. I see that this question has been asked before, it must be a common problem. Thanks, Chuck

    Reply
  13. When I try to change the icon for a web page on my desktop, it changes and within a second changes back to the standard icon. All other types of icons can be changed with no problem. Is there a setting than can be disabled to allow me to change it?

    Reply
  14. Hi Leo, When I click my shortcuts on my desktop that take me to a web site, I get the error message which says – “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folders Option control panel.” Other desktop icons such as IE, open fine. I can open my web shortcuts in Windows Explorer but not on my desktop. I have tried many things to resolve this including renewing the icon, making new shortcuts, but I still have the problem. I am running windows XP. I see that this question has been asked before, it must be a common problem. Do you have any solutions? Thanks, Joe

    Reply
  15. If I try to drag a shortcut off of IE7 favorites onto my desktop iget the same error “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folders Option control panel”. I have associated the file type to open with IE7. Other shortcuts work just not the new ones that I am trying to create. The favorite works but not the shortcut. If I try right clicking a link and making a shortcut I get the same thing. The icon is made but I get the error when I try to use it. This just started after I installed firefox, didn’t like firefox, so uninstalled it. I am running XP.

    Reply
  16. Using XP Prof, SP3 / Explorer 7 ….

    When I try to change the Icon for a web link on my desktop, it changes and within a milli-second changes back to the standard default icon.
    All other types of File Link Icons can be changed with no problem. Is there a setting than can be disabled to allow me to change it?

    I don’t see an answer for this in the article.
    Can anyone help me ?

    Reply
  17. Hi Leo, i keep trying to create a shortcut for some web pages on my desktop, when i click on it a message comes up saying “application not found” why is this do you know?

    Thanks Leo

    Reply
  18. leo your the man! youve been so much help to me, if it wasnt for you i wouldnt be where i am today. you have inspired me. keep up the great work and remain focused at the job at hand. peace and love, danny.

    Reply
  19. How do I replace the Blue Ball in the Google Toolbar with the hotmail icon that google uses to illustrate?
    I also have the same problem with the ebay icon.

    Reply
  20. I got up today and most of my icons were gone. They were icons that I don’t use that much, but I would like to know where they went and how do I get them back. I can still go to my start menu and click to bring up what I am looking for, but I prefer my icons…especially my games. Can you help?

    Reply
  21. what if i want to create a shortcut to a web page, but opened with a browser that is not my default web browser? I want to open a web page with IE, my main web browser is mozilla firefox

    Reply
  22. How can I create a desktop icon from a picture or clipart and assign it a url link. It must also be transferable to another computer by email so that it still opens the webpage on the second computer. Thanks! EEG

    Reply
  23. I get how to change an icon but how do you keep the logo of the original address on tyour desktop. It’s on my toolbar but when I copy or drag it coverts to explorer icon. Ihave VIsta

    Reply
  24. Someone showed me once that you can create an ikon to any direction in the address bar by simply “grabbing” the little ikon in front of it and dragging it to the desktop. I use it all the time now.

    Reply
  25. I am having trouble creating a shortcut icon from any website, could there be a setting in my computer that I need to change? I know how to create these shortcut, I do it all the time, however on my Mom’s computer it won’t let me create a shortcut from any website. It tells me there is no program association and I need to go into the folders options under control panel. I’ve looked all around there and can’t see my solution.

    Reply
  26. All the desktop and taskbar shortcuts which I get this way look the same, i.e. with the firefox icon. Is there a way to get the individual icon of the web site to come up, so I can tell which is which without hovering over them all to find the name ? Thanks

    Reply
  27. I am trying to create an icon on my desktop for hotmail. Reading your article, I started by right-clicking on my desktop and I get nothing. I have Windows Vista and IE8. I am totally uptodate with Windows Updates. I have not installed IE9. Is there another way to get an icon for Hotmail on my desktop, please? Thanks

    Reply
  28. @ Velma
    Try opening My Computer and navigate to the Desktop (Usually the Desktop link is near the top left of the My Computer screen) from there you can then right click and follow the procedure in the article. That might work.

    Reply
  29. Thanks a lot! This worked like a charm. I am not a very skilled computer user, and your directions were easy to follow and now I have a new Clark Howard icon on my computer.

    Reply

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