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Add any program to your Desktop Right-click


Staff member
NOTE: Applies to Windows XP, Vista, 8.0, 8.1, 10

I like a clean desktop, but still like to access my favorite programs easily. That's one of the reasons why I like where Microsoft is going with Windows 10. The Start Menu and Start Screen are unified, and keep items within easy reach.

You could add a shortcut to your desktop, allowing some clutter. You could "Pin" the program to the Taskbar in Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, but then your Taskbar starts getting cluttered.

Instead, I've been applying this trick for years:

The method used is to add the path to the program into your Windows Registry.

Follow these instructions (Credit How-To-Geek)

I often monitor the ocean tides in one of my favorite locations in the world. I also do lots of quick computing with a calculator.
Here's how I added both to the desktop right-click menu.

Make new entry
Screenshot (273).png

I add "Tides"
Screenshot (274).png

Add key "Command"
Screenshot (275).png

Full path to my program, enclosed in quotation marks
Screenshot (276).png

Screenshot (277).png

Screenshot (278).png

Here's how I can launch my "Tides" program.
Screenshot (280).png

Now adding my favorite calculator.
Screenshot (282).png

Note that "Tides" and "Calculator" have automatic Alt- shortcut keys added by Windows.
Screenshot (283).png

Clean desktop.
Screenshot (284).png
Although I really like your tip, the big downside to me for desktop-invoked actions is that you have to do it from the desktop itself. That is, I'm not a big fan of minimizing all my active windows in order to get to the desktop.

Yes, less of an issue when using an extended desktop on multiple monitors, but if I first have to minimize all apps to get to the desktop and then click on an app, then I might as well have that app on the taskbar and access it via one-click.

Nevertheless, it is still a great tip for those who do not have such an issue or when you need to start an app from the desktop.

Thanks, @Nuspieds. If you don't see the desktop much, this tip is probably not for you.
These programs are also in my Start Menu, so I can launch them from there, too.
Wow I like this now I do not have any icons other than what I am working on, on the desktop.

Thanks :)
Here's a tip within a tip.
I added a new key to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory and named it ___________ .
It places a line dividing my added entries


I suppose you can use +++++++++ or ======== or even ~~~~~~~~~~~~ or =+=+=+=+=+= as the separator.