Create and customize desktop website shortcuts launching via Chrome, Edge, or Firefox

September 29, 2022

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Manually looking for a specific program on your computer is exhausting Windows 10/11. That is why shortcuts are a lifesaver. Programs and apps aren’t the only ones you can put on your desktop as shortcuts. You can also do it to particular websites using specific browsers installed on your PC.

How to make a website shortcut on your desktop

Making a website shortcut on your desktop is a piece of cake. It’s as easy as making a regular folder shortcut as it only involves a drag-and-drop action. To do this, open your browser, or to be exact, your default browser. Go to the site you want to make a shortcut to, and restore down the browser window so you can easily perform the dragging action later. Once on the site, point your cursor to the padlock icon placed before the address bar. Click, hold, and drag and drop it to your desktop, and the shortcut with the respective website address of the site will be created.

MSPoweruser website on Edge

Follow the same thing using the other browsers you have, say, Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Nonetheless, note that when you click those website shortcuts, they will open on your default browser. This can be a problem if you want to explore those sites using specific browsers. In that case, you need a different way of creating website shortcuts.

Creating website shortcuts launching on specific browsers

As said, the website desktop shortcuts you make through the drag-and-drop action will only launch using your default browser. If you want to open them using specific browsers, you must manually create the shortcuts.

Go to your desktop and right-click on black space. Select New and then Shortcut. A window for creating a shortcut will appear with a box asking you to “type the location of the item.” Enter the following texts depending on the browser you want to use. Note: Make sure that the browser is installed on your PC.

  • Chrome: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe https://www.
  • Edge: %windir%\explorer.exe microsoft-edge:http://www.
  • Firefox: C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe https://www.

Enter one of the given texts above to the box and follow it with the address of the site you want for that shortcut. For example:

%windir%\explorer.exe microsoft-edge:

creating website desktop shortcut on Windows

After placing your input, click Next, type the name for that shortcut (e.g., the name of the site), and select Finish. 

Customize your website shortcut icon

If you have created the website shortcut using the drag-and-drop action, the icon will usually be the logo of your default browser. Meanwhile, creating the shortcuts manually for specific browsers will give you a folder icon. If you want to customize these icons, it is possible. However, the icons saved on your computer’s system are not visually appealing. The good news is you can download some fancy icons on the web and use them. Just look for DLL or ICO files. 

Customizing website desktop shortcut icon

Once you have saved the icons you like, go back to your desktop, right-click on the shortcut you made, and select Properties. In the window that will open, select Change Icon. Instead of clicking OK, click Browse. Now, the File Explorer will open, allowing you to locate the icon you downloaded earlier on the web. Select it and click Open. After that, just select OK, Apply, and close the window.

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