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Creating an Outlook Desktop shortcut in Windows 8

I’ve got a new installation of Outlook on Windows 8 and I’d like to place a shortcut for Outlook on my Desktop.

How do I do this?

Creating a Desktop shortcut for Outlook in Windows 8 is indeed not that straightforward. In Windows 7 and previous, you’d simply right click the Outlook shortcut in your Start Menu and choose: Send To-> Desktop (create shortcut)

In Windows 8, you’ll have to do a bit more tricky right clicking.

Note: This method can be used for any application, not just Outlook.

Right click in the new Start Screen

When you right click on the Outlook shortcut in the new Windows 8 Start Screen, you’ll get a bar at the bottom with some options but none of them are to create a Desktop shortcut.

Right click options for a classic application in the Windows 8 Start Screen. Unpin from Start - Pin to taskbar - Uninstall - Open new window - Run as administrator - Open file location
Right click options for a classic application in the Windows 8 Start Screen.

I can highly recommend pinning Outlook to the Taskbar but if you prefer an actual Desktop shortcut, it’s still possible to do so.

Right click on the Task Bar

When you have Outlook pinned to your Taskbar, make sure that Outlook is closed. Then hold the SHIFT button and choose: Send To-> Desktop (create shortcut)

When Outlook isn’t closed, you can still achieve the same by first right clicking on the icon and from the list that pops up, right click on Outlook 2013 (or whatever your version is) while holding the SHIFT button and choose: Send To-> Desktop (create shortcut)

Creating a shortcut for a running application (click on image to enlarge)
Creating a shortcut for a running application (click on image to enlarge)
Creating a shortcut for a pinned application (click on image to enlarge)
Creating a shortcut for a pinned application (click on image to enlarge)

As mentioned before, this will also work for every other application of course and you don’t actually have to pin it to your Taskbar first if you have the application running already.

Open file location

Windows 8 Start Screen - Right Click - Open file locationAnother way to go, which might be easier to remember too, is to right click Outlook in the new Start Screen and from the bottom panel choose: Open file location

This will open a File Explorer window with the actual location of the Start Screen shortcut. You can copy and paste this shortcut to your Desktop or right click on the shortcut and choose: Send To-> Desktop (create shortcut)

Note: The location of these Start Screen shortcuts is actually the same as the Classic Start Menu that was available in Windows 7 and holds the same folder structure.

Extra Tip: You can use this location to create a Start Menu toolbar in Windows 8 as well. Right click on an empty space on your Task Bar and choose Toolbars-> New toolbar… and point it to the following location:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

Via the Program Files folder

A final approach would be to simply browse to the OUTLOOK.EXE file in its installation directory and use the right click option there to create a Desktop shortcut.

Below are the default installation directories for Office:

  • 32-bit Office on a 32-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office##
  • 32-bit Office on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office (x86)\Office##
  • 64-bit Office on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office##


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