SharePoint can add a lot of convenience to your workflow, and there are many ways to access your cloud files. For those who like accessing their shared files and folders using shortcuts on their desktop, using the browser may not be ideal or convenient. Fortunately, you can make shortcuts for online documents just as easily as on premises repositories.
Synced folders shortcut creation
If you already have the site, folder or file you want a shortcut to synced to your computer, then the process for making a shortcut is simple.
Start by navigating to the item you want a shortcut for using file explorer, but do not open the folder (stay in the parent folder). Right click the folder and click create shortcut near the bottom. Drag and drop that new shortcut to your desktop.
Alternatively, you can copy the folder or file by right clicking the icon, clicking copy, and then right clicking your desktop before clicking paste.
Creating a web shortcut to SharePoint
If the folder is not synced, you will have to make the shortcut go to the web link. This will be a link using your default internet browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.
First, navigate to the folder you want to link in the browser. (Go to office.com, log in, access SharePoint documents, then navigate to the folder you want to create a shortcut for.)
From the parent folder (which contains the folder you want), click the check mark. Then at the top click “copy link”. This will create the link to the site in your clipboard. If you prefer, you can instead copy the link while in the folder. Just highlight and copy the URL (web address).
Next, minimize all windows and right click the desktop background. A drop down menu will appear. Go to new, and then shortcut.
It will ask for the location of the item. Paste (or ctrl+v) the link to your SharePoint folder in the space provided and click next.
It will prompt you to name this shortcut, which you can name whatever you want, but for clarity, you may just want to name it the folder name. Click finish and you are done.
More ways to make Sharepoint more convenient
Once you have created your desired shortcuts you can organize them however is most convenient for you. You can also change the icon picture to help differentiate visually between different shortcuts. Creating these Shortcuts can be a big help, but from the two processes above I recommend using SharePoint sync. This allows you to utilize more tie in programs such as easier cloud file attachment through Outlook. If needed, you can always stop the sync down the road.
Check out our other articles on SharePoint and how to make it work best with your workflow.
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