How do I know what to call a shortcut?

I showed you how to make a desktop shortcut to run a command and a reader had a question about shortcuts:

“When making shortcuts, how do you know what to call it that the computer understands? I have no idea what the command to “check disk” is for, but if I did know, and wanted a shortcut for it, I wouldn’t have known to spell it “chkdsk.

You can name a shortcut anything you want. Your PC doesn’t really pay any attention to the name. Your computer will recognize a shortcut using the code it creates when you create the shortcut. The label you give it is really just for your benefit. As you can see here, I named my shortcut Run check disk.


I could just as easily have named it Fred. In fact, I can right-click on a shortcut and choose rename.


Then I’ll get a box where I can type the new name.


Now the shortcut is called Fred.


I wouldn’t suggest calling a shortcut Fred because you’ll want some information about what the shortcut does. So you’ll want to stick with something that makes it pretty clear what the shortcut is for.


You can also rename shortcuts for existing programs if that makes it easier for you or someone else to use. Say you have a relative who gets a little confused about getting online and he uses Mozilla Firefox as a browser. Normally, you’d say to click the Firefox icon to go online.


You could right-click on the shortcut and choose Rename from the drop-down menu.


Name it something simpler like Click to go online.


Since the original article the reader referred to was about creating a shortcut for a command, I want to emphasize that calling a shortcut whatever you want refers only to naming she shortcut, not to creating a command itself.

If you’re using the command prompt in the window shown below, every character must be exactly right and that includes spaces.





One thought on “How do I know what to call a shortcut?

  1. I have a problem with this icon screen & shortcuts. I like to have the icons that are related together, spread across the screen – editing with editing; music with music; like that. So I spread them all over my screen where they are easily found. Then something in the computer resets them all in a list down the left side of the screen. My spread out scheme will only last a few days, maybe a week, then something in the pc changes them to the left side listing again. Is there a setting I have wrong that controls this so I can keep the them way I set them out across this screen? Thanks, Trish

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