How to Create a File Shortcut in Android

File shortcuts on Android home screen

Android lets you create any application shortcuts you want and put them on your home screens just by long pressing on their icons in the app drawer. However, if you want to create home screen icons for individual files such as MP3 files, Word documents or photos, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. Here’s how to create a file shortcut in Android.

1. Download and install ES File Explorer File Manager if you don’t have it already. Some other file managers such as Astro File Manager also offer the ability to create file shortcuts, but we chose ES File Manager for this tutorial because of its simplicity.

ES File Explorer File Manager

2. Open ES File Explorer File Manager.

ES File Explorer File Manager

MORE: 12 Surprising Things Your Android Phone Can Do

3. Navigate to the file or files you want to create home screen shortcuts for. You can usually find email attachments in the Download folder while photos usually sit under the DCIM folder.

Navigate to the File You Want

4. Long press the file you want to select. A checkbox appears next to the file name. Do not select additional files at the same time.

Long press the file you want

5. Tap More. A dialog box appears.

Tap More

6. Tap Add To desktop. 

Tap add to desktop

A message appears, informing you that a shortcut has been created. You will now see the shortcut on your home screen. If there’s no room on your middle home screen, the shortcut will appear on one of your other home screens.

Shortcut message

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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Submit Comments

  1. Ahmed Says:

    A very nice and straight farward solution

  2. jlajr Says:

    Great. Thank you.

    However, the information about how to bring your smartphone back to life does not appear, and there’s no link from the image.

  3. Louise Says:

    Thanks for your easy to understand instructions for putting a shortcut to a file on my phone Home Screen. I figured that there had to be an easier way of easily accessing a file that is buried deeply in my Android phone than designing an App to do it. Now I just click on its icon and open it. No frills. No fuss. KISS is always better.

  4. Maher Says:

    Thank you very much.

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