What is shortcut? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Operating systems glossary:

In general, a shortcut is a path that is shorter than the usual or formal path to something or a method of operation that saves time over the regular operation. In Windows 95 and later operating system s, a shortcut is a computer desktop icon that enables a user to easily see and select a particular program or data object. The operating system comes with some shortcuts already visible on the desktop. A user can remove these or add new ones.

To create a shortcut in Windows 95 or 98, click on My Computer, then click on your "C" drive (or other drive where your files may be). Find the folder or file that you want to put on your desktop, click on it with the right mouse button, and select Create Shortcut from the pop-up menu. A new icon will now appear in My Computer. Hold the left mouse button down and drag the new icon to your desktop (you may need to minimize the My Computer window to do this). Now your new file or program will always be visible for quick selection on your desktop without having to go through Start menus or the Windows file manager.

In the Macintosh operating system, a shortcut is called an "alias".

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • wearables OS (wearables operating system)

    - A wearable OS is an operating system designed or refactored to satisfy the requirements of wearable computers, which can be significantly from one type of device to another and also different from ... (WhatIs.com)

  • Tizen

    - Tizen is an open source mobile operating system built on the Linux kernel and offered in versions for multiple platforms, including smartphones, tablets, wearable computers, netbooks, digital telev... (WhatIs.com)

  • Windows Registry Editor (regedit)

    - Windows Registry Editor is an operating system tool IT administrators can use to make changes to Windows Registry. (SearchEnterpriseDesktop.com)


  • Operating systems

    - Terms related to operating systems, including definitions about open source and proprietary operating systems and words and phrases about system programs, boot mechanisms, kernels, command interpre...

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.