Can I create a desktop shortcut to a Teams file?

Copper Contributor

I have a spreadsheet that I update frequently. I'd like to move it from my local folder to a Teams/Files folder.  If the file is in Teams, can I create a desktop shortcut to the file so I can open it quickly?



13 Replies
You have two options. You can use open in SharePoint button once uploaded to get to the file in SharePoint )where your files are stored in teams) and open the file. Here you can copy the URL and create a shortcut file on your desktop and paste that in.

Another option would be to open in SharePoint. Then if you have onedrive setup you can utilize the add to onedrive / my files link for the channel. This will add a link with the files In your onedrive folder synced to your computer which you can then create a desktop shortcut for those files.

Same can be done with sync but that’s the old method and recommend using the add to my files / onedrive option over it.
best response confirmed by Therese_Solimeno (Moderator)

@Chris Webb 

Another option is inside of Teams:

  1. go to the Files tab of the Team for the file you wish to create a shortcut to.
  2. click the Show actions dots [...] for the file
  3. click Open >
  4. click Open in browser
  5. If your file opens in Edge
    1. click the Edge browser options dots [...]
    2. click Apps
    3. click Install this site as an app
    4. either use the default name, or edit to create your preferred file name
    5. click [Install]
    6. wait for the file to open
    7. select your choices for "Allow this app to"
    8. click [Allow]
  6. If your file opens in Chrome
    1. click the Chrome browser options dots RLSmithMSDOT_0-1654179403093.png


    2. click More tools >
    3. click Create shortcut...
    4. either use the default name, or edit to create your preferred file name
    5. Chrome has an option to "Open as window"
      1. Select/check the box will cause the file to open in an "Excel" window
      2. Leaving the box unchecked will cause the file to open in a Chrome browser window

You should now have a shortcut directly to the file.


Thanks to you both for the suggestions.

<rant_mode: on>

I can't believe that something so superficial hasn't been built into Teams yet!  No one in my company uses Teams now.  One reason is all the dead ends we run into, after you have exerted a ton of effort to set up a space, and then we run into dozens of frustrations like this one.

Can you imagine explaining these instructions to a group of marketeers (or any other team of employees who aren't specialists in software)?  First they throw you into the pond, and then they throw more money at microsoft for unusable products.

</rant_mode: off>

To you who offered such creative solutions, thank you.



Thank you for the information!  However, when I tried to use Chrome to set up the shortcut, it did not work for others.  I created the shortcut, and it works for my computer, but if I put the shortcut on the network and others try to use it, it only opens up Chrome, not the file.  Please help.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.



I understand that all these three options open a web browser to Sharepoint that open your document.

Is there a way to use a shortcut to open your document inside of Teams with the build in Excel (in my case) ?

Great, thanks so much
Thank you But to open the file from it's shortcut in the actual program: Excel, powerpoint...
Microsoft forget people are humans an no coders at most. Make things easy. This solution is a pure mess and don't even answer to the need.
Also please stop thinking people likes to work on Edge where software don't have stability and functionality needed to work, the application is what professional users want's.


I appreciate your insight and I do agree with you that Microsoft does not make this process easy. It seems to me that the Microsoft developers did not put a lot of effort into making Teams function well with desktop shortcuts.


The environment for the users I support is a mix of people who have a license to use "the actual program: Excel, powerpoint..." or a license for the online apps (PWA) only.


As far as a preferred browser, I personally prefer to use the Microsoft product (Edge) to ensure compatibility with other Microsoft products (i.e. Teams & Microsoft 365). So far, I have not experienced any issues with "stability and functionality needed to work" while using Edge.


I use both the locally installed Microsoft 365 apps as well as the web (PWA) apps and find that both work equally well on all my devices (ie. desktop, laptop, mobile phone).


The majority of the users in my organization prefer to use the Google Chrome browser. It has been my experience that they run into more "stability and functionality needed to work" issues than the Edge users when working with MS365 or TEAMS. Most of our users are struggling to transition from the legacy MS Office desktop functionality to the MS365 cloud optimized functioning. It really is quite a different mindset.


I have found this podcast to be particularly insightful regarding the use of MS 365, including TEAMS:

Hi SimonJ330
I am trying to do the same thing. Did you find a solution?


I didn't find easy way to do it from Teams. However, since the files are stored in sharepoints, there migth be a way to create a custom shortcut to that sharepoint. 


If it's a file that you use frequently, then it'll appear in the frequent files list in Windows 10. If you click in the Search bar, type Excel, you'll see your most recent files appear in the bottom right of the Start menu area.

Alternatively, pin the file in Excel so that it's front and centre of the File/Open experience.. Although this is a couple of clicks.. Once to open Excel and then the File/Open tab.



@RobJen6530 The easiest way I have found is to follow the advice from Chris Webb posted ‎Jan 20 2021 11:24 PM. In Teams navigate to the file you want to open, click the "Share this item with other people" button and click the button to [Copy the link], then create a new shortcut on the desktop and paste the link. This new shortcut will open the file in Excel online.