Desktop Shortcut to Sharepoint Files

Copper Contributor


I currently have a lot of users sharing a small excel file which is currently over OneDrive but im seeing a few minor teething issues with so many people connected (<15 people).


The file itself is stored on site and so I wondered if its possible to directly open this file with the desktop app?


The problem im experiencing is, I can browse the folder structure and open this in Windows explorer, however if I close the webpage down it appears to drop the credientials and the location is no longer available through windows explorer.


I've tried desktop shortcuts directly to the file, to the parent folder but all drop the access once the webpage is closed.


Is there another way of achieving this? I really wanted to strip out any middle software such as OneDrive or Teams and just go straight to the Sharepoint File.



26 Replies



I had this same issue/ challenge and believe I have a solution.


[First let me say] I was having variations of the issue where I couldn't get a desktop shortcut to the ACTUAL file on SharePoint. Best I could do was to get a shortcut to a file which would only download a copy of it. That is, until I figured out this workaround:


  1. Go to the SharePoint folder which contains the file you want to create a desktop shortcut to.
  2. Select the file/ click the [3 vertical dots] dropdown menu to the right of the file and select 'Copy Link'. 
  3. Copy the link, with permissions set to 'people with existing access can use the link'.


Now, if you went to your desktop and did the right click/ create shortcut option, and then pasted this URL into which you just copied, it would not work for you... well, it would not work for me anyway. So here's the trick:


  1. Right-click the command bar at the top of the chrome browser (the space directly below where the web address is displayed). Select 'Add page'.
  2. An 'Edit Bookmark' window will appear. Give whatever name you want to the bookmark, and then notice directly below where you type the name is an area for the URL... This is where you will paste what you copied from step #3 above. Click Save.
  3. Click on the new bookmark which has now appeared in your bookmarks bar. It should open the file directly from the SharePoint site. You'll notice that the web address for the file is displayed at the top of the web page though (hint- you didn't have a direct web address to the file before). Copy the full web address.
  4. Now you can go to your desktop, and follow the usual steps to create a Chrome shortcut by RIGHT CLICK/ NEW/ SHORTCUT and accomplish your objective. For whatever reason pasting the web address which you copied from the page you added (in steps A & B above) works, when trying to paste what you copied from step 3 above would not. 
  5. Now you can just distribute that shortcut to your team in whatever way works- thumb drive, share drive, WinZip, etc. Anyone who has SharePoint access to the file will be able to use this new desktop shortcut now to get to the same file. 


At some point I hope the SharePoint development team will learn about this problem and make it easier for people to make desktop shortcuts to the various files they need to work on within SharePoint. If or when that happens this workaround will probably no longer make sense to anyone and this great discovery will be rendered obsolete :)


In the meantime, I've reached to a solution: using the URI format for office apps.


In Windows Explorer, create a new shortcut and use the URI format:



From Windows Explorer, it will open Excel and the sharepoint file online with collaborative features.


It's a pity that sharepoint web pages themselves don't accept URI format (only http: or https:), so that you could create a "homepage" with links to documents opening in office apps.

Thanks, this is the solution i was looking for, a link every user can use that isnt broken by having a different office installation folder location.

@Adam1V  I found a solution but only problem is the lenght of the file name :)

First, create a desktop shortcut links to excel.exe on local adress & give the sharepoint link with a space.


If the name of the file is too long you won't be able to add shortcut link (ridiculous)


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE"


It worked for me!


What's really sad is that in previous versions of sharepoint, you could directly create a shortcut as a file in a SP document Library....or simply drag and drop.


Another option you may want to consider is creating a link (alias or .url) in a Sharepoint Folder (Document Library). This is a much easier option, if it works for you:
1. Open the location of the file to link (or create a shortcut for)
2. Copy the address of the file
3. Open the sharepoint library/folder where you want the link
4. In the Library/Folder menu bar (above the breadcrumb line, hopefully) click the New button
5. At the bottom of the list, select "Link"
6. The link dialog opens- paste the copied link in the box
7. It will then open a "File name" box with a .url filetype
8. Type whatever name you want (file name format conditional still apply) and click "Create"
You now have a link to the file in sharepoint. You should also be able to create a shortcut to this on your desk top