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Old August 14th, 2013
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For Windows 8 it is probably best to use the Send to option.

Right-click the program or folder and choose Send To: Desktop (create shortcut).

Creating icons on Windows 8 desktop-win-8-shortcuts.gif

For Windows 8 for applications, go to the Start, select the program, right-cllick & choose Open the location. Then right-cllick and choose Send To in identical fashion to above.

BTW for Windows 8 I've done this for several folders including normally hidden folders or utility programs. Windows 8 is not so easy to navigate around if you need to go under the dashboard often to do various things. Win 8 is also highly permissions based and means I need to change perms for folders & then restart Windows before some of the changes show.
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