I windows 7 you create the shortcut in C:\Users\All Users\desktop

Well, that folder is not accessible.

So where should I put it in windows 10?

6 Answers 6


It's the CommonDesktopDirectory special folder and most of the time it's:


To find out the directory for your system, run in a PowerShell prompt:

  • If they kept it the same as in Windows 7 (c:\Users\Public\Desktop does exist in Win 7), then in Windows Explorer, you can go to c:\Users\Public\Public Desktop. (Clicking in the address bar once you're there will reveal that it's actually c:\Users\Public\Desktop.)
    – RobH
    Feb 1, 2017 at 17:10
  • 1
    Running from Chef/Ruby, I got an "OLE error code:800770003 in WshShortcut.Save". Using "C:\Users\Public\Desktop" instead of "C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop" was the fix. Mar 3, 2020 at 19:15

In Windows 10 Login as Administrator (Local Admin).

Go to Control Panel > File Explorer Options > click on the View tab > under Advanced settings: look for hidden files and folders > choose "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" and click "OK".

Go to C drive (C:) > Users > Public > Public Desktop

The "public desktop" folder is normally a hidden folder.

Now you can put your shortcuts in: C:\Users\Public\Desktop


Put it in this folder (exactly like below, with the % characters):


e.g. using this command:

copy file.lnk %public%\Desktop

This should be more reliable in case Users location is changed.

Bonus: other ways to open the public desktop in Explorer:

  • you can paste %public%\Desktop in Explorer location bar
  • or hit Win+R and enter %public%\Desktop
  • (tested on Windows 10)
    – Ekus
    Jun 14, 2019 at 19:29

I don't know if things have changed since the previous post, but...

I just checked my Windows 10 x64 Home (which I just did a clean install a couple of hours ago) and from an elevated ("run as admin") command prompt, was able to copy a shortcut link from



"c:\Users\All users\desktop\"

and it did appear on my desktop! But, oddly enough, I cannot view a directory listing, or do any other type of function (like delete) in the "C:\Users\All users" directory.

Just thought I'd share that, in case there is some other reason/purpose behind it.

  • 3
    You are encountering Junction Points. To summarize, they exist to to provide backward compatibility for user applications. Old locations have junction points that point to the new locations, but users can't use Junction Points to navigate through the folder hierarchy.
    – Run5k
    Nov 17, 2016 at 22:32

Another simple way instead of doing all this crazy (albeit simple) stuff with command prompt, simply drag and drop from somewhere else to the Public Desktop, and it will automagically prompt for Admin credentials. No need to launch elevated command window and use commands...


That folder is only accessible if you elevate in Windows 10 - Im' not sure how to elevate "explorer.exe", but you can copy the shortcut using pwoershell or dos "run as administrator. example:

PS:> cp 'C:\Users\conradb\Desktop\photies - Shortcut.lnk' c:\Users\Public\Desktop c:\Users\Public\Desktop

or if using a DOS administrator prompt: C:\WINDOWS\system32>copy 'C:\Users\conradb\Desktop\photies - Shortcut.lnk' c:\Users\Public\Desktop c:\Users\Public\Desktop

  • To elevate any program, right click on its icon, and select Run as administrator, just like in any version of Windows since Vista.
    – RobH
    Jun 22, 2017 at 16:49

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