With the current version of Windows, it takes a few more steps and here's how it's done
I'll be using WordPad as a example
1. Go to the program you want to place on the desktop
2. Right click on that program and then click on Open file location
3. This will take you to the shortcuts folder with the program you want selected
4. Right click, a sub menu will appear, then point to send and click on Desktop (shortcut)
Another method of creating a shortcut into Windows 8 and 8.1 is by doing the following.
In this example a Steam game shortcut will be created
1. Right click on the desktop, go to New, then click on Shortcut
2. Click Browse
3. Navigate to the program, you wan to create a shortcut. Programs are mostly located in C:\Program Files and/or C:\Program Files (x86)
Note only 64bit version of Windows have C:\Program Files (x86)
4, Make sure the program end with the extension ".exe". If it's not exe, go back and the correct file.
5. Rename the program or leave it alone
6. Shortcut will now be on the desktop
Third method of creating shortcuts is to access the shortcut's folder menu.
To do this, we need to change some system settings.
Warning! If you are not familiar with changing system settings, then do not perform method #3
1. Open up This PC (Computer/My Computer)
2. On the top, click on View Tab
3. On the right side click on Options
4. A windows will open up, on the top click on View tab, then on the bottom window pane
select "Show hidden files, folders, and drives"
5. Now we need to navigate to the shortcut's folder. To do this click on the following folders.
Only click on the folder that on this tutorial. Do not click on other folders.
Note: You may encounter some weird files or files with weird symbols. Leave these alone,
deleting them may cause the system to crash or affect certain program or personal files not to
work properly or in worst case scenario, delete your data or damage your system
-Click on C:\
-Click folder: ProgramData
-Follow by Windows
-After that, click Start Menu
The entire path should be C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
6. Look at the list of shortcuts you want on the desktop
7. Select the one you want and right click
8. A menu will appear, move mouse pointer to "Send To", then click on Desktop (shortcut)