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How to Add Desktop Shortcuts for Removable Drives Automatically

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Without wanting to start a platform war, we think there are some areas in which Windows could learn from OS X. One seemingly small, but delightfully useful feature enjoyed by Mac owners sees desktop icons created whenever removable disks are inserted. This can be added to Windows with TweakNow DriveShortcut.

On a Mac, plug in a USB drive or slide a CD or DVD into a drive, and an icon will instantly appear on the desktop. Remove the disk and the icon will vanish.

But if you’re a fan of Windows, you don’t need to consider making the jump to a Mac to take advantage of this feature – nor do you need to fudge it by having icons for all of your removable drives permanently on display.

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A program called TweakNow DriveShortcut will create and delete shortcut icons as they are needed. Grab yourself a copy – it’s free of charge.

Drive Monitoring

The first time you launch the program you can choose which types of drives it should be on the lookout for. As well as CD/DVD drives and USB drives, the tool can also be used to create shortcuts to regular hard drives, network disks and RAM drives; just tick the boxes next to those you are interested in.

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Save Positions

By default, TweakNow DriveShortcut will use the first available area of your desktop to create icons when they are needed. With other shortcuts and files stored here you could find that you are hunting high and low for the icons.

To overcome this problem, you can opt to have the shortcuts created in the same place every time – just select Yes from the ‘Remember shortcut icon position on the desktop’ menu. While you are here, you should also select Yes from the bottom menu so the program starts every time you log into Windows.

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Hit the Save button, close the program window and plug in a USB drive; a desktop shortcut will immediately be created. It’s a little thing, but it can make a big difference.

This is a great alternative to having permanent icons wasting valuable space, and allows for easier access to drive contents without the need to enable AutoPlay.

Mark Wilson is a software fiend and a fan of the new, shiny and intriguing. Never afraid to get his hands dirty with some full-scale geekery, he’s always trying out the latest apps, hacks and tweaks. He can be found on Twitter and Google+.

  • Published 01/27/13

Comments (22)

  1. UUUnicorn

    Unfortunately, even though this installed okay on my Asus Eee PC 1201N-PU17-SL netbook running Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, it doesn’t work.

  2. CutTheRedWire
  3. Sunil Achary

    Dear all,

    I can create drive shortcuts, just select drive and drag and drop at desktop on windows 7. No software required.

  4. bv

    Dear Sunil
    Everybody know that it is possible to select drive and drag on desktop but the point is ; this software do this task automatically as you connect your removable drive .

  5. Keltari

    Im fairly positive the reason Windows doesnt do this is that most people dont want icons popping up on their desktops.

  6. Xero

    Linux Mint also shows a desktop icon whenever it mounts your USB drive. I find it adds little value and I think that Keltari is probably correct. Still it would be nice if people could opt to enabled it if they wanted.

  7. AbdulHamid Malik

    I am using windows7 64bit.
    It makes automatically on insertion and removes when plugged out

  8. Jim Carter

    Windows DOES NOT have the functionality that this app offers. If you believe it does, then you don’t understand its purpose. Yes…I’ve tried all the others (including the ones mentioned here) and NONE of them function FULLY under Windows 8. This app DOES function FULLY under Windows 8 and it appears to be the only one of its kind.

  9. Rebs

    Desk Drive is the 1 I use
    Virtually no footprint and easy to configure

  10. toxictavrn

    “This is a great alternative to having permanent icons wasting valuable space, ”

    wasting valuable space? maybe i should sell some real estate on my monitors, i have all of zero icons on my desktop!

    “and allows for easier access to drive contents without the need to enable AutoPlay.”

    I mean its good for noobs maybe who cant find a damn thing they put on ther puter, but windows explorer. I plug in a disk, there it is, I unplug the disk, there it was, gone (bad grammer left on purpose, I am french) and its wicked easy to access any drive

  11. mjgoulry

    Installed on my Windows 8 machine and see no results. Even when I plug in a thumb drive – nothing. What did I miss?

  12. Rufus

    This feature will be there in Windows 9. Please wait.

  13. hotwheelslover98

    I tried to install this on Windows 8 Pro. I kept getting a message box that only said 1814. Any ideas anyone?

  14. bedlamb

    2 Sunil Achary
    The point of the software is that the shortcut disappears when you remove the media.

    I’m with you though. I have a link to ROM drive in ‘links’, on the taskbar. I used to keep one for USB, but found it unnecessary.

    2 AbdulHamid Malik
    If your machine does this automatically, it has third party program installed.

  15. alexter

    another process running in the background? thanks but NO!

  16. faulk628

    I also installed it and set preferences. Program doesn’t work. :(

  17. Speedbump

    Doesn’t work for me either. Win 7 64bit. Immediatly says: DriveOnDesktop.exe has stopped working. Problem signature = APPCRASH.

  18. drifter410

    Works perfectly on my Windows 7 64 bit. One extra is that on right click “send to” menu, all my drives now appear.

  19. Henry

    Mac OS lol
    see linux
    lot cheaper hardware and software

  20. Cosmo

    If you add the Computer or My Computer toolbar to the Windows taskbar it will give you links to all disk drives on your computer including and removable drives. I’ve been doing this since Windows 98 although I don’t know if it can still be done with Windows 8.

  21. Keith

    Another vote for Desk Drive.

  22. Dennis Lind

    It worked great with Win7 64bit for my user but would not install for other user.
    “Error replacing existing file
    Deletefile failed; code 5″

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