How to Pin App Shortcut Icons to The Desktop in Ubuntu 21.04

This is a beginner’s guide shows how to send app shortcuts to desktop icons in Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo.

In Ubuntu 21.04, the Desktop Icons NG extension enables Drag’n’Drop support between the Desktop and File manager. However, dropping app icons directly into desktop does not work due to permission issue.

This time you also have to add executable permission to the icon file before it launching as program.

1.) Copy the Desktop Icon Files & Paste into Desktop.

Firstly open 2 file browser windows and do:

  • In file browser, navigate to the Desktop folder in user home.
  • For another window, go to Other Locations -> Computer -> usr -> share -> applications. There you can see a large list of .desktop files for your system applications.

Now drag and drop your desired app files into the Desktop folder. And they will appear immediately on the desktop.

2.) Add executable permissions to the Desktop Icons:

Now right-click on the desktop icon file, and go to “Properties”. Under “Permissions” tab, tick the check-box which says ‘Allow executing file as program’.

Do this one by one if you have more than one app shortcuts on desktop.

3.) Allow launching the desktop icons

Finally right-click on these desktop files again one by one, and choose the “Allow Launching” option. You’ll see the icons changed into app logo with green mark in the top-left.

To remove any desktop icon, simply select “Move to Trash” option in its context menu. The app will still available in ‘Show Applications’ launcher menu.

That’s it Enjoy!

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a geek who has been working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.