How to Send App Shortcut Icons to the Desktop in Ubuntu 20.10


This is a beginner’s guide shows how to add application shortcut on the default Gnome desktop in Ubuntu 20.10.

Since Ubuntu 19.10, desktop icons are no longer handled by Nautilus file manager. Drag and drop between file browser and the desktop is not supported. You can however do the actions via user’s Desktop folder instead.

1. Open Files (Nautilus file browser) and navigate to Desktop folder.

2. Open a new Files by right-clicking on the app icon and selecting ‘New Window’.

3. In the new file browser window navigate to Other Locations > Computer > usr > share > applications. There contains the icon files for system wide applications.

Now drag and drop your desired app files from the file browser window to the Desktop folder.

4. The icons will appear immediately on Ubuntu desktop once you do the drag & drop actions.
Now right-click on a desktop icon and select “Allow Launching“, and do this for other icons one by one.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek 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.