I've just read this page about creating desktop shortcuts for my games, however steam recently broke for me and I lost all my shortcuts. Although I can create them one at a time, I have almost 215 games and it would take me at least an hour to sort them. Is there an easier way to create a mass amount of shortcuts or do I have to do it manually?

If it helps, I use fences

Thanks in advance.

  • I'm a little confused - you want shortcuts for ALL games, or just for some chosen ones? As far as I know, there's no way to create shortcuts for sets of games natively in Steam, only one by one. Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 12:20
  • I would like to create shortcuts for all the games, and it feels so lame that it would take so long, having to go to properties --> general --> create shortcut Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 12:25
  • 2
    Not that it would make it a lot better, but isn't the "Create Desktop Shortcut" option in the direct context menu of a game, i.e. no need to view the properties? Can't say that with authority though. Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 12:37
  • 1
    Create Desktop Shortcut is indeed a direct option in the context menu, I assume you cant hold "Shift" or "ctrl" and select all the game you want (I've never tried that on Steam before)
    – WizLiz
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 13:08
  • 2
    @PopeyGilbert " I almost never play the same game twice in two days" You must be the most hardcore casual gamer
    – Cruncher
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 20:09

4 Answers 4


If you are a developer, use this: https://gist.github.com/AndrewSav/872b1469e11d9a4b802c

It's a c# script that goes through your installed games and create a shortcut for each. You will need to compile this script either with VS or from command line with csc.exe or run it form LinqPad. All paths are tried to be automatically detected, so if this does not work or not suitable, you need to change the code to hardcode them.

To me this proved to be the fastest and most practical method to achieve what I wanted


I wrote this AutoHotkey script to generate shortcuts (no icon images though)

#NoEnv  ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
SendMode Input  ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%  ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.

Loop, *, 0, 0
    if RegExMatch(A_LoopFileName, "appmanifest_\d+\.acf") {
        FileToRead = %A_LoopFileName%
        TempFile := "shortcuts_tempinfo.txt"
        FileDelete, %TempFile%
        RunWait,shortcuts.bat %FileToRead% >> %TempFile%,,Hide
        FoundPos := RegexMatch(Output, """name"".*?""(.*?)""", SubPat)
        Name := RegExReplace(SubPat1, "[^a-zA-Z0-9 ]")
        StringReplace, LoopFileName, A_LoopFileName, appmanifest_
        StringReplace, LoopFileName, LoopFileName, .acf
        IniWrite, steam://rungameid/%LoopFileName%, %A_Desktop%\%Name%.url, InternetShortcut, URL
MsgBox, Finished

It needs to be placed inside your SteamApps folder with shortcuts.bat (below)

@echo off
type %1

The script scans through your appmanifest files and creates desktop shortcuts like Steam would, except for the missing icon. (I couldn't figure out a way to find the icon for a game yet due to varying game folder structures)

  • That's a very nice program. Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 16:11
  • I love to use auto-hotkey, however I've never got to anything as advanced as you have. Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 19:34
  • That's really cool, these are actually the steam:// short-cuts that the steam itself would create, and not just the exe short-cuts. This should be the accepted answer =) Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 2:36
  • Neat, though since you're using AHK anyway you might just as well simulate the clicks or key presses that would let Steam create the shortcuts, I guess
    – Zommuter
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 19:45
  • 2
    @Zommuter good point, though it would have needed me to switch back to default theme and poke around quite a bit more. I was originally trying to do it in a pure batch script, but I figured autohotkey would be easier soon after starting.
    – 3ventic
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 21:18

This may not be perfect, as some game folders contain multiple executables, but I've just tested the following on my work system (which only has a few games installed)

  • Navigate to your Steam Common Apps folder:

    (commonly C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common)

  • Use the Search function in the top right corner and search for *.exe

  • Select the games from the resulting search you wish to create shortcuts for using ctrl+left click

  • Right click, and select send to > desktop

Not perfect, but it should be faster than manually selecting them!

  • Wow! Thanks so much! This solution meant it only took 5 minutes. Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 13:59
  • If steam is closed, does it start steam before the game ?
    – WizLiz
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 14:06
  • I've just tested this and it does, it acts the same way as regular steam shortcuts and launches the Steam Client Bootstrapper before the application loads.
    – Draike2590
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 14:11
  • One downside is that the file on the desktop is larger. The normal shortcut is simply a website url something similar to steam://rungameid/230 Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 15:05
  • Yeah, unfortunately I haven't found a way to simply replicate that without having to go through the steam client itself and create them all manually. Hopefully this wouldn't become a major issue though, unless some sort of Desktop redirect is in place.
    – Draike2590
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 15:10

I wrote a solution to this in Python - though you can't choose which are created, it just makes shortcuts for all installed games https://github.com/JeeZeh/steam-shortcut-generator

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