I deleted my original shortcut to Mass Effect 3 as part of an ill-conceived attempt to get a steam overlay within Origin.

Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to create a desktop shortcut from within origin, nor do I know where to target with a manually created shortcut.

Does Origin not have the ability to make shortcuts outside of installing a game?

I'm using Windows 7.

  • Trying to mix Origin and Steam? Incoming Origin ban!
    – user9983
    Mar 8, 2012 at 2:37

5 Answers 5


Assuming windows 7, you should already have a shortcut available in your windows Games folder. For me, this is located at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games.

Alternatively, if you hit the start button (or windows key) and type "games explorer" and open the folder it displays, it will list all your registered games. Games Explorer.

From either of these folders, you should be able to right-click-drag the game's icon onto the desktop, and selecting either copy here (games folder) or create shortcuts here (games explorer)

  • I'm not sure, but, doesn't this work only with "Games for Windows" games?
    – DrFish
    Mar 8, 2012 at 5:14
  • @Bora I'm not sure, either. I know that all the Origin games I own are listed there, but I only have a few so that may have been a coincidence. Mar 8, 2012 at 12:31
  • This path doesn't exist for me. The x86 Microsoft folder is empty, and the 64 bit Program Files doesn't have a Microsoft directory. Start menu -> Games Explorer worked, though. Mar 8, 2012 at 18:43
  • In windows 8 you open the games explorer by hitting Win+r and shell:games
    – t0x1n
    Nov 13, 2014 at 5:05
  • @RavenDreamer It's not Program Files, it's ProgramData.
    – svick
    Feb 8, 2015 at 19:17

Dave's answer can show you one way to create a shortcut, but if you don't see the game you're looking for listed there, you have another option. For most games, the steps below will let you find the target .exe that you can manually create a shortcut to.

  1. In Origin, you click on the Gear icon and choose Settings. enter image description here

  2. Look at the directory listed for "Downloaded Games". enter image description here

  3. Navigate to that directory in Windows. The game you're looking for should have a folder with its name here.

  4. Usually for a game, there's an .exe with the game's name either in the base folder for that game, or under a /bin folder. You have to dig a little deeper for Mass Effect 3 than most. For Mass Effect 3 in particular, the .exe you want is under ~/Mass Effect 3/Binaries/Win32/MassEffect3.exe. Every game is going to be a little bit different, but it's usually not too hard to identify which .exe will launch the game.

  5. Having identified the .exe, right-click on it and select Send To->Desktop (create shortcut) from the context menu.

enter image description here


As near as I can tell, you simply can't make a shortcut to a already installed game in origin

Seems to be a very silly oversight but that's the way it is. If you want the shortcut, you can browse to your directory where origin installed the game, this can be found under Settings->General and look for the Downloaded Games section to see where it is.

Inside there, you'll find your Mass Effect 3 folder, and the MassEffect3.exe will be in Binaries\Win32.


I had this problem too I am running Windows 7 64-bit

My solution:

  • Go to the start menu and search for the game you want to make a shortcut to (crysis 2 in my case) The game logo and title should appear in the start menu
  • Right click the game title next to the emblem and select 'copy to->desktop (make shortcut)'

Hope this works for you guys, worked for me Good luck :D


You can make one.

To do this you have to create a shortcut from scratch. If you find the game icon, right click it and send it to desktop, or if you have another game on your desktop just right click it and create a shortcut. Edit the name you want it to be.

Now you have to edit the directory and target. Right click the new shortcut, go to properties, under target directory add the lines below to suit your directory, I accidentally deleted bf1 so I created a shortcut from bf4 and renamed it then edited the path the same as the bf4 or any other origin game, looks like this:

Target: D:\Games\Battlefield 1\bf1.exe

Start in: D:\Games\Battlefield 1

Remember, you need a shortcut to start with, so right click whatever you want the icon to look like and you can edit the icon also, but that's another forum. D is where I installed the games, yours will either be C: or whatever you did.

Note: I changed installation paths and stuff like that, so yours will most likely be:

C:\Users\[yourname or computer name]\Origin\Origin games and so on. If all else fails reinstall, but it takes a while to download.

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