Error Message: Windows Cannot Create a Shortcut Here


When you right-click an icon in a folder such as My Computer, Network Neighborhood, Control Panel, Dial-Up Networking, or Printers and then click Create Shortcut, you receive the following error message:

Windows cannot create a shortcut here.
Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead?


This behavior occurs because these are virtual folders. Unlike folders in Windows Explorer, virtual folders are not storage locations for files or file system objects. Virtual folders are also known as Windows shell space objects. Virtual folders are part of the graphical user interface (GUI) that allow easy access to customizable features in Windows.

Other differences between virtual folders and file system folders include:

  • Virtual folders cannot contain a folder, but can contain a pointer to a folder (for example, the Fonts folder in Control Panel is a pointer to the Windows\Fonts folder).
  • Virtual folders cannot have attributes (such as read-only, hidden, or system).
  • Virtual folders cannot be customized if you install the Windows Desktop Update component as part of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or 4.01.
When you create a shortcut for an object in a virtual folder and receive the message that the shortcut will be placed on the desktop, the shortcut that is created on the desktop works correctly. The shortcut also works correctly if you move it to another file folder.


This behavior is by design.