How to Create File Shortcuts on Homescreen in Android

Having used Microsoft Windows and Linux for over ten years, I had taken it for granted that you can create shortcuts to files, folders and URLs on your desktop in any operating system until I stumbled upon Android. It is not possible to create a shortcut to any file or folder in Android natively, that is, if you do not use a third party widget called File Widget. This widget allows you to create a home-screen shortcut to any file or folder on your Android phone’s storage – whether internal or external storage.

Having a shortcut right on the home screen saves you from the trouble of twiddling through various folders to find the right file every time you need it. For example, I play a soothing music file to help me fall asleep when I go to bed, and its very annoying to go through all the folders and then scroll down to play this music file. Instead, now that I have create a shortcut to this file on home-screen, I can just tap on the shortcut to let the music play.

After you have installed the File Widget in your Android phone (link to the widget’s Google Play store page is at the end of this article), you can long-tap on the home-screen and select Widgets to add. Then select File Widget or Folder Widget from the widgets gallery,  drag and drop it on your Android phone’s home-screen. The File Widget is to create shortcuts to files while the Folder Widget is for creating shortcuts to folders.

File Widget for Android

In both the cases, a widget settings screen will show up where you have to type in the name of the shortcut, select the target file (you can choose any type of file) or folder, choose an icon for the shortcut and choose options like whether you want to display file extension etc.When you are ready, tap on the Create Shortcut button at the bottom. Your File/Folder Widget on the home-screen will turn into a shortcut to the selected file or folder. You can tap on this shortcut to quickly launch the target file with the default app. In the following screenshot, I have created a shortcut to a music file and named it TrishTech:

File Widget for Android


Conclusion: If you are tired of twiddling your way through an array of folders to find your file every now and then, then you need the File Widget for Android. It helps you create shortcuts to files or folders on your smartphone’s home-screen easily.

You can get File Widget for Android from