I installed some apps but I do not have a shortcut to it anywhere (these apps include Google Maps). The only way for me to start those is through Google Play.

I want to create a link to an app on the "desktop" in Android (not sure what the thing is called on Android, it's the screen that you get back to when you press the Home button (the symbol with the little house)) without rooting or a 3rd party app (except maybe for a terminal app, like Terminal IDE, which does not have mklink which might be used to achieve this).

Any way of doing that?

  • When you say the only way to start the app is through Google Play, do you mean that it doesn't show up in the app drawer; that is, the list of all apps that you get to from a button on the home screen? If so, you have a bigger problem, and you should edit your question to say what device you have.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jan 31, 2014 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


That "thing" is called "Homescreen" or "Launcher" (depending on what aspect of it is addressed). And you can long-press an empty space on it, then select to add an app, shortcut, or widget. Selecting "app" should list up all available apps, so you can pick the one you want on your homescreen. That's it, you should now find an icon on your homescreen to launch the app.

A second way to achieve the same is to open the app drawer, and long-press the icon of the app you want to add to your homescreen. Usually, the drawer then "blends out", and you should see your home screen(s). Still holding the icon pressed, move it to the place where you want it to be, then let it go.

One more hint: The homescreen cannot be handled via "symbolic links" from within the file system. Which shortcut exists on which screen and at what position etc. is stored in the app preferences of the homescreen.

  • I have a Transformer (2nd generation from 2012). I can't seem to take a screenshot, but there is not much to see what you can't see online anyway. There is also no "app drawer", and sadly pressing the homescreen for longer asks me for the wallpaper :(
    – Domi
    Jan 31, 2014 at 17:32
  • 2
    Nevermind, I found the app drawer. I can simply long-touch an app there and it comes to my homescreen. Thank you!
    – Domi
    Jan 31, 2014 at 17:35
  • 1
    Yupp, that's the second method to do it. I just didn't mention it (yet) as it seemed you missed that drawer :) Will update my answer accordingly.
    – Izzy
    Jan 31, 2014 at 17:40

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