Devices and Printers is a Windows 11 Control Panel applet that shows devices connected or paired with your PC. You can select to add or remove printers and other devices there. Its Tools menu also includes a handy option for mapping network drives.
Thus, Devices and Printers is a useful applet for managing connected peripherals in Windows 11, but it’s tucked away within the Control Panel. You can make it quicker to access by setting up various types of shortcuts for opening that applet. This is how you can create Devices and Printers shortcuts in Windows 11.
How to Set Up a Devices and Printers Desktop Shortcut
The desktop is the most standard area of Windows for creating shortcuts. You can create a desktop shortcut for Devices and Printers with that applet’s GUID code in the Create Shortcut wizard. These are the steps for adding a Devices and Printers shortcut to the Windows 11 desktop:
- Right-click any space on your desktop’s wallpaper where there aren’t any icons, and select New.
- Click the Shortcut context menu option to view the wizard.
- Then input this GUID code in the location box:
- Select Next to view the Type a name box.
- Delete the default title and input Devices and Printers in the text box.
- Click Finish to add the Devices and Printers desktop shortcut.
- Double-click Devices and Printers on the desktop to view that Control Panel applet.
That shortcut will have a folder library Explorer icon, which isn’t ideal for a Devices and Printers applet. To change its icon to something better, right-click the Devices and Shortcuts icon to select Properties. Select the Change Icons option to bring up the window below.
The default explorer.exe location has a few icons to choose from. However, you can select many more icons from imageres.dll. Type %systemroot%\system32\imageres.dll in the Look for icons box and press Enter. Then choose a printer or other device icon from there, and click the OK > Apply buttons.
How to Set Up a Devices and Printers Taskbar and Start Menu Shortcuts
It’s easy to create a taskbar Devices and Printers shortcut from the desktop one. Right-click the Devices and Shortcuts desktop shortcut and select Show more options. Select the Pin to taskbar option on the classic menu.
If you prefer menu shortcuts, you can instead select Pin to Start just above the taskbar option. Then you’ll see a Devices and Printers shortcut in the pinned section at the front of the Start menu. You can place that shortcut at the top of the menu by right-clicking it and selecting Move to top.
How to Set Up a Devices and Printers Keyboard Shortcut
Nothing beats the accessibility of keyboard shortcuts. They enable you to open things wherever you are in Windows by pressing their key combinations. This is how you can create a hotkey for opening the Devices and Printers applet in Windows 11:
- Create a Devices and Printers desktop shortcut as instructed for method one.
- Click the Devices and Printers shortcut once to select it without opening.
- Press the Alt + Enter hotkey to bring up the shortcut’s properties window.
- Next, click inside the Shortcut key box to activate it.
- Press the D key (for devices), which will set up a Ctrl + Alt + D hotkey.
- Select Apply to save your new Devices and Printers hotkey.
- Click OK to close the Devices and Printers Properties window.
Your Ctrl + Alt + D hotkey will open Devices and Printers whenever you press it. You can change that keyboard shortcut to have a different letter if you prefer, but cannot modify the Ctrl + Alt part of that hotkey. Remember that deleting the Devices and Printers desktop shortcut will also erase the hotkey for opening it.
How to Set Up a Devices and Printers Context Menu Shortcut
You can also add an option for opening Devices and Printers to Windows 11’s classic context menu. However, it’s not so straightforward to set up such a shortcut because Windows doesn’t include any built-in options for customizing its desktop context menu. You’ll need to manually add a DevicesAndPrinters key to the registry like this:
- Open Windows 11’s Registry Editor app, which you can do with any method in our guide for opening Regedit.
- Click in the address bar at the top of Registry Editor to erase the current key location.
- Input this Shell key location and hit Enter:
- Click the Shell key with your mouse’s right button to select New.
- Select Key on the New submenu.
- Then type DevicesAndPrinters inside the new key’s text box.
- Right-click DevicesAndPrinters to select the New and String Value options.
- Input MUIVerb for the string’s title.
- Double-click MUIVerb to view that string’s Value data box.
- Enter Devices and Printers in the Value text box, and select OK to exit.
- Right-click the DevicesAndPrinters key again and select New > Key.
- Then right-click the new command key’s (Default) string and select Modify.
- Enter this GUID location in the Value box:
- Select the Edit String window’s OK option.
Now check out the new Devices and Printers shortcut on the classic desktop context menu in Windows 11. Click anywhere on the desktop area with the mouse’s right button and select Show more options. Select Devices and Printers on the secondary classic menu to open that applet.
You can easily undo this registry tweak by erasing the key for it. Return to the DevicesAndPrinters key you added in Registry Editor. Right-click DevicesAndPrinters and select Delete > Yes.
How to Set Up a Devices and Printers Shortcut in File Explorer
File Explorer’s This PC section is another place you can add shortcuts for opening folders and Control Panel applets like Devices and Printers. There aren’t any options in Explorer for adding shortcuts there. However, you can add Devices and Printers to This PC with the freeware Winaero Tweaker customization software as follows:
- Bring up the download page on the Winaero Tweaker website in your browser.
- Scroll down and click that page’s Download Winaero Tweaker option.
- Extract and install the Winaero Tweaker software. The guide for customizing Windows with Winaero includes step-by-step instructions for installing that app.
- Run Winaero Tweaker in Windows 11.
- Double-click the File Explorer settings category.
- Select the Customize This PC Folders option.
- Click Add shell location to access the window shown below.
- Choose Devices and Printers there, and click the Add button.
You should now see Devices and Printers in File Explorer’s This PC section. Bring up the Explorer folder and file manager, and double-click This PC in its left sidebar. Then click Devices and Printers in the sidebar to open it from there.
Make a Shortcut for Opening Devices and Printers
So, there you have five methods for adding Devices and Printers shortcuts to Windows 11. Setting up a desktop, taskbar, File Explorer, context menu, or keyboard shortcut will give you quick and easy access to a useful Control Panel applet for managing peripherals. Add whatever type of Devices and Printer shortcut you like best.