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How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

The moment you make a new shortcut in windows, it instantaneously adds “shortcut” to the end of the shortcut’s file name. Much as this may not be a big concern for most of us, it’s really disturbing since we already got a shortcut arrow overlaid onto icons of shortcuts. There is no need for being overly reminded that they are shortcuts. Nevertheless, a very simple registry tweak can turn this behavior off.

Enough of the chit chat, now let’s try to remove the “shortcut” text. We remove the “shortcut” text by editing the registry manually. If you never work with registry editor, you should consider reading about “How to Use windows registry?”

To remove the “shortcut” text for any PC running windows vista all through to windows 10, you just need to make an adjustment to one of the registry settings.

Now open the registry editor by hitting start and typing “regedit” and press enter to open the registry editor and grant it permission to make changes to the PC.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Once in the registry editor, use the left side bar to navigate to the following:

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

On the right hand side scroll down and locate a value named link. If you don’t see the value, you will need to create it by right clicking explorer key, choosing new>binary value and then naming the new value “link” or if you want more details about adding values you can also check out my last article about the registry here.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

When you’ve found or created the link value, double click it to open its properties window. In the value data box, replace the current value with “00 00 00 00” note that the current value you will see depends on the version and edition of windows you are running. It’s not a big deal, what’s there already. Just replace with all zeroes.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

After all of that, just restart your windows explorer or log off your machine when you get back on, all the newly created shortcuts will have the same name as their original program, saving you quite a bit of time and tiresome typing.

You can as well test out by creating a new shortcut. Windows will no longer add the “shortcut” text. If you wish to reverse change just head to the registry and delete the link value you created.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Also, if you don’t wish to edit the registry manually, just hit the link below for a downloadable two click version.

Feel free to add any information or let us know your thoughts on this in our comments section.

In Windows, you can create a shortcut to an existing file or folder. When you do so, Windows will append the word “Shortcut” to the end of your new shortcut.
How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names
This is helpful in that it allows you to quickly see which icons are shortcuts and which are the original files, but it’s also unnecessary because there are other ways to indicate a shortcut, such as the small arrow appended to the shortcut’s icon, or the file’s “Properties” dialog box.
How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names
It’s possible to simply rename your shortcut after it’s created, of course, and manually remove the appended “Shortcut.” But why waste time doing something manually when you can simply configure Windows to not add the “Shortcut” text in the first place? Here’s how to prevent Windows from adding “Shortcut” to the end of your new shortcuts in Windows.
First, we’re using Windows 10 for the screenshots in this article, but the steps described work for most recent versions of Windows, including Windows 8, Windows 7, and even Windows Vista. Second, this tip involves editing the Windows Registry, which contains important data vital to the proper function of your Windows installation. Before making any changes to the Registry, make sure you have a complete backup of your data, and refrain from making changes to areas of the Registry with which you are unfamiliar.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Stop Windows From Adding “Shortcut” to Your New Shortcuts

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

To get started, launch the Windows Registry Editor by searching for regedit from the Start Menu. Once the Registry Editor loads, use the hierarchy on the left to navigate to the following location:

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names
Make sure Explorer is selected in the list on the left, and you’ll see a number of values in the window on the right. Find and double-click link to edit it.
How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names
The numbers you’ll see will vary based on the specific version of Windows you’re running. In our screenshot example, our test PC shows value data of 1E 00 00 00. Regardless of what you see, make note of the value (in case you want to change back in the future) and then change the value to be all zeros.
How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names
In our case that’s 00 00 00 00.
Click OK to save your change and then close the Registry Editor. You now need to either sign out of your Windows account or reboot your PC, so save any open documents and perform one of those actions. When you reboot or log back in, test out your new configuration by creating a new shortcut.
How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names
This time, you’ll see that your new shortcut is created without the “Shortcut” text appended to the end.
A few things to note: this change may be reset by future Windows updates, so you may need to repeat this steps each time there’s a major Windows upgrade. Also, you’ll still be able to identify shortcuts by the arrow icon added to the lower-left of the shortcut icon, or by viewing the shortcut’s Properties. But if you decide you want to restore the default behavior again in the future, just head back to the registry location identified above and edit the link entry back to its original value that you noted earlier.

Your desktop is one of the most valuable places in Windows. It gives you instant access to frequently used programs, files and folders, and you can organize these shortcuts however you please. By default, the Windows desktop displays a title below every shortcut icon you create, which lets you quickly identify items you want to open. Whilst one can easily rename the shortcut icons, Microsoft’s operating system doesn’t offer an option that removes shortcut text altogether. If you want to simplify the display of icons on your Windows desktop, for let’s say, spruce up the aesthetics, you can remove these labels from desktop icons via a simple trick.

To get started, right-click a shortcut icon on your desktop followed by clicking the Rename option and delete the title.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Now you should press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard and type 255 (while still holding down the Alt key) using the the right numeric keyboard. It should be noted that you must the numeric keypad keys only and not the ones located to the top. Make sure the Numlock is On on your keyboard and enter 255 with the little number keys next to the regular letters.

Once you’ve entered 255 press Enter key, and the desktop shortcut icon will have no title text under it as demonstrated in the screenshot below. The icon of the item will remain intact while the actually text will automatically disappear. For some shortcuts, you may see the “File Access Denied” dialog window, upon which you can simply click “Continue” to finish renaming the shortcut.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Of course, you can rename multiple items in a similar fashion by removing the text from almost all the desktop shortcuts you have. However, following the first rename command, you will need to enter the Alt + 255 command twice when remaining the next one in line. It’s because the Alt + 255 character is basically a blank name and Windows doesn’t allows you to put same shortcut filenames to two files. Therefor, for the third icon enter Alt + 255 three times, four times for the fourth icon and so on. After you’ve renamed all icons on your desktop, it will look like the ones shown in the screenshot below.

Every time you create a new shortcut, Windows 10 appends the “- Shortcut” text to its name. e.g. the shortcut for totalcmd.exe becomes named “totalcmd.exe – Shortcut”. It is possible to disable the “- Shortcut” suffix for any shortcuts you create after disabling it. Let’s see how it can be done.

Before you proceed: Here is an alternative and a more flexible Registry tweak. It will allow you to not only disable the ” – Shortcut” suffix, but also to replace it with any desired text or even append some text as a prefix. Read the following article:

Change or disable the ” – Shortcut” text for Shortcuts in Windows 10

To disable the “- Shortcut” text for shortcuts in Windows 10, you need to apply a simple Registry tweak. For those who would like to avoid manual Registry editing, I made ready-to-use Registry files. You can download those files below (the undo file is included):

If you prefer to apply the Registry tweak manually, then do the following:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:

Now, if you create a new shortcut, the ” – Shortcut” text will not be added. To restore the default behavior, change the mentioned “link” value data back to 15 00 00 00.

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About Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer from Russia who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Does anyone know how to prevent users from deleting or renaming desktop shortcuts? We provide technical support for overseas users, some of which are using the computer for the first time. They are inadvertently deleting shortcuts and, because they are just learning how to use the mouse, slowly double-clicking on them and either deleting the name or accidentally renaming them.

I’ve tried various security settings by going into the admin account and denying full control, or just “modify” control. But neither have worked. Both keep the user from deleting the shortcut but they also prevent the user from executing the shortcut and running the program.

would it make sense to place these into the “all users\desktop” folder corresponding to your version of Windows? as long as they are not local administrators, I think that this would accomplish the goal.

or, how about that deep-freeze program that’s been kicking around? it costs money, but seems to be very well liked by those who have tried/used it.

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14 Replies

would it make sense to place these into the “all users\desktop” folder corresponding to your version of Windows? as long as they are not local administrators, I think that this would accomplish the goal.

or, how about that deep-freeze program that’s been kicking around? it costs money, but seems to be very well liked by those who have tried/used it.

Don’t deny full control, only allow read access and list folder contents on the desktop. We use this for our terminal server for program shortcuts and it works just fine.

SmartKid808

agree with Victor.. putting in all users should eliminate the issue.

Force desktop shortcuts with Group policy, that way every 3 hours or so, if the user renames it, it gets renamed back, and if they delete it, after 3 hours it will re-create itself. They will get sick of customizing after a while

Have used mandatory profiles for this. GPO would be the other option of choice.

We deploy our shortcuts for things like SpiceWorks Portal to the users Desktop using GPO. works really well. Even if they delete it by mistake it reappears a few hours later for them. We make it even more difficult for them to do this by using the all users profile and making sure they are not local or network admins.
Great stuff!

Thanks, guys all, for the replies. This is encouraging. However, I suspect I’ve left off some critical information.

The users are from different overseas villages and have been given Toshiba laptops with Windows Home Premium so they are not on a domain. If I understand it correctly, one cannot use GPO’s on non-domain systems. If my assumption is incorrect, please let me know and, if you have time, please share with me HOW to set it up. (I have to communicate this via email to an average technical user living in a fairly remote area and helps as much as possible so each step has to be articulated well).

Regarding Victor7655’s comment, I am using Windows 7 Premium and do not see a “all users\desktop” folder. Am I missing something or is it the OS?

Keep ’em coming gents. I am working with 11 users, 5 of which have NEVER even touched a computer or mouse! I was overseas last week teaching them how to get started and EVER SINGLE movement had to be trained. In one week we were able to get them up and running but we continue to run into things of this nature as they use it more and more.

Appreciate all the help!

GreyRose LLC is an IT service provider.

All Users/desktop is actually in users/public/desktop on Win7, and is a hidden folder. You have to type it to get there.

Win7 Home doesn’t support what you’re trying to do. You would have to use some scripts and possibly a deep-freeze like application. Instead, if it were me in your situation, I would build a Win2008 terminal services environment and publish the applications they need access to, eliminating their PCs from the equation entirely. As a bonus, you could cloud host it and remove some admin tasks and make sure it’s quick for everyone.

Considered Mandatory Profiles as suggested by RoguePacket?

So that if the end user encounters the problem, their default action would be to try starting over from the beginning.

When someone shares a folder in Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, or Teams, you can add a shortcut to the shared folder in your OneDrive to easily find and work with the files. These shortcuts appear in OneDrive on the web, Windows File Explorer, Mac Finder, Teams, and in the OneDrive mobile apps.

Note: “Add shortcut to My files” is gradually rolling out as a Public Preview in July and will be available worldwide by the end of September 2020.

In OneDrive, in the navigation pane, select Shared > Shared with me.

Find the folder you want to add, and click the circle in the folder’s tile to select it.

Select Add shortcut to My files.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Or you can right-click the folder, and then select Add shortcut to My files.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

In a shared library in SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, you can select Add shortcut to My files to add a shortcut to the entire library, or select the specific folder you want to add, and then select Add shortcut to My files.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Important: The Add shortcut to My files option isn’t available when:

You’ve already added the folder to your OneDrive, or you have more than one folder selected. (You can’t add multiple folders at the same time.)

The item you’re trying to add isn’t a folder. (Add shortcut to My files isn’t available for individual files or for collections of files such as albums.)

If you add a shortcut to a SharePoint folder that you were already syncing, the folder you were syncing will stay where it is in File Explorer and you won’t see the new shortcut in your OneDrive folder. This is a limitation of the Public Preview which will be addressed by general availability in September 2020.

Find shared folders in your OneDrive

Shared folders you’ve added to your OneDrive appear on the OneDrive website in your My files view.

On a Windows PC, find the OneDrive folder with the name of your organization after it in Windows Explorer. For example, OneDrive – Contoso. On a Mac computer, use the Finder to locate the OneDrive folder.

Notes: If you have the OneDrive sync app but the shared folder doesn’t sync to your computer, you might have selective sync turned on. This isn’t common, but to fix it, find the OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows notification area (if you use a Mac, go to the menu bar).

Select the OneDrive cloud icon.

Select Help & Settings > Settings.

On the Account tab, select Choose folders, then select the boxes for the folders you want to sync.

Moving shared files and shared folders in your OneDrive

When you move files between shared folders, they lose their existing permissions and get the permissions from the folder you moved them to. For example, if you move an item to a read-only folder, the item becomes read-only as well. Moving an item from a shared folder to an unshared folder means that item is no longer shared with anyone. If you move items only within a shared folder, there is no change to any of the assigned permissions.

While you can move shared files, you can’t move shared folders on OneDrive.com. If you sync OneDrive to your computer, any shared folder you move is copied to the destination location and then removed from your OneDrive. It is still available in your Shared list.

You can rename shared folders that you’ve added to your OneDrive. The new name you give to the folder is visible only to you, and will appear with that name anywhere you access your OneDrive, including OneDrive.com, the OneDrive app on your computer, or the OneDrive mobile apps. The name change won’t be visible to the shared folder owner, nor anyone else with permissions to the folder.

Note: Renaming or changing any of the folder’s contents, however, is visible to others sharing the folder.

Removing or deleting shared files and shared folders from your OneDrive

Files deleted from a shared folder on OneDrive.com are sent to the recycle bin of only the shared folder’s owner. However, if you sync your OneDrive on a computer, items deleted from a shared folder do appear in the computer’s recycle bin.

Note: Only the owner of a shared folder can restore an item deleted from the folder.

To remove a shared folder on OneDrive.com:

In the My files view, select the shared folder you want to remove.

Select Remove shortcut.

This only removes the folder from your OneDrive – it’s still accessible from your Shared list and doesn’t affect the owner or anyone else sharing the folder. If you delete the folder instead, it’s deleted from everyone’s OneDrive and the folder owner would have to restore it.

Note: If you sync OneDrive to one or more computers, removing a shared folder from your OneDrive also removes it from those computers.

If a folder is no longer shared with you, it is removed from your OneDrive. To get back your access to the folder, ask the owner or an editor to share it with you again.

How to disable Add shortcut to OneDrive

If you’re an admin and want to disable Add shortcut to OneDrive for your organization, use the following PowerShell command:

Set-SPOTenant -DisableAddShortcutsToOneDrive $True

Learn more

Need more help?

Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for work or school.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

Contact Support
If you still need help, contact support through your browser or shake your mobile device while you’re in the OneDrive app.

Got feedback?
You can suggest features you’d like to see us add to OneDrive. Go to How do I give feedback on Microsoft Office? for more information.

When the Microsoft Office programs are installed, you have the choice to create a desktop shortcut for the individual Office programs. However, if you don’t create a desktop shortcut at the time that you install Office then decide that you want a desktop shortcut later, you can easily create one.

Note: This article explains how to create a shortcut on your desktop. You can also add a program to the taskbar. If you are using Windows 10, right-click the program name or tile, click More > Pin to taskbar. If you are using Windows 8 or earlier, right-click the program name or tile, and then select Pin to taskbar.

Create a desktop shortcut for an Office program

If you are using Windows 10

Click the Windows key, and then browse to the Office program for which you want to create a desktop shortcut.

Left-click the name of the program, and drag it onto your desktop.

A shortcut for the program appears on your desktop.

If you are using Windows 8

Click the Windows key, and then browse to the Office program for which you want to create a desktop shortcut.

Right-click the program name or tile, and then select Open file location.

Right-click the program name, and then click Send To > Desktop (Create shortcut).

A shortcut for the program appears on your desktop.

Create a desktop shortcut for an Office document or file

You can also create desktop shortcuts for specific Office files or documents.

In Windows Explorer, browse to the document or file for which you want to create a desktop shortcut.

Right-click the name of the document, and then click Create shortcut. In Windows 8 you would click Send To > Desktop (Create shortcut).

Lowell Heddings
How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file namesLowell Heddings
Founder and CEO

Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work. Read more.

If you’ve ever saved a password when connecting to a website that requires authentication, for a remote desktop session or a mapped drive, you might have wondered where those passwords are saved. If you are a long time reader, you already know where, but you might be interested in how to create a shortcut directly to the dialog where you can manage those logons.

You can add this into your folder of useful shortcuts… sure, you might not use it every day, but it’s good to know how to do it.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Create the Shortcut

Right-click on the desktop and choose New \ Shortcut from the menu.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

In the location box, enter in the following command, and then on the next page give the shortcut a helpful name.

rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Once you have the shortcut, you’ll want to right-click on it and choose Properties, then click the Change Icon button on the Shortcut tab.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

If you change the textbox value to the following file, you can find the matching icon for the shortcut (adjusting if your Windows is installed elsewhere)

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Now you should have a nice matching icon…

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Which will open up the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog.

How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names

Note that you can also use this to backup and restore your saved passwords, and it should work in either Windows 7, Vista or XP.

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How to stop windows from adding “- shortcut” to shortcut file names Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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Is it possible to create a windows desktop shortcut that will restart a windows service?

I’d like a button to restart my apache service after I have made changes to the config file.

3 Answers 3

You can do this in a batch file, then make a shortcut to it.

Create a text file with the following content, but save it with the file extension .bat

Once the file exists, you can create a shortcut to it, and even assign a keyboard shortcut too if deemed necessary.

You can accomplish this without a batch file using the following shortcut target:

In addition to the answer the following comment by Tibo is mandatory:

To make it run as Administrator (required for some services, maybe all?), in the shortcut’s properties window, tab Shortcut, clic on the button “Advanced. ” (at the bottom) then check “Run as administrator”. It will open the User Account Control popup each time.

I’m using a system consisting of a simple CMD batch script and an LNK shortcut. The batch script contains the sc command, which acts as a Windows services controller. For starting or stopping a service it uses the same parameters as the net command:

So, e.g. for starting Apache web server service and MySQL database server service, the batch script named web_servers_start.cmd could look like the following:

The batch script must be launched elevated as an administrator. So I created a LNK shortcut which points to the batch script web_servers_start.cmd and checked “Run as administrator” in the file’s Properties dialog under the “Advanced. ” button on the Shortcut tab.

You can place the LNK shortcut on the desktop, start menu or wherever you prefer.