How do I delete a broken shortcut?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

To delete a broken shortcut, you can follow these steps:

1. Identify the broken shortcut: Look for a shortcut icon on your desktop or in a folder that is not working properly. It might have an exclamation mark or display an error message when you try to open it.

2. Right-click on the broken shortcut: Once you have identified the broken shortcut, right-click on it to open a contextual menu.

3. Select “Delete” or “Remove”: In the contextual menu, you should see an option to delete or remove the shortcut. Click on that option to initiate the deletion process.

4. Confirm the deletion: A confirmation prompt might appear asking if you are sure you want to delete the shortcut. Read the prompt carefully and click “Yes” or “OK” to confirm the deletion. Note that this action cannot be undone, so make sure you are deleting the correct shortcut.

5. Verify the deletion: After confirming the deletion, check that the broken shortcut has been removed from its previous location. It should no longer be visible on your desktop or within the folder where it was located.

In some cases, you might encounter difficulties deleting a broken shortcut due to underlying issues with the Windows system or permissions. If you face any such challenges, here are a few additional steps you can take:

1. Restart your computer: Sometimes, a simple system restart can resolve temporary issues and allow you to delete the broken shortcut normally.

2. Use the Command Prompt: Open the Start menu, type “cmd,” and right-click on the Command Prompt result. Select “Run as administrator” to open an elevated Command Prompt window.

– If the broken shortcut is on your desktop, type the following command and press Enter:
Del C:\Users\YourUsername\Desktop\ShortcutName.lnk
Replace “YourUsername” with your actual username and “ShortcutName” with the name of the broken shortcut.

– If the broken shortcut is in a folder, navigate to that folder in the Command Prompt window using the `cd` command. Then, type the following command and press Enter:
Del ShortcutName.lnk
Replace “ShortcutName” with the name of the broken shortcut.

The Command Prompt will attempt to delete the specified shortcut. If successful, you should see a confirmation message. If not, an error message will be displayed, indicating the reason for the failure.

3. Use third-party software: If the above methods do not work, you can try using third-party software specifically designed to remove broken shortcuts. These tools can scan your system for broken shortcuts and help you delete them. Some popular options include CCleaner, Shortcut Cleaner, and Broken Shortcut Fixer.

Remember, it’s essential to exercise caution when deleting shortcuts, especially if you are unsure about their functionality. Always double-check and confirm that you are deleting the correct shortcut to avoid accidentally removing essential files or programs.

Deleting a broken shortcut is a simple process that can usually be accomplished by right-clicking and selecting “Delete” or “Remove.” However, if you encounter any difficulties, you can try restarting your computer, using the Command Prompt, or employing third-party software to assist in the removal process.