Bailey from El Mirage, California asks:
When I send a link as a shortcut to the desktop, I hate the way it says shortcut right after the name of the shortcut. Do you know what I mean? I had heard you can get rid of this. Can you? I have Windows Vista.
Bailey, I am assuming you mean this kind of shortcut name annoyance:
If it is, you have come to the right place. I too hate that, only because I tend to have a lot of shortcuts on the desktop that clutters it up enough, besides, I do know what a shortcut is, since I put it there in the first place! You don’t have to add ‘shortcut’ to remind me. Of course, the quick solution for individual shortcuts is to just highlight the name and delete the word Shortcut. But if you’re interested something more permanent, read on.
Bailey, you are now going to be part of what is a first here for me at Worldstart: I am going to take you into the registry editor. I haven’t done this up in my articles until now because I think the registry is something that really should be dealt with by the experts, or at least by someone who knows how to follow instructions to the letter. However, if it’s an easy enough task then I have no problem with it, and this is easy!
On that note, here are my two rules to entering the registry editor that must not be broken at any cost:
Do not go into the registry editor unless you know the exact task you want to accomplish…
Do not go into the registry editor unless you know the precise instructions to accomplish that task.
If you lack either of those, just get up and get to the nearest exit quickly, because your computer will blow up as soon as you get to the first line. Just kidding, of course (about your computer blowing up) but please – if you find yourself wanting to alter something or just mess around in the registry, think: Exact task, precise instructions.
Enough already! Let’s do this.
(Note: Remember that I said you need precise instructions? Well, in this case I am taking you through each step and diagram precisely, so you don’t need to have them ahead of time. Any time you don’t have a diagram make sure everything’s written down precisely.)
The first thing you are going to do is type regedit.exe into the Search box above the Start button. This is a command that is telling the computer that you would like to edit the registry. The search results will return it as the very top entry. Click on it.
(Note: If your Run button is enabled in your Start Menu, then you can type regedit.exe into that if you want to, as well.)
After you click on regedit.exe, your registry will pop up. (Before it does, if Windows pops up and wants to confirm that yes, indeed, you are not stupid, and yes, indeed, you would like to perform the action, indeed click on Continue.) It looks like this:
So you’re not totally in the dark, let me give you a general idea of what we’re going to do.
Have you ever ‘navigated’ to a folder in Windows, like one in My Documents? You know how you have to click the little arrow to the left and it “expands” the folder so that you can see all of the folders underneath? This is no different. We are going to “expand” the HKEY_CURRENT USER branch (called a key) and then keep going (navigating) until we hit the last part of the command, which is Explorer.
The key we are going to be navigating to is this:
I am going to navigate to the command in parts, rather than do it all at once; there are a lot of keys and they all begin to look alike but they aren’t (duh).
Parts one and two: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER and click on the little arrow to the left of it. This will expand that key. Then navigate under that to Software and click on the arrow to the left of it to expand that key.
Part three: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Look down the list until you come to Microsoft. Click on the arrow next to that.
Part four: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
Navigate to Windows and click on the arrow.
Part five: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Since you probably have the hang of this by now, I am going to show the two last keys in one screen shot where we navigate to Current Version and Explorer.
That took a long time, but only because I went through it step-by-step. When you do it, it’ll go quicker, because you will be navigating it yourself and not waiting on me!
One more step:
In the left pane you have your folders and keys. In the right pane you have what are called ‘values’. One of them is named ‘link’. The numbers on the right denote the default value of ‘link”, in my computer they are 1e 00 00 00. Yours may read differently.
Double-click on link to open it. In the Window that pops up change the first two digits (1e on my computer) to 00.
Click on OK and close the Registry Editor. Now the numbers to the right of ‘link’
are 00 00 00 00.
Log off and log back on so that the changes can take effect. (Note: This only effects the shortcuts you make from now on, not the ones you already have.)
If, for some reason, you want to change it back, and then follow these precise instructions up until you change the value. This time you will simply change the 00 back to the original two digits so that your string looks like the original number.
That’s it, Bailey! Thanks so much for writing; now I too can have no ‘shortcut’ next to my shortcuts!
~ Lori Cline