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The other day I got a call from a  user who had somehow managed to make all his desktop shortcuts open in Word. I suspected he had used the “open With” option in the context menu; thus, telling Windows to “Always use this program to open these files”. The problem was clear. Even though each shortcut had the correct settings, Windows would still open them in Word. The problem is, you can’t just tell Windows to open the shortcut files in an other program than Word. You have to somehow Reset the shortcut behavior to factory settings.

So how did we fix it ?

Doing some initial Googling (that’s a word now I believe) I came up with two solutions, where the first was to delete all .lnk references in the registry HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and then import these from a different computer. Luckily I then found a much safer (and quicker) method, that actually works.

  1. Open Regedit
  2. Open Key folder:
  3. Locate a sub folder named: User Choice
  4. Delete it
  5. Close RegEdit
  6. Reboot

Now all your shortcuts should be back to normal





About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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