How-To Geek

Remove "Shortcut" Text From New Shortcuts in Windows 7 or Vista

A source of annoyance for many Windows users is the ” – Shortcut” text that is added to the name of newly created shortcuts, and every time you have to manually edit the shortcut and remove that text. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a registry hack for this?

Most long-time geeks will remember that there was a hack for Windows XP, and probably already know that the same hack works in Windows 7 or Vista as well.

Notice the ” – Shortcut” added to my pidgin icon.


Manual Registry Hack

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following registry key:



On the right-hand side you’ll find a key that is just called “link”, with a default value of 1e 00 00 00. Open this key up and change the 1e to 00 instead, leaving you with 00 00 00 00.

You’ll have to log off and then back on to make this change take effect. Please note that this won’t affect existing shortcuts, only shortcuts that you create from now on.

To change the setting back, just change back to the 1e value, log off and back on.

Downloadable Registry Hack

I’ve provided these tweaks in a couple of registry hack files.

  • RemoveShortcutText.reg – Removes the shortcut text from new shortcut
  • RestoreShortcutText.reg – Restores the setting back to the default

Download RemoveShortcutText Registry Hack

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/21/07

Comments (29)

  1. andy

    marvelous! thanks geek.

  2. Shadowman

    Thanks a million! I’ve been waiting for this one.

  3. Doug Nelson

    I did this right after installing Vista, and it broke some stuff. I don’t remember what it was, but it took some time before I figured out that this broke it. Sorry this isn’t more helpful, but I blocked the memory. All I remember is that Vista needed it there for some reason.

  4. Ian

    It didn’t work for me. I have two machines running Vista Ultimate, one a Dell version, the other is regular. On the Dell version, the reg value was indeed 1e 00 00 00 and I altered it to 00 00 00 00, but the word ‘shortcut’ was still there. I rebooted and tried again – nope. Luckily I’d exported the Explorer value, so I used the regfile to get back to the original.

    But on the second machine, also Vista Ultimate, the value was 17 00 00 00 and when I altered it to 00 00 00 00 and rebooted, my display was screwed – just like 16 colors in W95 or W98! Again, I used the export to reverse the change and all is well again.

    So, not sure why it works for others but it sure doesn’t for me :-(

  5. Peter

    Does the value above… “default value of 1e 00 00 00” have a “Typo” or do different versions of Vista have different values? It seems some Vista machines have a different value to what’s on this page. For instance my machine has a value of 15 00 00 00 NOT 1e 00 00 00

  6. no_one_special

    It worked for me; I tried the manual registry hack. Logging off and on doesn’t help—end Windows Explorer from the Task Manager and then restart it. It works! And of course, restarting the computer definitely works.

  7. Rov

    hehe.. man ur the best :P i did the manual work, (i always do) and it worked out just fine, just like everything else here.. ur side rox too btw..

  8. Erwin Ried

    Other way to do this:

    Create a new alphanumeric key called:


    With “%s” as value (without quotes).

  9. goom

    this really helped me out.
    thank you very much, keep the good stuff coming :D

  10. Ian

    Erwin Ried, thanks for that. One point – when you said:

    “Other way to do this:Create a new alphanumeric key called:ShortcutNameTemplate….”

    ….did you mean that this action, in itself, fixes the problem? Or does it need to be used in conjunction with other fixes?

  11. Erwin Ried

    Ian: Itself solves the problem

  12. Ian

    Great, thanks very much :-)

  13. Rob


    The solution didn’t work imediately for me, I had to give the key the value

    “%s.lnk” (thats LNK not INK)


  14. AussieNoob

    Cool. But this worked straight away for me, didn’t have to log off/on or restart . 32bit Home Premium

  15. AussieNoob

    I keep forgeting to say thanks…. Tanks heaps Geek !!

  16. John

    Weird. I don’t get the “shortcut” text and when I check the reg entry. It isn’t 1e as default. It is 16…

  17. Abir stolov

    A small thing, but details are everything.. Thanks.

  18. travis

    I have 1c in my registry, not 1e.

  19. John Kirkham

    In Windows 7 this needs to be done within the ‘right click context menu’ not in the registry.

  20. Selvan

    Don’t know about Vista but the below worked for me uaing Win7HP 64bit

    1. start, run, regedit, go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    2. close all windows & programs
    3. ctl-alt-del & start task manager
    4. end explorer.exe
    5. on the right registry pane, note original link binary value of 17 00 00 00(for me) & change to 00 00 00 00
    6. ctl-alt-del, log off & back on or shut down & restart

  21. Donald

    This tweak still works in Windows Ultimate (64-bit). Reboot required. Closing and opening the Windows Explorer is not enough.

  22. Gary

    It does not seem to work if the destination folder or the path contains a ‘#’ (hash or number sign) character.

  23. Gary

    Correction to my previous statement “It does not seem to work if the destination folder or the path contains a ‘#’…” my mistake, IT DOES WORK.
    The problem was with a setting in my file manager (Directory Opus 9) that I was unaware of or had forgotten it can disable or enable ‘Shortcut to’ prefix & other stuff regardless of the registry setting when using the file manager to create the Shortcuts.

  24. Narelle

    The downloadable tweak works a charm. I couldn’t find regedit.exe directly from W7 search (I’m brand new to W7 and still feeling my way from XP), so had to use the tweak, but someone’s comment above sent me in the right direction afterward — Start, search for RUN, select ‘Run’ then type in regedit, exe. Hey presto!

  25. jimbo

    Registry hack described by the author here worked fine on my machine. (Windows 7 Pro 32 bit). Key was 1E 00 00 00 Modified it to read: 00 00 00 00.

  26. Dan

    Best computer help site ever! Thanks :)

  27. Mark

    Totally agree with Selvan’s adice to check registry first and see what hex Windows is currently using to suffix your shortcuts. This pie-bald squacking over 00 00 00 00 could be on a bunch of XP boxes.

    Used to be a method somewhere’s that gave key and dword creations to use whatever suffix you like, yes? Well where is that gone? Can’t find it today at where i commented that method in “answers”. Maybe it was like … toxic or something. Always be ready to reinstall Windows if you mess with registry. Every time you mess you are creating background code cascades in xaml and elsewhere as Windows subserviently hacks in your system hack.

    C’mon peoples!

  28. Bryan

    No lie. I created a shortcut to the registry editor when I saw this article and thought “meh. I wish it would stop adding “- shortcut” to these. I’m smart enough to know the icon for a shortcut”

  29. Dean

    I cannot say with absolute certainty, but I believe the Vista Shortcut Overlay Manager (formerly FxVisor) does the same, or similar, thing. Having just entered the registry to apply this fix, I noticed that the “link” with value was already 00 00 00 00. The Shortcut Overlay Manager does one better, though, be updating the current desktop icons, not just future ones.

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