How can I restore my LNK file associations using the registry fix in Windows?
Question by Ramos /

I downloaded a supposedly safe program, but after it didn’t work the way it was supposed to, I decided to delete it via Recycle Bin and then promptly closed my computer to go eat dinner.

When I opened my computer and logged onto my account, instead of their regular icons my programs and many folders had an icon that looks like a blank page with a folded corner. It is very hard to open programs, such as Skype and Grapgicsgale, but I can (with much trouble) open Google Chrome and a few other things, but they still have that blank page icon.

They are also almost all .lnk files, and I’ve seen this fix, but I don’t quite understand how it works or what it does… Can someone please explain to me in simple terms and clear words how to use it? I’m not that skilled in computers and technology, but I can follow how to do things. Please help me!

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Answers (8)
  • Mark

    This is what I did after going round and round trying to find the answer to my .lnk problem
    (changing all my shortcut and programs extensions to .lnk)…

    Note: I did this in Win XP

    1. Start Menu
    2. My Computer
    3. Tools (menu)
    4. Folder Options
    5. File Types
    6. Click New Button
    7. File Extension Box = LNK
    8. Click Advanced Tab… In Associated File Type Box = Shortcut
    9. Click OK

    What happen right-a-way all of my Icons changed back to normal and all my programs
    started working. I did a reboot and everything is still working.

    I hope this helps.

    • lyn nicks

      Dude you rock! I have tried so many things and nothing worked! thank you!!! this worked! :-)

    • Ximon

      Dude you are AWESOME!!!

      that tip worked like a charm.
      I tried everything from file association restore to reg changes, but never occurred to me to associate it wit a Shortcut…DUH!!!

      I got messed up after trying Abiword…they said it works like stiky notes in Win& but they LIE!!!!…stay away from that junk
      Thanks A lot Mark and good Karma to you

    • lachlan

      how do you do this with windows 7?

  • Jay

    well, such questions are asked often ,
    you can either run this file
    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/file-asso-fixes-for-windows-7/

    or try system restore to fix it.

    • Crzycncr

      WOW system restore! the best answer i’ve found on this site! Why all the complicated mumbo jumbo??? Thanks!

    • Jay.0

      Yes, I try to find the simplest solution available.
      You are welcome!

  • Anonymous

    each one comes in archive so you have to extract, use 7zip or if you have winrar or winzip. Then you have to click on the reg files and this will fix the registry values regarding certain file association, so that windows will know how to open, because each format is opened with different process/application, so windows has to point it to the right process/application.

    first are yoou in xp, vista or 7. Because above mentioned link works on xp only and if you are on different windows you need another source.

    Windows 7
    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/file-asso-fixes-for-windows-7/

    Windows vista
    http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/105/1/File-association-fixes-for-Windows-Vista.html