LNK file icon

LNK File Extension

Windows Format Shortcut
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    3.9 (98 votes)

What is LNK file?

Files with the LNK extension are the shortcut files used in Windows system. The contain information about the type and location (the URI identifier or GIUD of the proper file) of the proper file, and about the associated program.

LNK files may contain additional, user defined information. If they are associated with an EXE application, the may also indicate initial attributes for the program to which they refer to.In Windows system, LNK files have the same icon as the proper files. LNK extension is invisible in the filename, by default.

LNK file shortcut does not work

Changing some parameters of the proper file, such as name or location, results in disabling all the shortcut files leading to them. Changes in the link’s system, introduced by a user, may result in disappearing of desktop shortcuts. In such case, user should refer to instructions within Windows help centre.

Programs which support LNK file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support LNK files. LNK files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Programs that support LNK file

Updated: 09/02/2019

How to open file with LNK extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening LNK files on given system. Fortunately, most common problems with LNK files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with LNK files.

Step 1. Download and install Microsoft Windows

Install software to open LNK file The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports LNK files installed on the system. This one is an easy one. Select Microsoft Windows or one of the recommended programs (for example, Parallels Desktop, CrossOver) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Microsoft Windows website and download the installer.

Step 2. Check the version of Microsoft Windows and update if needed

Update software that support file extension LNKIf the problems with opening LNK files still occur even after installing Microsoft Windows, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Microsoft Windows is available. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. If you have an older version of Microsoft Windows installed, it may not support LNK format. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Microsoft Windows.

Step 3. Set the default application to open LNK files to Microsoft Windows

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Windows installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage LNK on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with LNK file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the LNK with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Microsoft Windows installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open LNK files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with LNK file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with LNK extension, select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select Microsoft Windows and click Change for all...
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with LNK extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Ensure that the LNK file is complete and free of errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the LNK file is valid. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

Check LNK file for viruses
1. Verify that the LNK in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the LNK is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the scanner detected that the LNK file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Ensure the file with LNK extension is complete and error-free

Did you receive the LNK file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the LNK file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Verify whether your account has administrative rights

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Windows Format Shortcut file.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Microsoft Windows

If the systems has insufficient resources to open LNK files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Windows Format Shortcut files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with LNK files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the LNK file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on LNK file.

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