A strange thing happened today when I tried to double-click on my desktop shortcuts – it showed a prompt to send the shortcut to the recycle bin. First I slapped myself, thinking it was a dream and I would soon wake up. But sadly it turned out to be real life and I had to deal with it by digging deep into the Registry Editor. I imported some sections from one of my other computers, rebooted the PC and it all started to work after about twenty minutes. If you also have similar problem related to shortcuts (which are .LNK files), then you can follow these simple instructions to fix them.
The desktop shortcuts or shortcuts anywhere else in Windows are usually the .LNK files. If a shortcut is not working, then it can be due to many possibilities. First thing you should check if the target file or URL, that the shortcut is pointing to, exists and points to the correct file. To do so, right-click on the shortcut and select Properties. In the shortcut properties window, you can check the Target field and ensure that it points to the correct program.
If this does not work, then you will have to fix the .LNK file association entries in the Windows Registry. Doing it manually is not recommended because it can lead to problems – instead you can use a Registry script that I have made. In order to fix the .LNK file associations, you can download the fix_lnk_associations.zip from TrishTech.com, extract the contents to a folder and double-click on fix_lnk_association.reg file.This would make proper changes in the Windows Registry. After this you may have to restart Windows and your shortcuts should start working properly.
This should be enough to fix the missing .LNK file associations in Windows. This methods has been tested to work in Windows Vista, 7 and 8.