how to safely delete shortcut to a folder

 

Why not delete a shortcut to a folder?

deleting a shortcut to a folder (what you get when you alt-drag a folder) will delete the source/original folder that the shortcut points to. this seems similar in operation to *nix's symbolic links (this doesn't mean http), and in windows, I think the same term is used.

a shortcut to a folder can be created when you:

  • alt-dragging (holding down the alt key while dragging the mouse) into a folder or on the desktop or into the whitespace of windows explorer or its breadcrumb menu (address bar).
  • right drag a folder somewhere and pick create a shortcut
  • right click on the desktop or in a folder somewhere and pick create shortcut, but the Target you choose is a folder path

for windows 7 and below, the workaround is to basically change the Target in the shortcut to the path of an executable (.exe) file, then you can safely delete it.

Workaround - windows 7 and below

for windows 7 and below, the workaround is to basically change the Target in the shortcut to the path of an executable (.exe) file, then you can safely delete it.

  • right click the shortcut, properties
  • change target from a folder path to %comspec% or c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe
  • click ok
  • delete the shortcut

Workaround - windows 8/8.1

I have not learned of a fix for this yet, as I do not have windows 8.1/8, but if the windows 7 thing works, use it

for windows 7 and below, the workaround is to basically change the Target in the shortcut to the path of an executable (.exe) file, then you can safely delete it.