How To Fix Broken Shortcuts Windows 11?

It can be messy to have too many broken shortcuts on your Windows system, so it’s an excellent plan to periodically check for and delete any broken shortcuts as part of basic maintenance! After updating their Windows operating system, users claim that their app shortcuts ceased to function properly. Your antivirus software or certain incorrect file associations could be to blame for this problem. Continue reading this article to learn the measures you may take on how to fix broken shortcuts.

Also Read: How To Create A “Remove USB” Shortcut In Windows 11

Why Do We Have Broken Shortcuts?

Once-legitimate shortcuts may now refer to files that are no longer present if you have removed or uninstalled programs, deleted bookmarks, or relocated files or directories to another location. Shortcuts of this nature are referred to as bad, invalid, or broken shortcuts, and you should eliminate them. These are, in a nutshell, the leftover files from software uninstallation. Broken shortcuts are not hazardous, but you should remove them because they take up unnecessary space on your computer.

Also Read: 150+ Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost Your Productivity

Expert Recommended Methods On How To Fix Broken Shortcuts Windows 11?

As previously stated, broken shortcuts on your desktop or Start Menu can be annoying. Imagine selecting a shortcut, getting an error notice, and discovering it leads nowhere. Here is what you can do to fix them.

Method 1: Navigate To Application Shortcuts Folder

Step 1: Press Win + E to launch File Explorer.

Step 2: Copy and paste the following path in the address bar of the File Explorer followed by pressing the Enter key.

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts.

Application Shortcuts

Step 3: This folder contains subfolders with the names of the apps installed on your PC.

Step 4: Open the app folders which have broken shortcuts.

Step 5: Remove the Shortcuts that are not working by selecting them and pressing the Delete button on your keyboard.

Step 6: Delete broken shortcuts in this way and Reboot Your PC.

Also Read: How To Permanently Add A Volume Slider Shortcut In Windows 11

Bonus: How To Recreate the App Shortcut

Step 1: Press Win+E to launch the File Explorer.

Step 2: Navigate to the Program Files folder and locate the folder of the application whose shortcut is broken.

Step 3: Locate the main executable file of the app and make right-click on it.

main executable file

Step 4: Choose Create Shortcut from the context menu and a shortcut will automatically be placed on your Desktop which can be moved to any other folder as well.

Also Read: How To Fix “The Item That This Shortcut Refers To Has Been Changed ” Error

Method 2: Check The Navigational Path Of The Current Shortcut.

Step 1: Make right-click on the broken shortcut and select Properties.

broken shortcut

Step 2: A new window will appear where you have to click the Shortcut tab.

Step 3: Locate the Target field and check if the path is correct.

Note: The path mentioned should lead to the location of the main executable file of the app. Copy the path between the quotes and paste it into the File Explorer address bar followed by Enter key.

File Explorer address

Step 4: If the path leads to the executable file then you need not change it and move to the next method. However, if the path is wrong then locate the executable file of the app through the File Explorer and copy the path from the address bar.

Step 5: Paste the updated path within the quotes in the Target field of the shortcut properties window.

Step 6: Click on Apply and then on OK.

This will fix the shortcut and make it work again.

Also Read: How To Fix Alt + F4 Keyboard Shortcut Not Working on Windows 11

Method 3: Exit The HomeGroup

This method is for those users who have connected their computers to a Homegroup.

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the RUN box.

Step 2: Type “Control” in the RUN box and click on the OK button to open the Control Panel.

Step 3: Type “HomeGroup” in the search box in the top right corner and select the relevant result.


Step 4: Click on the “Leave the homegroup” option.

Leave the homegroup

Step 5: Click on Finish and restart your PC.

Also Read: How To Fix OneDrive Unable to Move Shortcut Error

Method 4: Delete Thumbs.db Files

Thumbs.db are temp files that contain relevant information to an app’s settings and shortcuts. If these files get corrupted then the shortcut can stop working. You need to delete these files and don’t worry, they will be recreated once you restart the PC and run the app. Here is how to delete Thumbs.db on your PC to delete broken shortcuts.

Step 1: Press Win + E to launch the File Explorer.

Step 2: Type “Thumbs.db” in the top-right corner search box and press Enter.

Step 3: A list of Thumbs.db files will appear on your screen.

Step 4: Here you need to check for the Thumb.db files that belong to the apps with broken shortcuts and remove them.

Also Read: YouTube Hacks: Learn The 30+ Most Useful YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts & Tips

Method 5: Use Advanced System Optimizer To Clean Junk Files

Junk files and Temp files play an important role in running an application and its shortcuts. To Delete broken shortcuts, you need to optimize your computer. For that, you need Advanced System Optimizer, an amazing app that will fix most of the issues of your computer. This app can remove unwanted files, fix Registry entries and update drivers among other functions necessary for your PC. Here are the Steps to use this app:

Step 1: Click on the download button below to download Advanced System Optimizer.

advanced system optimizer (1)

Step 2: Click on the Smart PC Care tab in the left panel and click on the Start button in the bottom right corner.

Step 3: Wait for some time until the scan completes.

scan completes

Step 4: All the issues will be fixed automatically and then you need to reboot your computer.

Also Read: Windows: Shut Down Or Enable Sleep Mode With Keyboard Shortcut

The Final Word On How To Fix Broken Shortcuts Windows 11?

We hope now you know what you need to do on how to fix broken shortcuts. The aforementioned methods will help you to get rid of broken shortcuts and replace them with working ones.

Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or recommendations. We would be delighted to provide you with a resolution. We frequently publish advice, tricks, and solutions to common tech-related problems. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flipboard, and Pinterest.

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