After updating their system, a number of users have reported issues with their Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 shortcuts. Both app shortcuts in Modern UI and in Desktop mode became unresponsive and failed to launch the necessary programs.
Even though Windows 8 / 8.1 offers troubleshooters to deal with these issues, for some systems, these tools were not able to find solutions, resulting in many unhappy customers. Shortcuts in the Windows environment have always presented some kind of issues and it’s no surprise that both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 keep to this trend. But these errors can be fixed, and in this guide, we’ll show you how to do it.
How to fix broken shortcuts in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
If you’re experiencing issues with either your Windows 8 / 8.1 apps (after updating your system) or desktop shortcuts, don’t worry, as there is a simple solution that will fix your shortcuts, allowing them to work properly and you to go about your day without having to deal with broken apps.
To fix Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Modern UI app shortcuts, you will need to open the root folder where they are installed. Navigate to the following path and locate the apps which are causing you issues:
- C:\Users\Your Account Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts
Note: replace Your Account Name with the name of your local/MS account
In this folder, you will find all the apps you’ve installed on your system, each in a separate folder. You’ll have to locate the apps which no longer work and open their corresponding folder. In it, you will see a shortcut named “App“. Delete the shortcut and do so for all the apps that are not working. After you’ve finished, reboot your system and all should be fine. Your Windows 8 / 8.1 Modern UI app shortcuts should be working as intended.
Desktop shortcuts also have a tendency to stop working, usually due to a broken path to the program executable they should launch. This is due when the corresponding program is updated, uninstalled or moved. If you’ve uninstalled a certain program, then all you’re left is to delete the shortcut as well.
On the other hand, if you’ve moved or updated the program and the corresponding shortcut no longer works, you have the option to either create a new one or try and fix the path of your old shortcut. The easiest way (if you ask me) is to navigate to where the software is installed (or moved) and locate the executable file, once you’ve done so, right click on it and select “Create Shortcut“. If you are in a system folder, Explorer will place the shortcut directly on your desktop and you can move anywhere you wish afterwords.
If you’re attempting the fix a shortcut that is already on your desktop, you will need to right click it and select “Properties“. In the windows which opens, you will see the “Target” field, under the “Shortcut” tab where the path to the program exe should be. If the path is not correct, locate the executable for the program and copy the path to this field, being careful to add it in quotation marks (example: “program path”). You can leave the other fields as they were.
Now your shortcuts should be working properly. This fix has been confirmed for both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.