delete shortcut problem
June 1, 2012 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Deleting desktop shortcut deletes the file. What gives?

Purchased new Lenovo PC with Win 7. Set up admin account with password and different user accounts without passwords. In any user account, you can install a program (after typing in a password to allow it) and it puts a shortcut on the desktop with the little arrow in the bottom left corner. If I try to delete the shortcut, the message says, "Are you sure you want to move this FILE to the recycle bin?" and it requires a password to do so. I don't want to trash the file, just the shortcut. Something weird here, that I don't understand. Help
posted by luvmywife to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
shortcuts are also files.

Test it out! Say yes, enter the password, and if the application disappears (not just the shortcut) you can get it back from the Recycle Bin.
posted by Lady Li at 5:23 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

A shortcut counts as a file.

It has asked for permission because "you" don't own the file, the system does (that holds true for virtually all OEM-installed crapware, BTW).
posted by pla at 5:24 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Win7 pops a UAC prompt if you try to delete any shortcut that is in the "Shared" folder. It is not trying to delete your program.

See here:
posted by briank at 5:25 PM on June 1, 2012

The shortcut is in the C:\Users\Public\Desktop folder which requires administrative privileges to modify. Since it's in the public folder, if the shortcut is deleted, it will affect all users' desktops. As opposed to the files in C:\Users\*username*\Desktop, which will only affect that user's desktop.
posted by pombiki at 5:40 PM on June 1, 2012

Imagine if shortcuts didn't exist, and you wanted to keep notes to yourself about where commonly-used files on your hard disk are, because it'd be easier than remembering "C:\My Files\Audit Files\Q4-2012\Schedule\Budgetary Issues\TPS.doc". So you create a little text file in Notepad, and you stick the path in there with a little note, and open it up any time you want to get to the actual file, and paste it into the "Run..." box in the Start Menu.

Now, imagine if Windows were smart enough to recognize that you'd created these sorts of files, and instead of having to open them up and copy-paste the whole file location, you could just double-click your note and it would just go.

Now imagine that Windows created a special type of "note", that you didn't have to open up in Notepad at all! You could use the file explorer to do it.

That's what shortcuts in Windows are. :)
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:48 PM on June 1, 2012

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