What Is the File Extension .Ink?

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LNK files are shortcuts to programs (EXE files) in Windows. Double-clicking a LNK file will open the associated program. This serves the same function as an alias file on Macintosh computers.

Uses

  • LNK files commonly appear on computer desktops to make frequently used programs easily accessible.

Appearance

  • Shortcuts typically look like the icon of the program to which they are linked, except that they have an arrow in the corner. The LNK file extension is not typically shown.

Creation

  • When a program is installed, you are usually offered the option to create a desktop shortcut. You can also create a shortcut by right-clicking a file or folder and selecting “Create Shortcut.”

Deletion

  • Deleting a LNK file will not affect the associated program in any way. Usually when you delete a shortcut, a warning will pop up to remind you that deleting the shortcut will not uninstall the program.

Troubleshooting

  • If a program is deleted or changed, the LNK file will no longer work. In addition, malicious software (malware) can cause registry problems, breaking associations between programs and shortcuts.

References

  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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