Disable Missing Shortcut Search

May 12, 2008 by
Filed under: Windows XP 

Shortcuts are a handy feature in Windows XP. Some people have their desktop full of icons, linking to applications or documents through a shortcut. Most applications create shortcuts on the desktop when they are installed, or at least offer the possibility to create desktop shortcuts. And creating a shortcut to your favorite folders or documents is also very easy.

Unfortunately not all uninstallers remove desktop shortcuts when an application is uninstalled. This leaves you with a shortcut on the desktop that is pointing to an no longer existing file. The same thing applies to your document. If you remove your favorite document, the desktop shortcut is no longer valid.

When you double-click such an invalid shortcut in Windows XP, Windows will start to search for the destination item of the shortcut. In itself this is of course a very handy feature, which allows your shortcut links to be updated in a simple way. But if you have a lot of disk space, or multiple disks (or partitions), this automatic search can take quite a bit of time. If you happen to have turned off indexing for performance reasons, then the search becomes even slower.

If you know that an application was uninstalled or that you removed your favorite document, you do not want Windows to search for something that does not exist anymore. A quick message that indicates that the shortcut is invalid is enough.

The way to achive this is to change the Windows Registry. Follow the steps below to disable the missing shortcut search:

  1. From the Windows Startmenu, select Run. In the Run box, type regedit and click OK.
  2. In the Registry Editor, locate the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  3. If it does not exist, create a new DWORD entry with the name: NoResolveTrack, and enter a 1 as the value.
  4. Close the Registry Editor. Select Exit from the File menu.

As a result, Windows XP will no longer search for a shortcut target. Rather, it will immediately inform you that the shortcut destination can not be found.

To turn the missing shortcut search back on, you can either remove the newly created DWORD value or change the value of the NoResolveTrack DWORD to a zero (0).

Comments

2 Comments on Disable Missing Shortcut Search

  1. php thumbnailer on Sat, 31st Oct 2009 6:43 pm
  2. thats what I was looking for!!! thank you!

  3. zSandman on Wed, 6th Apr 2011 5:22 pm
  4. Did not work for me, even after rebooting: WinXP SP3

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