Review: Update Your Shortcuts With Broken Shortcut Fixer

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Broken Shortcut Fixer

    PCWorld Rating

    Broken Shortcut Fixer scans your PC and weeds out those shortcuts that can no longer be fixed so you can get rid of them permanently.

With the plethora of free software available these days, we all install and then uninstall a huge amount of stuff. The problem with this is that quite often, a lot of shortcuts and other detritus is left behind, clogging things up and making things a mess. The problems aren’t confined to uninstalling, either. When you move things around in your computer you often end up breaking shortcuts pointing to the old location. You may not immediately realize that, and later when you need the file or program, you click the shortcut only to get the dreaded "the item has changed or moved" error. Luckily, there's one free piece of software that can help with these scenarios: Broken Shortcut Fixer.

A shortcut is a link which allows you to start a program or open a file from a different location than the directory that program or file lives in. So for example, you may have Microsoft Word in the Windows folder but a shortcut link will be on the desktop, so you can start a new file right away.  But these shortcuts are only good if the file it points to stays in place. If you move it, the shortcut link is broken, because it is still pointing to the old location.

Broken Shortcut Fixer is a small free app that scans your computer drives, looks for shortcuts and then determines if they are broken or not. If they are broken, it tries to fix the shortcut by looking for the target file or program and linking the shortcut to it. If they can’t be fixed, it displays it in a list for you to review so you can decide if it can be fixed manually. If all else fails, it gives you a big delete button to blast them off into digital oblivion.

To find broken links, just choose your drive in the lower left of the UI, and click “scan shortcuts”. Any shortcuts that the app was unable to fix will appear in the main section for you to review and delete.

To use it, you start up Broken Shortcut Fixer and choose which computer drive you want to scan.  Then press “scan shortcuts” and let it do its work. Since I had just reinstalled my entire Windows system, it only found one broken shortcut. Maybe I should have tested this the day before when my system was the digital equivalent of a junkyard.

As I said previously, when it finds something, it attempts to repair it first, using the Windows Link Resolve method. If it can't reunite shortcut with the intended program or file, you are given a list, so you can examine them and decide which ones you want to keep and fix yourself and which ones can be zapped.

This is a very handy program, worth keeping on the computer and running every now and again, alongside your anti-virus and anti-malware. There’s nothing worse than clicking a link and being told the program can’t be located. Occasional use of this program means you can banish those moments forever and keep on top of your shortcut repairs.

Note: The "Download" button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Broken Shortcut Fixer scans your PC and weeds out those shortcuts that can no longer be fixed so you can get rid of them permanently.

    Pros

    • Scans the selected drive very quickly
    • Attempts to repair broken link, and if unsuccessful, gives you option to delete.

    Cons

    • Doesn't tell you which ones it fixed
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