Open File Extension LNK

File extension database

File extension LNK is most commonly used by LiNK files on Windows operating system. These files are also known as "shortcuts". These files are used for quickly accessing some resource: program, document, website, etc. These files contain information about the location of resource shortcut links to (ex:, or c:\users\John\Documents\Thesis.docx). LNK files also contain and "icon" - small image to display on the desktop or in the start menu that helps distinguish shortcuts from one another.

If LNK file references an executable it contains additional data specific to executable files such as directory to run program from, initial window size (maximized, minimized or normal) and several tweaks and knobs related to compatibility with older versions of Windows.

It's important to remember that shortcuts only reference programs so merely deleting a shortcut from the desktop or start menu doesn't uninstall the program. This has to be done explicitly. Program that has not been uninstalled still consumes computer resources such as disk space, memory, registry settings etc.

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For more general information about files, file extensions and registry you can read one of the following articles:

  • Windows registry - Windows registry is included in modern Windows operating systems to replace the older INI files which also contained system configuration. Let's concentrate on the structure and purpose of Windows System Registry and show some concerns that makes it vulnerable to attacks...
  • Folders, files and paths - Files are the entries or information stored on your computer. These are represented by binary coding and written on the tracks on a disk. Files are often represented by distinct icons, a normal practice done by Microsoft with their products including system files for their series of operating systems...
  • What are file extensions? - File extensions are unnoticed yet are very crucial parts of the computer world. But many are still unaware of the basic foundation and principles behind the remarkable wonders of computers...

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